Seventh graders plan to change world

Authored by Trisha Moser on Jan 17, 2014

When four seventh graders arrived at an Adams Central School Board meeting with their plans to better the lives of kids in Africa, they met no resistance. They along with their teacher, Joel Reinhard, presented their idea to the Adams Central board Tuesday.
One Adams Central seventh grader came up with the idea of raising money to build a school in Kenya, and the students ran with it. They quickly decided to team up with Bellmont and South Adams to reach their goal as fast as possible. After researching different organizations, the students and Reinhard decided that World Vision offered the best opportunity to reach their goals. Jaxson Rinkenberger shared with the board that their monetary goal is to raise $22,000 by the end of the school year. Rinkenberger stated, “Think how many lives we will change forever.”
Rachel Fiechter shared the risks of living in Africa without a school to keep kids busy. She expressed to the group that African children who do not attend school are much more likely to end up as child soldiers. Fiechter also stated that hunger in Africa kills more people than many other diseases combined.
$22,000 may seem like an impossible amount to raise, but Lauren Isch shared many ways that the money could still benefit kids in Africa. Isch expressed to the group that they can still make a difference by using the money to build wells or to feed the African children. The students also shared that if they were to go above and beyond their goal, the extra money could be used to help other groups who have the same goal; raising money for a school.
Jalen Hammond spoke of the many ways that the money could be raised, with most of his ideas targeting kids their own age. The first thing he talked about was a large dodge ball tournament that would include over 300 kids. He also mentioned the ideas of t-shirt sales, walk-a-thons, and dances. Attorney Adam Miller suggested to the group that the Adams County Community Foundation may be interested in donating as well.
Rinkenberger stressed to the board that without the community being involved their goal would not be reached. It is very important to the students that the community help take ownership of this project to build a school for kids like them in Africa.
Dr. Lori Richmond, Adams Central superintendent, asked the students why they decided to combine with the other school instead of keeping the project to themselves. Fiechter responded by saying, “It’s not just about us trying to raise [the money]. The goal is to help people in Africa.”
Board member Cynthia Snider summed up the feelings in the room by saying, “You kids excite me.

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