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Students' project supports children in Africa

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By Todd Martin

What started with a grant from the Kentucky Council of Economic Education has turned into a worldwide fundraiser.

On Monday, fifth-grade students in the Talented and Gifted program at Painted Stone Elementary gave $250 to Megan Terry to support the orphanage in The Congo from which her son, Miles, was adopted. Last year the group donated money to Heifer International, buying a water buffalo for a family in Thailand.

“They could’ve done so many things with this money, for them to use it for this is just amazing,” Terry said.

She went on to explain to the students how much could be done with that money.

“An average person in The Congo only makes about $300 a year, so this is an amazing amount. We’ll use this money to help buy food for the children, Malaria medicine, water purification tablets and more.”

The $250 would buy about 140 doses of Malaria medicine, feed one child for almost three years, or purify 8,333 gallons of water, she said.

The students raised the money by working in a school-supply store. The original grant paid for the supplies the store used to open two years ago, and the students donated all the net-profits.

After last year’s donation, the students debated on where to donate this year’s money.

“The children all had ideas,’ teacher Sue Inman said. “They talked about Kosair [Children’s Hospital], the orphanage and others. Then they voted by secret ballot.”

Inman said she then used the opportunity to work The Congo into the class work.

The students studied The Congo and malaria during the year. The store, she said also helps teach economics.

“They sign up to work at the beginning of the year, and they have to run the register, do inventory and log sales,” she said. “They really run the entire store.”