Grade 1 class turns lesson in human rights into fundraiser for solar lights

On Thursday December 10th at 11:30 a.m., the Grade 1 class of Vernon River School is doing a presentation at the Open House of the Human Rights Commission in Charlottetown. They will be making a presentation about their Rights and Responsibilities Project which raised enough money to buy 10 solar lights for their twinned school in Kenya, through Farmes Helping Farmers.

"Over the last few weeks, the Grade 1 class at Vernon River Consolidated has been learning about Needs and Wants and Rights and Responsibilities," explains student teacher Danielle MacLellan, who has been working on the project with Grade 1 teacher Joanne McIsaac.

"The students learned that everyone has the right to an education but not everyone has full access to an education," continued MacLellan.  "We also learned that for every right comes a responsibility."

Vernon River Consolidated is twinned with a school in Kenya through Farmers Helping Farmers.  A graduate of Vernon River School, Daniel Whalen, who went to Kenya last summer, visited the Grade 1 class to talk about the trip.  He told the Island students that students in Kenya are not able to study at night, because they do not have electricity.

"We decided that's not fair," said MacLellan.  "Our class decided to fundraise,  through a used book sale, to buy solar lights for our students in Kenya."
"So far our class has raised enough money to buy 11 solar lights for our twins in Kenya."

The Grade 1 class collected money by selling gently used books, returning refundable beverage containers, and accepting contributions towards the lights as Christmas gifts.

Farmers Helping Farmers president Rosemary Herbert says she is touched by the generosity of this group of young P.E.I. students.

"We thank them for their efforts that will light up the lives of ten families in Kenya," says Herbert.

The Open House at the Human Rights Commission will be held at 31 Queen Street and is open to the public. The Vernon River project will be on display during the entire Open House from 11:30 – 1:30 but their presentation is at 11:30.
Farmers Helping Farmers says "asante sana" to the Vernon River school community for supporting this meaningful fundraiser and lesson in human rights.

For more information about the solar lights campaign and to see photos of the Grade 1 class, please visit the Farmers Helping Farmers website:

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