DHS and Starside fundraise for sister school


Starside Elementary student Riley Harmon-Moore helped sell water bottles to peers to raise funds for Starside's sister school.

Emily Herrington, Staff Reporter

The De Soto schools have teamed together to reach out to Bishop Ndambuki Education Center, a school in Kenya, in order to help raise funds and collect donations for a variety of materials that the school is in need of.

Both DHS and Starside Elementary have participated in several different fundraisers.

Starside Elementary School has been regularly selling water bottles to students and collecting all of the proceeds for Bishop Ndambuki throughout the year.

During the month of February, the elementary school sold Valentine Grams. The kids would pay to have a Valentine and piece of candy sent to a friend. The money made from that was added to their donations.

Starside has also been collecting donations from people outside of the community. The students and staff have helped their churches and businesses become involved. They have collected many school supplies from Character Counts, US Toy and Constructive Playthings. Prime Time Sports has donated basketballs, soccer balls and dozens of t-shirts. Charlottesville Community Church donated over 200 Bibles and storybooks. Those are only a handful of the companies that have been contacted. Starside plans to hear back from several more during the three months before the donations are sent to Kenya.

Starside’s students have also been writing pen-pal letters and Skyping with the students in Kenya, as a way of learning more about their culture and how they live. The students were excited to hear from the school and thrilled to research the things that they learned from their pen-pals.

Lexington Trails Middle School collected funds through Kaps for Kenya, a day where students who brought one dollar were permitted to wear a hat during the school day.

The De Soto High School Lite Team created a committee and decided to help reach out to the school by holding a book drive from Feb. 18-22. The school in Kenya’s library consists of only a handful of books, despite the school’s love of education and reading.

The school set a goal to reach over 500 donated books and ended up collecting over 600.

“It’s kind of a neat thing,” said LITE Team sponsor Jennifer Sosna. “I thought this would be a great thing for us to do as a school. To be able to provide some help for them.”

Because the donations will all be sent to Kenya in May, the Lite Team is also planning on hosting a bake sale in the spring to collect more funds for the project.

Students and other members of the community are more than welcome to make donations on their own as well. Starside is continually collecting sheets, towels, new underwear, shoes, books, clothing, socks, new deodorant and other First-Aid items.

All students and parents are being asked to bring in anything that the students at Bishop Ndambuki can use. Lightly used items from a thrift shop, or even things found around the house while spring cleaning are both an easy way for individuals to become involved in the project.