Sometimes the smallest thing can make the biggest difference, a lesson laid out in the book “The Promise of a Pencil.”
What will your verse be? That’s the question Principal Allan Davenport put before his students at Crone Middle School for the 2014-15 school year, to teach them that they have the power to influence the world. It’s a message he lives by himself, and is fulfilling through a school fundraiser he’s organized to raise $25,000 to build a school in Ghana, Africa.
“One of our goals with this project is teaching students to be global citizens for global awareness,” said Principal Davenport. “We want to let them know that we’ve got it pretty good here in the U.S. and they need to be aware of what else is going on in the world.”
The idea was born out of the book, “The Promise of a Pencil,” which Davenport read last year. In it, Author Adam Braun captures his journey through more than 50 countries to find his calling. His defining moment came when he met a boy on the streets of India, begging for what he hoped for most in the world – a pencil.
This prompted Braun to deposit $25 in the bank, growing it into a fund that would eventually build 200 schools through his organization, “Pencils of Promise.” This story of inspiration struck a chord in Davenport, and the fundraiser was born.
“The students that I’ve talked to you can just see the passion that they have for this and one of the hardest things as an educator can teach is empathy and that’s one of the most important skills for kids to have and you really see the students develop that empathy and want to help,” said Principal Davenport.
As it turns out, the students aren’t the only ones excited to get on board. One parent had spent two years in the Peace Corps teaching students in Ghana and welcomed the chance to pitch in.
“It starts them off thinking the right way, principal davenport talked about having a verse knowing what you can contribute in life to have that kind of a lesson in life is really fabulous and its great,” said Lavonne Senanou, Former Peace Corps Volunteer.
She shared her experiences with the students at Crone to teach them the Ghana way of life in hopes of inspiring them to make a difference – a message that hit home.
“I feel like we’re very fortunate here that we have a chance to be able to be educated and do something,” said Student, Maya Knotts. “I feel like because we have the power to do something we should help other people have that power too so we can make the world a better place.”
In the first week, Crone Middle School raised about $4,000 and is hoping to reach their goal by the end of the school year.
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