Fifth graders to buy livestock for Peruvians | SummitDaily.com

Fifth graders to buy livestock for Peruvians

ROBERT ALLEN
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

BRECKENRIDGE ” A group of fifth graders at Breckenridge Elementary School raised more than $700 through a lemonade and cookie stand to help purchase llamas and alpacas for impoverished Peruvians.

Peter Caamano, a student in Deb Snyder’s fifth-grade class, said the animals’ fur helps provide income for families when it is sold for yarn, which is used to make sweaters.

The sweaters also keep the people warm, for they live at elevations between 13,000 and 17,000 feet.

“It’s about giving a family a fishing pole rather than a fish,” Snyder said.

Snyder’s and Ms. Miller’s fifth-grade classes are also helping people in parts of Africa, India and other regions as part of a poverty unit through the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program.

The students on Thursday made presentations describing what they’ve learned about global poverty to family, second-graders and others.

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“I believe that education is (the best way) to climb out of the hole of poverty,” said fifth-grader Selah Kreeger.

Selah recently visited India, where a caste system and government corruption hinder residents’ access to resources.

She said Indian children are taught to speak English before they learn Hindi (both are considered official languages), but that about 100 languages are spoken across the country.

During the presentation, guest speaker Rabi Shrestha ” manager of Himalayan Cuisine in Frisco ” spoke of his the economy and culture of in Nepal and India, places where he formerly lived. He’s been in the United States for about eight years.

Snyder’s class aims to help such philanthropic organizations as American India Foundation, One.org and Narrow Road ” which is based in Breckenridge ” through bake sales and by selling bracelets.

Peter’s group is donating money from the lemonade stand to Heifer.org, where a llama for a family in Peru costs $150.

Mary Caamano, Peter’s mother, said the impact on her son is “incredible,” and the experience has helped he and his classmates appreciate “how fortunate and lucky they are.”

“It’s really a neat project ” what they’re called to do,” she said.

Students in Miller’s class have made similar fundraising efforts and are helping organizations that provide rice and water to those in need.

Fifth-grader Autumn Ward said that about $140 has been raised for Water Partners in Ethiopia, which can use the money to support a family’s water needs for life.

Students are taking quizzes on freerice.com, an effort by the United Nations World Food Program that contributes 10 grains of rice to the hungry for every question answered correctly.

More than 62 billion grains have been donated to date, according to the website.

Students in the classes have also learned about such poverty factors as natural disasters, health and sanitation.