Selma students raise $1K in change

Published 8:21 pm Friday, April 2, 2010

Spare change can make a difference.

The children of the Selma City Schools donated $1,086.62 with the “Change for Change” campaign from Feb. 1-12, sponsored by Integrity Worldwide, to purchase textbooks for a library in Meto, Kenya.

“It has taught our children so much, more than anything, how to share and to appreciate what they have,” said Rita Parikh, librarian for Selma High School.

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Librarians headed the collection drive at each school, showing students information about the village in Kenya and Integrity Worldwide.

One of the most interesting images for the children was of a woman next to a toilet in the library.

“That led our children to dig into their pockets,” said Becky Blaylock, library at School of Discovery. “When they saw the woman smiling and showing so proud the toilet, they were thrilled.”

Hicks brought examples of books from Nairobi, Kenya, for librarians to borrow.

“I wanted you to be able to take them back to your libraries,” Hicks said. “I thought you would be interested in seeing what your money is going to be buying.”

Books will be purchased in English or the local languages of Meto for about $5 each.

Knox Elementary librarian Temple Little also presented Hicks with a quilt made by students and the Gee’s Bend quilters earlier this year.

Integrity Worldwide is a Christian mission program founded in 2006 and based here with offices also in Birmingham and North Carolina and has a partnership with villages in Kenya and Uganda. The program has already brought a 75,000-liter well (which converts to about 19,813 gallons) and a state-of-the-art library to Meto.

In the process of building and filling the library, the program also intends to bring the community modern conveniences such as running water and toilets in the bathrooms to a computer lab and conference room. Pipes run from the well to the library for the running water. The library will also run via solar power.