In its continuing commitment to education around the globe, Wayland Middle School donated $3,000 to Room to Read earlier this school year. This donation fulfilled the school’s commitment to raising more than $7,000 to fund a school library in Vietnam. The library is located in Ha Tinh, a province located about 200 miles south of Hanoi.
Room to Read is a global organization seeking to transform the lives of millions of children in the developing world by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education.
Wayland Middle School’s fundraising efforts have included a student-organized cookie-palooza sale, sales from student-made hair ties and paracord bracelets, an annual Book Swap, and other generous contributions.
When literacy specialist Ellen Jacobs retired last year, the Wayland Middle School staff organized an amazing afternoon of gaming and donating to generate additional funds for the library.
“Witnessing the enthusiasm and commitment of hundreds of students over the years in carefully constructing quality products to sell has been heartwarming and has enabled me to know them in a whole new and beautiful way,” said Jacobs. “I was deeply touched by the team’s retirement party in support of an effort that embodies my deep beliefs about education and equity.”
Wayland Middle School Principal Betsy Gavron cited the benefits of community service.
“These types of projects inspire our students to think about students beyond our walls and borders,” she said. “By succeeding in funding a school library, students saw the value of setting a goal and achieving it step by step. We are so proud of their patience and long-term commitment to this project.”
Several students have taken the initiative to continue making and selling hair ties and bracelets to benefit Room to Read. These hard workers include Allison Chase, Ella Schachter and Jessie Feist.
Area businesses also have supported Room to Read fundraising efforts. Since 2014, Moodz Spa and Salon in Wayland and Masterworx in Weston have been raising funds by selling the Wayland Middle School student-made hair ties. (Moodz also sells gently used books to benefit Room to Read.) To date, Moodz has raised more than $1,000 and Masterworx has raised nearly $500 from these efforts.
Anita Kurl in Boston has joined these local salons in selling hair ties and has raised $300 so far. Since it costs just $300 per year to educate a girl under Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program, these salon initiatives have funded the education of six girls.
Founded in 2000 on the belief that “World Change Starts with Educated Children,” Room to Read’s model focuses on systemic transformation within schools in low-income countries. The organization works in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments to develop literacy skills among primary school children and to ensure girls can complete secondary school.
Room to Read has benefited 12.4 million children in 15 countries and aims to reach 15 million children by 2020. Learn more at roomtoread.org.