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Riverhead students raise over $4,600 to build school in Kenya


Riverhead elementary and middle school students have raised more than $4,600 to help build a school in Mikei, Kenya.

The students participated in the Great Kindness Challenge in January, where they learned about the importance of being kind and giving back others. During the week the students watched a movie about a child, Magi, who lives in Mikei and were inspired to help him and other students in the town, according to a press release from the Riverhead Community Awareness Program.

The students spent two weeks collecting spare change and writing wishes for the students of Mikei on paper bricks they decorated and hung up on a “Wall of Wishes” around the Riverhead schools.

Wishes included “I hope you like your new school,” “all kids deserve an education,” “broken crayons still color” and “I hope your teachers are as nice as ours,” according to CAP.

In total, the students collected $4,635.55 while participating in the Kind Coins for Kenya challenge, organized by Kids For Peace.

One student — fourth grader Jena Binkis, who attends Aquebogue Elementary School — went above and beyond by raising funds at her church. She decorated a collection jar with the hopes of raising $50 for the Kenyan students; instead, she raised $885.

Jena said she feels “very lucky to have a big school with lots of books” and that she “hopes the kids in Kenya can have the same,” CAP said.

Students in all four elementary schools were also visited by author Lisa Krekeler as part of the event. Ms Krekeler shared her story “Emily and the Kindness Bracelet,” which prompted Riverhead students to spend time giving back to their schools and communities.

The Great Kindness Challenge, which began in California, is a national and international movement to inspire children to perform random acts of kindness.

Photo Caption: Notes Riverhead students left on the “Wall of Wishes” for students in Kenya. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

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