Students in Maureen Tricase's social studies classes at the Liverpool High School Annex are doing more than just learning about history and cultures this school year; they're helping to shape it.
Tricase and her 125 ninth grade students are currently working to raise money for the Hug It Forward Project, which makes "Bottle Schools" out of recycled materials in poor communities in Guatemala.
In her four years of teaching at the Annex, this is the first time her students are actively participating in a global project. The students got involved with helping children in Guatemala in September, after donating tubes of toothpaste for Tricase's nephew,
, a Peace Corp Volunteer in Guatemala, to distribute to the children in the community.
After keeping in contact with Dembkowki via Skyke and blogging, and reading
"Three Cups of Tea"
by Greg Mortenson-which the author himself donated 700 copies of to the Annex-the students decided they, too, wanted to help build schools for the less fortunate.
"It brings to mind how important education is throughout the world, how lucky they are to have such a great opportunity, and that they should not take it for granted," Tricase said. So their involvement with Hug It Forward began.
To raise money, the students decided to sell donuts, pizza and candy during the New York State Regional National History Day Competition held at the school March 26. In one day, the students raised $268.
Ninth grader Jackie Chilbert also designed t-shirts with the help of her parents that read "Liverpool Students Making a Difference" to be sold to help the cause. T-shirts can be purchased for $10 each, with $4 per shirt going toward the project.
Money raised by the Annex students will go towards the $9,000 needed to build a two-classroom elementary school in San Francisco El Rio in Coban, Guatemala.