Ed Smith Students Raise Money to "Raise the Roof" in Rwanda

     Published on 6/11/15   Tagged under:    District News   

Students at Ed Smith Pre-K-8 School have raised $700 to help build homes in Rwanda through a “Raise the Roof for Rwanda” campaign.
Seventh grade Ed Smith students worked in the art room to create tiny clay houses that they sold for $3 each, collectively helping to raise $700 to donate to the General Architecture Collaborative (GAC), an international design group that has already built two houses and a community center in Rwanda.
The funds SCSD students raised will be used to purchase roof materials for a building cooperative that will pass on and teach earthbag technology to residents of the village. Yutaka Sho, a GAC representative and Professor of Architecture at Syracuse University, has worked on previous projects with Ed Smith in years past and accepted the students’ donation on behalf of the organization.
Before accepting the check, Ms. Sho showed students an example of the earthbag technology used in Rwanda, demonstrating how soil can be inserted into a recycled mesh bag and stacked to create a sturdy and affordable home. "Engineers have learned to make houses really cheap and really strong, and that's what you guys are helping to do with your donation," she explained. "So thank you for doing this. You should be very proud!"
Students expressed how the background knowledge they acquired about the environment in Rwanda motivated them to sell their clay houses. "We wanted to help people get a roof over their heads," Nicholas Veliz said.
"The clay houses we sold will help build a roof in Rwanda," classmate Trymeir Albert added. "That will help protect people from the conditions."
Students noted that many people gave an additional donation on top of the $3 cost of the clay houses. "People realized how much their donation would help other people," Clara Neville explained.
"It makes me feel good," Trymeir added. "People knew that they have more than the people in Rwanda and they wanted to share."
Thank you to all of the Ed Smith 7th graders who participated in this great project, and to art teachers Mary Lynn Mahan (Ed Smith), Chuck Sniper (Ed Smith) and Lori Lizzio (Henninger) for leading the activity!

View our Flickr album to see the clay houses students sold, as well as the check presentation ceremony >>>