East Aurora Students Raise Money for PED

The bells rang in the hallways as students of East Aurora High School in Aurora, IL settled down into their desks for their English classes. Today’s lesson plan was something different.

They heard in their classes about students in Uganda who walked for hours each morning and evening to receive an education. They saw videos that connected them with teenagers just like them: laughing, singing and dancing, and playing soccer. The students of East Aurora saw themselves in PED’s mission. So they decided they wanted to support PED’s partner schools.

To do this, they secured sponsorships from friends, families, and teachers, to walk countless laps for six hours as a way to raise money. Then,on Saturday, December 8, 2014, the students from gathered on the school track for the annual Day of Sacrifice.

The Day of Sacrifice was started by English teacher Shane Gillespie, whose English class has been completing service-learning projects since its origination. The idea was simple: encourage students to sacrifice their time, their energy, and if possible, a small amount of money, for a larger purpose.

Upon joining the English staff of East High in the 2013-2014 school year, PED volunteer Jessica Bergmann joined with Shane Gillespie to organize and promote the event while raising awareness of the need for sustainable education in Uganda.

This year, the students who participated in the walk raised over $3,000 that will be used to expand income-generating projects at PED’s partner schools. That brings their total donation over the past two years to almost $8,000.

Thank you to the students, parents, and staff of East Aurora for believing in PED and its mission to provide every student with a quality education.