Pencils of Promise: 3rd-grade class helps bring education to other nations; STGnews Videocast

ST. GEORGE — One third-grade class in St. George is working to serve underprivileged children by earning and donating money to help build schools in developing nations.

On Friday afternoon, Natalie Higgins’ third grade class at Panorama Elementary School held a sold-out bake sale to benefit the nonprofit organization Pencils of Promise.

Panorama Elementary School third-graders sale baked goods to aid the building up of schools in developing countries, St. George, Utah, March 6, 2015 | Photo by Holly Coombs
Panorama Elementary third-graders sell baked goods to help build schools in developing countries, St. George, Utah, March 6, 2015 | Photo by Holly Coombs, St. George News

Pencils of Promise

Pencils of Promise aids in building up schools on continents from Asia to Africa.

Developed in 2008 by Adam Braun, the nonprofit organization operates with the goal of providing and enhancing education through building schools, training teachers, providing scholarships and bringing education to underprivileged kids. According to the organization’s website, more than 200 schools have been built with the help of Pencils of Promise.

Help from third-graders

Through a close friend, Higgins heard about the organization’s current effort to build a school in a developing country. With the participation of Higgins’ class and donations from Lex Curtis, a Pencils of Promise team leader, ideas and money started rolling in.

“(My students) came up with the idea all on their own, to do a bake sale and to help these children get an education,” Higgins said. “I am so proud of them.”

Summer Eardley waits for customers to buy her baked goods at her class bake sale, March 6, 2015 | Photo by Holly Coombs, St. George News
Summer Eardley waits for customers to buy her baked goods at a class bake sale, St. George, Utah, March 6, 2015 | Photo by Holly Coombs, St. George News

Third-grader Caleb Caldwell said education is not valued as much as electronics, but he said he knows education is important, and he wants other kids to experience the same type of education he has.

“I get to have new friends and have a teacher and get really smart,” Caleb said.

Caleb and his classmates were excited to bring cookies, bread, cupcakes and other sweet treats to the bake sale, knowing they were donating to a good cause.

“Summer has been excited for weeks to help Lex with donations to have a school built,” Leisha Eardley, a parent, said. “She’s been taking money to school to put in the donation jar. She’s been so excited for weeks for this bake sale.”

Higgins said this year has been the best of her 11 years at Panorama. She said the students have brought the education in her classroom to life with their service and their desires to learn.

It’s just amazing how much they want to help and the big hearts they have for others they don’t even know, but they know it’s something worth doing,” Higgins said.

Donations to Pencils of Promise

Higgins has her own page, which connects to Curtis’ page, to support the building up of schools. To donate to the third-graders’ cause, go to Higgins’ Pencils of Promise donation page.

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Email: hcoombs@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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