Trash cans overflow with school supplies at the end of the school year when students empty their lockers to leave for summer vacation. School supplies are wasted, while other students go without.
Half of the Guatemalan population is indigenous and less than 30% of poor, rural indigenous children are enrolled in secondary school. Many classrooms in rural Guatemala do not have adequate teaching materials and school supplies, which makes learning challenging. In these poor communities, school fees for tuition, textbooks, uniforms, and supplies consume a large percentage of a poor family’s income and result in school dropouts by 5th grade.
Ryan Wilson, an 8th grader at Lincoln Savage Middle School at the time – now freshman at Hidden Valley High School, came up with the idea when he heard that Guatemalan students needed school supplies and hoped it would keep students in school. He decided to create a food bank-like system, where donation bins were set up, at Applegate School, Lincoln Savage Middle School, and Hidden Valley High School, and students are able to donate their slightly used school supplies. The three schools donated over 600 lbs of school supplies: binders, notebooks, paper, pencils, pens, art supplies, and so much more! Over 10 packing boxes, weighing over 50 lbs each, were full to the brim with school supplies donations!
A school-wide assembly was held on February 14th, 2018 at Hidden Valley High School to recognize the students, staff, and volunteers who dedicated their time to making this project possible.