Crazy for Kenya: Child Elementary students hold fun fundraisers for Wacky Winter Week

Jan 31 2013 - 6:22am

Images

Erin Sheffield, 11, plays a minute to win it game while wearing a wizard hat during crazy hat day at H. Guy Child Elementary School in South Ogden on Wednesday, January 30, 2013.  (KERA WILLIAMS/ Standard-Examiner)
Kyle Hall, 11, eats lunch during crazy hat day at H. Guy Child Elementary School in South Ogden on Wednesday, January 30, 2013.  (KERA WILLIAMS/ Standard-Examiner)
(Left to right) Isaac Wright, 10, and RachelleTurgoose, 11, eat lunch during crazy hat day at H. Guy Child Elementary School in South Ogden on Wednesday, January 30, 2013.  (KERA WILLIAMS/ Standard-Examiner)
Jonah Isom, 10, eats lunch while wearing his cookie monster hat during crazy hat day at H. Guy Child Elementary School in South Ogden on Wednesday, January 30, 2013.  (KERA WILLIAMS/ Standard-Examiner)
Luke Hall, 9, places his straw hat on top of Alexis Knight's, 9, cowboy hat during crazy hat day at H. Guy Child Elementary School in South Ogden on Wednesday, January 30, 2013.  (KERA WILLIAMS/ Standard-Examiner)
Erin Sheffield, 11, plays a minute to win it game while wearing a wizard hat during crazy hat day at H. Guy Child Elementary School in South Ogden on Wednesday, January 30, 2013.  (KERA WILLIAMS/ Standard-Examiner)
Kyle Hall, 11, eats lunch during crazy hat day at H. Guy Child Elementary School in South Ogden on Wednesday, January 30, 2013.  (KERA WILLIAMS/ Standard-Examiner)
(Left to right) Isaac Wright, 10, and RachelleTurgoose, 11, eat lunch during crazy hat day at H. Guy Child Elementary School in South Ogden on Wednesday, January 30, 2013.  (KERA WILLIAMS/ Standard-Examiner)
Jonah Isom, 10, eats lunch while wearing his cookie monster hat during crazy hat day at H. Guy Child Elementary School in South Ogden on Wednesday, January 30, 2013.  (KERA WILLIAMS/ Standard-Examiner)
Luke Hall, 9, places his straw hat on top of Alexis Knight's, 9, cowboy hat during crazy hat day at H. Guy Child Elementary School in South Ogden on Wednesday, January 30, 2013.  (KERA WILLIAMS/ Standard-Examiner)

OGDEN -- On Wednesday morning, 10-year-old Isaac Wright woke up, got ready for class at H. Guy Child Elementary School, and before he ran out the door, he grabbed his duct-tape stove-pipe hat.

Not a normal fashion accessory for the average fifth-grader. But then, this is Wacky Winter Week at his school.

"We do it every year," said Lori Brown, fourth-grade teacher and adviser to the school's student council. "By this time in the winter, we are ready to be wacky. It's a school spirit event, but we combine it with a fundraiser for Kenya."

Students wore wild socks on Monday; ties attached to their necks, heads, arms or legs on Tuesday; and hats, which usually aren't allowed, on Wednesday. Most students wore sports ball caps. Many wore animal-themed winter hats.

Today's fashion mandate is a tacky or wacky sweater. And Friday is pajama day.

For added wackiness, students take turns at lunch doing skills events, such as trying to ease a sandwich cookie resting on their foreheads into their open mouths without using hands.

Wacky attire is all for fun, Brown said, but fundraising for projects in Kenya is more meaningful to students.

"We have a Kenya slide show each year before we begin our projects," Brown said. "The students see pictures of babies who may not live. Their mothers can't feed (nurse) them because of HIV. One year, our money went to buying goats, with feed and a pen, so babies could have milk."

Last year, the $3,000 raised financed a cistern -- a tank for storing clean water, such as rain water.

Principal Blake Hadley said even the youngest returning students remembered that project.

"They remembered the word," Hadley said. " 'Cistern' is not a word most small children know. They knew what they were earning money for. They know they are making an impact and improving other children's lives."

Hannah LaRose, 12 and in sixth grade, said it means a lot to her to help children struggling to survive.

"I don't think the little students really understand, but they know they are doing something good," she said.

Mia Shaw, also 12 and in sixth grade, said she enjoys raising money to donate.

"Helping kids is really fun, and they get good water and food," she said.

Brown said she didn't know what kind of project this year's donations would fund. Koins for Kenya charity workers travel to the African nation and determine the greatest need, she said.

The focus at H. Guy Child Elementary School is on fundraising endeavors, from selling chocolate bars and native crafts, to declaring different days for donating piggy bank nickels, dimes and quarters.

"The kids in our school are mostly doing OK," Brown said. "By skipping a kids' meal and donating the money, they can make a difference in the life of a child who is starving."

Rachelle Turgoose, 11 and in fifth grade, looked sporty in her fuzzy, red hat.

"My brother won it at a carnival, and he lets me borrow it when I want," she said. "This week has been a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to pajama day."

So is Isaac, also in fifth grade.

"Last year one of the Kenyans drew a picture of our school mascot, a charger on a horse," Isaac said.

As for his Lincoln-like hat, Isaac said it is only the most recent of his duct tape creations.

"I make a lot of things from duct tape," he said. "I've made wallets, book holders, purses, other hats. I get attention because normally people don't make duct-tape hats."

Even the double-tall hat has an exciting future.

"I'm going to do a few things to it and sell it to my friend for $5," Isaac said. "It's going to be a magician's hat."

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