In April, 93 students in 1st through 5th grades at AIM Academy in Philadelphia, PA, along with their teachers, completed a school service project – and raised funds for World Bicycle Relief in the process!
The school service project included hands-on activities that allowed AIM Academy students to empathize with the experiences of children in Ghana. Fetching water on foot, walking a mile “in their shoes”, comparing biking vs. walking speeds, and participating in question-and-answer sessions with Ghanaian students over Skype were the highlights. While AIM Academy students examined the experiences of students in Ghana, school administrators were emphasizing bicycle riding across all grade levels in a separate effort; it was a natural decision to connect both programs by fundraising for World Bicycle Relief.
At the end of the service learning project, a WBR volunteer met with the children to show them the Buffalo Bicycle and explain exactly why it’s so useful to students in rural Africa. By making and selling sauces from herbs grown at the school, students raised enough funds to provide 10 bicycles to rural schoolchildren in Africa – and gained a new perspective, too. “Our service learning project with World Bicycle Relief has opened our students’ eyes, expanded their cultural understanding, and grown their global connectedness. It was truly a fantastic experience for all who were involved,” AIM Academy teacher Eryn Doroshow shared.
Eryn followed the service project with a personal visit to a small village in Ghana, where she conducted teacher training at a new school. “I am extremely invested in educational empowerment,” she said. “The chance for students to use a bicycle to transport them to school as a means for educational empowerment is truly incredible. Education opens doors and changes the world; a bicycle helps facilitate this!”
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