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Silence is golden for Gillispie School fundraiser

Sixth-graders at The Gillispie School recently participated in the Free the Children’s Vow of Silence campaign, remaining silent for 24 hours, to raise awareness about the millions of children around the world who have no voice.

The campaign enhances grade 6 studies of Africa and raises money to uphold children’s rights in Africa through Free the Children, the world’s largest network of children helping children through education. In taking the vow of silence, the 18 Gillispie sixth-grade students collected $1,300 in pledges from family and friends for the time they remained silent.

“Our sixth-grade students have been deeply moved by learning about child laborers, children in poverty, and children unable to attend school,” said Alison Fleming, Gillispie’s head of school. “They are excited to share their studies of Africa and to give these children a voice.”

Jennifer Stralla and Susan Adams, the sixth-grade teachers, along with the specialty teachers embraced the challenge of designing dynamic yet silently interactive activities for the day, including communicating by sign language, hand signals and white boards.

The students used the speak function on their computers or hand-written notes to respond to their teachers. Many said that it was much harder to remain silent at home and at soccer practice after school than it was during the day.

The money raised will benefit projects to build schools, provide alternative sources of income, and implement clean water and sanitation projects for in-need children in Africa. By supporting these development projects, they hope to promote all children’s rights to be free from exploitation, to receive an education, and to have the chance to realize their full potential.