The Riverside Elementary “Pop-up Shop” for Vivian A.
Posted by: Katie Wood, Founder
When Riverside Elementary student, Edison, found about Watch Me Go, he was so moved by the girls’ stories and desire to go to school that he really wanted to help. At just 9 years old, he didn’t exactly have any income to donate towards their education so he came up with an idea to make and sell rubberband bracelets, a popular fashion item among kids, in order to help raise tuition money for one of the girls. He took the initiative to present to his school on the importance of helping these girls go to high school and asked for the Riverside PTO’s support to carry out his idea as a school-wide service project to benefit Watch Me Go student, Vivian A. Their response, a resounding “Yes!”
Empowered by the support of his school, Edison and a group of equally passionate friends, classmates and other helpers got to work on making as many bracelets as they could. As word spread on their project, they even had friends from out of town mailing them bracelets to help them with their effort! Before they were ready to start selling though, their first priority was making 40 bracelets to send as a present to each of the Watch Me Go Girls in Kenya.
Riverside kids making bracelets to support Vivian’s education.
Vivian (4th on right side) and fellow Watch Me Go girls hold hands to show off their new bracelets!
After a lot of hard work and preparation, the kids were ready to begin fundraising to help send Vivian to school! They set up a Watch Me Go-themed “pop-up shop” at school complete with Vivian’s photo and story, a map pointing to her country, Kenya, and the bracelets, each with a label that read “Thank you for helping Vivian A. go to school!” The kids took shifts working the shop during lunch, recess and after school, and it was a huge success raising almost $200 the first day!
The fundraising from the bracelet sales was boosted by another special student, JJ, who selflessly asked for donations toward Vivian’s tuition instead of presents for his 9th birthday party. This helped raise over $200 for Vivian in one day bringing Riverside’s total to over $1000 in less than 2 months.
Upon finding out about all that was taking place on her behalf, Vivian beamed from ear to ear. She was overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude and so touched that a group of kids half way around the world cared so much about helping her go to school. Vivian and the kids leading the project have exchanged videos, and we even managed to arrange a short Skype call between Edison and Vivian before she left for school.
The service project has come to end for this school year, but some of the kids have plans to keep it going over the summer, and it will resume as a school-wide operation next school year. What started as one child’s idea to make a small difference in someone’s life has turned into a movement that has enriched the lives of everyone who has caught the “Vivian bug”. Way to go, kids!
The amazing kids behind the Watch Me Go service project at Riverside Elementary.
Front Row: Edison, Garrett, Porter, Nick, Colin, and Back Row: Katelyn, Devin, JJ, Madie, Xavier
Contact us if you or your child wants to follow in their footsteps and help educate a Watch Me Go girl! firstname.lastname@example.org