Archive for Thursday, November 30, 2006

Foreign gift program teaches global lesson

November 30, 2006

The most anticipated part of the Eudora High School International Club's Christmas project could be a moment junior Kim Scherman will never get to see.

The club members prepared a set of care packages containing small toys, hygiene items, school supplies and letters to send to children in Mexico.

To Scherman, the best part will be when the children in Mexico unwrap the packages.

"It'll be good to imagine their expression," Scherman said.

The club sends packages to countries around the world each year. Two years ago the boxes went to Thailand. Last year, students delivered the boxes themselves during a trip to Ecuador.

"That was really neat seeing the kids and how excited they were," senior Christina Pyle said.

Every other year, the International Club plans a trip outside of the country.

Last year's trip offered students the opportunity to interact with the natives in Ecuador.

Next year's destination has yet to be decided, club sponsor Kim Lancaster said.

Between raising money and taking trips to foreign lands, the club gathers for projects like wrapping the Christmas packages.

"It's kind of a tradition for the International Club at Christmas time. We've just kind of done it different ways," Lancaster said.

This year the students were instructed to bring a shoebox and items that might appeal to a certain age group.

The restriction offered certain challenges like making sure all the items fit in the box or certain items were age appropriate.

Part of the fun was getting through the wrapping day, which was Nov. 16.

"There was wrapping paper flying everywhere," junior Michelle Smith said.

The club members also enjoyed writing letters to the gift recipients.

Senior Joey Chino's group wasn't sure what to say at first.

"It was pretty much 'we hope you like what you get from your friends in the north,'" Chino said.

The project helped the students think about their own place within the world.

For Smith, it started when she brought the items to put in the box.

"I just think these things we can so easily get a hold of, these kids can't easily get a hold of," Smith said.

The experience helped put things into perspective for Schneider.

"It shows us how good we have it here," Scherman said.

Lancaster uses the project to help her students think globally, especially during the holidays.

She said she hoped the students would grasp the idea of giving to others this time of year, but also hoped the project would get them to think about what the holidays are like in other countries.

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