TAMPA — Students at Carrollwood’s Corbett Prep have gone green — and it has nothing to do with the environment.
The students at Corbett — both elementary and middle school age — are wearing green bracelets to support the National Educator Program (NEP) fundraiser called the Project New Hope Challenge. NEP has partnered with a girls school in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and wants to bring its principal and two educators to the United States for additional training.
The bracelets sell for $5 each. NEP seeks to raise $10,000 for the project.
And while schools all over the nation are participating, according to Corbett, they lead the U.S. in fundraising. There is even a kid-made scoreboard that proudly displays Corbett’s name at the top.
The Corbett middle school students got involved with the program after hearing about he plight of Afghani teachers from teacher Linda Wenzel. The message took root and the middle-schoolers started to educate the elementary school kids. Now, the entire school, from pre-K to eighth-grade is involved.
“It just started out as a fundraiser to help two ladies and a principal,” said Julia LaVoy, one of the students. “But the more we heard about it the more we got excited to help.”
The bracelets are green and feature the slogan, “I’m Changing the World.” For their part, the Corbett kids are getting the word out.
“We are trying to help people and we picked this program up and we have had plenty of people buying the bracelets,” said Trevor Mayberry, another of the students involved. “We are getting there. We’ve sold 500 so far and we are selling the most in the country.”
The Corbett kids have sold more than 2,000 bracelets already and they haven’t quit yet. The sales have gone beyond Corbett. Fliers, cards, and social media are also helping the increase in sales.
The bracelets aren’t the only way the Corbett kids are collecting money. There are change jars in the school and plenty of relatives have been hit up for a few bucks to help the cause.
Student Serena Jonas said a big boost came when the middle-schoolers went to the elementary school and spread the word. They explained their mission and the elementary school kids were all-in.
“We told them what it was like to be a woman teacher in Afghanistan and they seemed like they understood,” Serena said. “Girls don’t do anything but housework over there. It’s tough for a woman to get any kind of job. We want to change that.”
Marcus Arias said he’d like to meet the teachers when they come to America, but just knowing he is helping teachers from halfway around the world means a lot.
“The teachers will be coming over because we helped bring them,” Marcus said. “I hope we can make a difference.”