Hawthorne School donates $1,800 to Ryan's Well Foundation project

Submitted by Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205
Updated 11/20/2018 6:40 PM
  • Members of the third-grade "LA REACH" class at Hawthorne Elementary School in Elmhurst participate in a fundraiser to benefit Ryan's Well Foundation.

    Members of the third-grade "LA REACH" class at Hawthorne Elementary School in Elmhurst participate in a fundraiser to benefit Ryan's Well Foundation. Courtesy of Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205

Hawthorne Elementary School's "LA Reach" class, taught by teacher Geri Sorrentino, recently raised $1,800 for the Ryan's Well Foundation.

The third-graders at the Elmhurst elementary school participated in a two-week donation drive to raise money for Ryan's Well Foundation, a charitable organization which digs wells to bring clean water to towns in Uganda, Africa.

The class exceeded nearly doubled its goal, raising a grand total of $1838.38!

This includes more than $200 from a student, who asked guests at her weekend birthday party to bring cash donations for Ryan's Well instead of presents!

Thanks to the tremendous generosity of all Hawthorne families!

As part of a class video, the students talked about how they learned about the decades-long efforts to clean up waterways, and read the 2016 book "The Water Princess" by Susan Verde about bringing clean water to an African village.

The students learned how to keep pollution out of the local Salt Creek watershed, and they put up "no waste" signs near the storm drain sewers in the school parking lot. They also offered tips on how to conserve water and how a family can figure out their "water footprint."

To see the LA REACH students explain the lesson learned during the project, find "Water Facts for Fundraiser" on YouTube https://youtu.be/dp9QxQ6D9Wo

The foundation's mission started 20 years ago when 6-year-old Ryan Hreljac, sitting in his first-grade class in Ontario, Canada, learned about children in impoverished areas of Africa who had limited access to medicine, food and clean water. Ryan came home and decided to do extra chores to earn money to build a well. His dedication inspired his schoolmates and the community. He was profiled in a local paper, which led to TV interviews and even an appearance on "Oprah."

The foundation recently saw the completion of 111 water projects in Burkina Faso, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana and Haiti, and organized Community Water Committees and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) training with each project. More than 925,000 people now have access to potable water as a result of people around the world who have walked step-by-step alongside Ryan since 1998. To learn more about Ryan's Well Foundation, visit www.ryanswell.ca.

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