Third graders help build school in Tchad
Ms. Reuer’s third grade class at Loma Linda Academy pose for a picture.
During this past school year, the third grade class at Loma Linda Academy learned the importance of service.
Their teacher, Joelle Reuer, had been teaching them that age doesn’t matter when making a difference.
“My students just wanted to do something rather than just talk about it,” says Ms. Reuer. “One of our class sayings is ‘actions speak louder than words.’ They wanted to take action!”
Part of Ms. Reuer’s third grade curriculum in social studies is learning about different communities. Typically they discuss communities in the United States, but this year Ms. Reuer decided to go beyond the borders of this country.
“I presented the country of Tchad, specifically the community of Béré, because I know James and Sarah Appel and had a connection for getting first hand information,” she says.
James Appel, MD, a 2000 graduate of Loma Linda University School of Medicine, is medical director at Béré Adventist Hospital. His wife, Sarah, works as a nurse.
Ms. Reuer went to Béré two years ago on a mission trip and had pictures, stories, and information about the hospital and the countr
Sarah and James Appel display the gifts that they received during the Tchad Adventist School fundraiser, held April 27.
y to share with her students.
“As my students were presented with information about Béré through what I knew and as they found more information through their own research, they became passionate about wanting to help and do something,” she says.
Specifically, the students were concerned with the conditions of the school in Béré. When they compared what they had to what the children of Béré had, they knew they wanted to do something to help.
Ms. Reuer then e-mailed Dr. Appel and told him that her students wanted to do something to help the children and school in Béré. He e-mailed back specifics of the school needs.
Ms. Reuer’s 28 third graders then brain stormed and came up with a plan on how to meet the needs of the school.
The class decided to raise $16,000 to build an Adventist school in Béré. This new complex will consist of a principal’s office, three new classrooms, two storage rooms, and an extra room. The $16,000 will cover all of the supplies (bricks, cement, rebar, trusses, and roofing) plus labor. Currently the Adventist School in Béré has three small classrooms with about 100 students in each room. Students who can’t fit into the current classrooms meet under nearby mango trees.
“My students are really excited to be involved in this program,” says Ms. Reuer.
To help kick off their fundraising drive, the third grade class held a special program at Randall Visitors Center in conjunction with the Loma Linda University School of Medicine Auxiliary on April 27.
The program was hosted by the office of global outreach at Loma Linda University.
Both James and Sarah Appel were in attendance and were able to talk with and answer questions from program guests.
The Adventist Health International documentary Unto the Ends was then shown.
The documentary, by Paul Kim, focuses on James and Sarah Appel and the work that they currently do at Béré Adventist Hospital.
For more information on the Béré Adventist School project, please contact Joelle Reuer at (909) 796-0161, extension 1395 or by e-mail at <email@example.com>.
By Dustin Jones, MA