SUMMIT — Can you make a difference in your community?

How about a community 7,000 miles away?

The Gifted and Talented students at Boyd County Middle School did a little of both this week.

After listening to Amy Compston speak to them a few months ago about the Amy For Africa/Samaritan’s Feet shoe campaign, they took on the mission as a community challenge project and did these sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders ever deliver.

These bright young students, under the direction of teachers Deidra Patton and Dinah Houston, put on their creative thinking caps and turned a day of fun for the school community into a gigantic day of fundraising for Amy For Africa.

When the “Shoe Carnival: Stepping up for a Cause” was finished on Thursday, the donation for the AFA mission that supports schools in Moyo, Uganda was $3,556.81, easily surpassing a lofty goal they set of $3,000.

The students made up shoe-related games and invited friends to participate by donating $5 to AFA. The students came in for two periods and took part in some outlandish and fun games.

Laughter caught be heard throughout the Boyd County Middle School gymnasium. Shoes were flying everywhere it seemed as students went from table to table to explore the next carnival game.

“I am blown away at the creativity of these unbelievable children,” Compston said. “It’s amazing what got happen when bright students like this put their collective heads together. They came up with so many creative games. This is special, so special.”

The group also sold concessions, which were donated by Ms. Patton and Ms. Houston, and Beverly Cathey displayed two tables with authentic Ugandan artifacts. Beverly and her husband, Harold, spent many years as missionaries in Jinja. AFA’s mission in Moyo through Floyd Paris and United Christian Expedition is a branch of what the Catheys started in the early 1990s. Students stopped by her table and admired dresses, musical instruments and other interesting items from Africa.

The one-day AFA fundraiser was the biggest involving schools in the area for the mission, even topping the Ashland-Boyd County girls barefoot coaching game by more than $1,000.

The teachers, Ms. Patton and Ms. Houston, got into the act as well on Game Day by dressing in some outlandish outfits of their own.

“It’s obvious they have some great teachers who not only care for them and teach them but direct them,” Compston said. “It’s such a great day for our mission to watch these children helping children. They may never met them but be sure that we’ll tell them about Boyd County Middle School’s special donation.”

An AFA 12-member mission will be going to Moyo from May 17-June 2 to put 26,000 pairs of shoes on the feet of children there.


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