Staff Writer for the Spartanburg Herald Journal. This article was published online by the Spartanburg Herald Journal on 25 August 2017. Read the original article at http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170825/hendrix-elementary-donating-eclipse-glasses-to-children-in-uganda.
A group of Hendrix Elementary School students want Ugandan children to enjoy an upcoming solar eclipse as much, and as safely, as they did this week.
Amy Flynn’s fourth-grade class has started collecting used eclipse glasses to send to Ugandan children later this year. School officials are working with Benjamin House Ministries, and the glasses will come with notes from Hendrix students about what the eclipse was like.
The African country lies in the path of a 2020 solar eclipse.
“One of the students said, ‘Well, we could keep them until the next eclipse’ and we said, ‘That’s not really possible,’” Flynn said. “That’s when we started looking, who could we even give these to?”
The idea built steam after Flynn reached out to Benjamin House staff. The organization works with orphans and families in Uganda.
Spartanburg School District 2 spokesman Adrian Acosta said other schools have been asked about either sending glasses to Hendrix Elementary or starting similar donation drives.
Friday, Flynn encouraged her class to bring in the glasses the district gave them for the eclipse.
She taught another lesson about the eclipse and its significance before having students write messages to the Ugandan children who will receive their glasses.
“I think it’s the right thing to do,” said Grayson Smithson. “I hope they’re thinking that, ‘Hey, some kid was nice enough to donate these to me.’”
Hendrix Elementary is an International Baccalaureate school, encouraging students to use lessons to take action, Flynn said. The eclipse provided a perfect opportunity for learning, because it it led to classroom lessons and a lesson in giving back, she said.
“I think that’s what they’re going to remember about fourth grade,” she said. “They’re going to remember all the learning about this specifically. I hope when they hear about the eclipse in 2020 in Uganda, they remember someone will be holding their glasses.”
Addison Posey said her “mind was blown” by seeing the eclipse with her parents and family friends. She hopes children in Uganda have the same feeling in a few years.
“I hope they get the message that the solar eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and they’re really experiencing history and now they have the glasses to actually experience that history,” she said.
Any residents who want to donate their glasses can drop them off at the front desk of Hendrix Elementary or mail them to 1084 Springfield Road in Boiling Springs.