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Banding together

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Brighton Options School students raise funds to help boost global education

By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — Brighton Options School student council members recently held a fundraiser to help children in developing countries attend school. The students were selling YUDA bands to raise the funds.

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Project Leader Rachel Warwick said they selected two students to raise funds for: one from Kenya and one from Honduras. The YUDA bands, which are handcrafted in Guatemala from leather and coconut, are then sold for $7 each. 

Student Council Vice President and seventh-grader Gloria Elliott said they were able to sell 175 bands to send one student, 16-year-old Mariam Chuphi from Kenya, to school. She said they were just 99 bands away from being able to send a second student from Honduras to school. Student Council Adviser Jessica Bobb said the second student’s remainder could be picked up by another school doing the fundraiser.

According to Warwick, the project came across YUDA bands while looking for a fundraiser they could do as their service project. The students sold the bands wherever they could: At churches, in their neighborhood and even at a birthday party.

Council members also received a lot of support from their schoolmates — many would purchase more than one — and  got a kick out of seeing first- and second-graders wearing the bands and supporting their project. 

“This project was the most successful service project that we had,” Seventh grader Mary Anne Downey said. 

Eighth-grader Danya Elliot said the project reminded them not to take school for granted, and ninth-grader Abby Dean agreed.

“That’s why I think the YUDA bands were really cool because they make us aware of those places you never think about before,” she said. 

Bobb said she was very proud of her students ad that her second student council was also able to raise funds to send student Ana Lizeth Lool from Guatemala to school so she could become a teacher.

“They did the best they could, they checked out (the bands) every week, brought money back every week and took more (bands) out,” she said. They did a really good job.” 

Brighton Options School is a public school that offers once a week enrichment classes to students who are home schooled.