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Pennies for Peru … walking a “mile” in someone else’s shoes!

Posted by on May 29, 2012

"Pennies for Peru" ... walking a "mile" in someone else's shoes!

Today, the Battalion Park Grade Threes …  117 of them … all FIVE classrooms … took part in “Pennies for Peru”!  Today, we tried to “walk a “mile” in their shoes”.  As with ANY figure of speech, this CAN’T be taken LITERALLY!  After all, “It’s raining cats and dogs” doesn’t REALLY mean that cats and dogs are FALLING from the SKY!  To TRULY walk a mile in the shoes of our Q’enqo partners’, we would have had to walk on VERY rocky terrain, UP mountainous hills, in our recycled car tire sandals … four FULL kilometers, in rain or snow or blistering heat …  just to GET to school.  Once there, we would have had to have been ready to learn for the day, (WITHOUT wanting to take a small nap), then pack up and walk ANOTHER four kilometers home … AND been ready to spend the evening helping with chores around the house!

These recycled car tire sandals are called hojotas - and they say that the Andes people are used to wearing them even in COLD weather. We, however, were GRATEFUL for our running shoes today!

No, it would have been IMPOSSIBLE to TRULY “walk a mile in their shoes”.  But, today gave us a TINY glimpse into what MANY of the children in the small rural weaving village of Q’enqo endure EACH day in order to go to school to learn.

4 km ... that's EIGHT laps around our field ... and THAT is only HALF the distance some children in Q'enqo walk to and from school each day!

What follows are some of the Grade Three Bloggers’ reflections after spending an hour simulating what it would be like to walk to school in Peru each and EVERY day:

“On Tuesday, May 29, the Grade Three Bloggers had an exhausting walk-a-thon.  We’re doing this to raise money for more books for the Q’enqo kids!  To me, it was … quite fun … to walk or run for eight laps around the field, (4 km) because we finally get to know how it feels to walk to school for some kids in Q’enqo.  Even if we’re not in rubber sandals, we can still feel how exhausting it is to walk that far just to get to school.  When I walk and I think about the kids … it feels like I’m right there with them, some how.  All of us can’t believe that they have to walk that far in rubber sandals, over rocky mountains and other stuff, while we walked on nice green grass.  After an HOUR of walking most of us had reached over eight laps and some didn’t.  That’s okay too.” ~Mya

“We had a special walk and run today.  It’s to see how it would feel walking 4 km like some of the Q’enqo kids do in Peru.  When we all tried it was exhausting.  The kids in Q’enqo did walking like that, but it might have been more.  It felt sweaty too.  4 km was longer than we thought it would have been!” ~Rijul

“On May 29th, all the Grade Threes had a walk-a-thon.  We could have run or walked.  We had to do eight or more laps.  Eight laps equalled 4 km.  We felt sweaty and tired.  Not just tired … extremely tired.  We all thought it was really good but it was so, so tiring too!” ~Tormod

Pennies for Peru ... the pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, loonies, twoonies and bills just kept POURING in! That's a GREAT thing ... it means MORE books for the LIBRARY in Q'enqo Peru!

“Before the walk, I thought that 4 km wasn’t much but, just half way through one lap I was starting to get tired!  Some people said that they would walk or run that much every day but walking every day so much would get so tiring.  When the Peruvian kids get to school, they don’t get to lie down on the floor like we did.  Instead, they work, work, work … for 4 or 5 hours then walk all the way back to their houses.  And, when they arrive, they don’t lie down and rest, instead they do chores until bedtime!  After the walk, we collected all the money that we brought and WEIGHED it.  We all watched the numbers on the scale go up, from 1 kg, 2kg … and … finally … the scale stopped at 6.9 kg!  Now it’s time to COUNT!” ~Ava

“At school today, we all did a marathon for our Peruvian friends.  We were supposed to walk for at LEAST 4 km.  My friends and I walked around 14 times.  We all walked 7 km around the fresh green grass.  I had to take a couple of stops on the way because it was really warm.  By the time we reached 10, we were all pooped.  My gas tank was EMPTY, but I stuck to it!  Every Grade Three put courage into the walking and running for Pennies for Peru.  I was walking to see how it would feel to walk 4 km just to get to school.  Sometimes they walk all that way for NOTHING because their TEACHERS don’t show up!” ~Max

We started collecting our coins in a medium sized Mayonnaise jar ... but ... quickly saw that we needed a LARGER container!

“I walked 8 laps today.  You may wonder why I walked.  Well, I did it because we wanted to see what it is like to walk to school in Q’enqo Peru.  They walk 4 km every day to get to school and back, and sometimes the teacher is not even there so they have to walk back!  When we walked, we had running shoes, a VERY green field … and they have tire sandals, a rocky path and it is up HILL.  They walk there in  ALL sorts of weather.  We walked in the sunshine.  Before we did this, our teacher said, “Remember Q’enqo when you do this!”  Then, we started running or walking.  I talked about Peru and thought about Q’enqo and when I was finished I was proud and exhausted!  I am glad that I did that run because I could see what it is like.  But, when THEY get home, they work and work.  When WE get home we do a tiny bit of work and then play.  I want to try to walk 4 km and then go to school and then go walk back for another 4 km and then work and work.  I am very thankful that we don’t live in Peru and that we did it.  I feel a little sad for the kids in Peru because they have to walk up hill on a rocky path in ALL kinds of weather in tire sandals and when they get to school somtimes their teacher didn’t even show up, so they walk back home in the same weather, in the same shoes, on the same path.  When they get home they have to work and work.  I said that because I needed a rest, and the TEACHER needed a rest … ALL of us needed a rest after we walked.  I wish NO ONE needed to walk that far just to get to school.” ~Larissa

“PUFF!  PUFF!  We ran like hornets as we tried as hard as we could to imagine what it was like to walk about 4 km!  Boy, THAT is a humongous way to rush to school AND to get back home again!  NOW we know what it feels like to walk 8 laps, (4 km)!  Of course, I only ran six laps, but even THAT was long enough to make me almost conk out right on my desk!  (In case you don’t know, “conk out” means to fall asleep!)  I mean, that little walk-a-thon got me EXTREMELY POOPED!  In fact, I was SOOOO tired, that I wanted a big drink of water!” ~Galen

We spent a RELAXING afternoon sorting and counting our class donations for the Library in Q’enqo Peru!

“I felt so surprised that the kids have to walk so far.  They don’t even get to go in a bus or their parents don’t even get to drive them to school.  They have to walk there to school all by themselves.  So, my class thought that we should walk as long as they have to walk to school.  But, we did it around the field at my school.  I felt so tired after all that running, so I started to walk and I never stopped like some kids.  I felt so sad for the kids in Peru.  When I was done I felt so proud of myself.  I felt like I should do everything that THEY do that’s hard!”  ~Zahra

“All of the Grade Threes ran around a big field and we did eight laps.  Some of us did 12 or 13 laps around the field.  When I did eight laps I was exhausted and proud and sweaty.  I was SO sweaty I poured water on my head!  We ran with running shoes, and the kids in Peru run with recycled tires to walk to school.  We walked on soft grass and they walk on snow and in cold rain.  When the Peruvian kids come back from school they do chores and we sit down and watch tv or go to bed.  We ran 4 km.  I think all of us are pooped from all that running and walking, but I think all of us are proud and happy and joyful.  After we were done we were out of water.  When we came back in, we were dripping wet and we just laid down and thought about Q’enqo and their school.  We enjoyed the walk around the school.” ~Julia

We were RELIEVED to sit in the cool classroom in the afternoon and sort our "Pennies for Peru"!

“The story I am about to tell you all started on May 29th … so this is how it starts.  At about 10:45 in the morning we all stayed out at recess.  I bet you are wondering why?  It’s because of our marathon.  It’s where you walk or run 8 laps, which equals 4 km!  And, some of us got to wave our big Peruvian flag!  It took us all the way to lunch to finish 8 laps or more.  Some of us poured water on our heads like a sprinkler!  After we were done, we went in for a lay down … but more like a nap!  Did I mention that we brought in SO much money that it weighed 6.9 kg?”  ~Alexia

“Today was the walk-a-thon for Peru!  We learned that the little Peruvian children have to walk to school 4 km.  We should be glad that we have runners so our feet have support.  We have nice warm shoes.  We even have DRESS shoes.  They have to walk over hills with no grass and it takes them 4 km to get to their school.  But, if the teacher didn’t show up, they have to walk 4 km back.  If the teacher DID show up, the kids would be happy because school is their favourite part of the day.  When they get back from school they can’t just lay down on the couch and have a little nap.  They have to do chores like making bread and other things.  I felt so exhausted my legs felt like they were going to fall off.  I also felt proud because I did it for Peru.”  ~Thalia

We are getting pretty GOOD at sorting and counting coins with our partners ... after all ... it's not the FIRST time we've done this for Q'enqo!

“When I was walking laps, 4 km, around the field, I was thinking about the people in Q’enqo and the school.  They wear tire sandals.  I feel lucky to have running shoes.  It is a good thing because it was hot and the grass was green.  We were all thinking it is a nice day to run.  The kids in Q’enqo walk 4 km and back every day.  In total, that would have been 16 laps around our field, or 8 km every day.  I was sweaty after the walk and tired because I ran fast!” ~Brenden

“A quote I made up is:  “They think they are lucky.  We know WE’RE lucky!”  All of the Grade Threes had a penny drive AND a walk-a-thon!  We wanted to put our feet in the Q’enqo kids’ shoes and walk 4 km just like they have to EVERY DAY!  Boy were we pooped!  We walked 8 laps just to complete the calculation of 4 km.  Some of us ran.  Some of us walked.  When I was walking, I thought “WOW … do they have to walk this every DAY?  I’d fall asleep in class for SURE!”  But, not only do they have to walk this every day … they have to come home and do a MOTHER LOAD of CHORES!!!  Many of us had a sweaty wet feeling from the blazing sun!  6% of us dumped ice cold water on ourselves.  We were SO hot!  When I was done I felt … POOPED, proud, sweaty and stinky … but it sure pays UP a lot!”  ~Natasha

Margaret Mead was RIGHT when she said "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

“Today we walked 4 km which is how long it takes for some of the Q’enqo kids to walk from their houses to school.  Except,  some of my friends wanted the extra challenge of attempting BOTH ways: to school AND from school, (8 km).  We only got to seven km, just two more exhausting laps and we would have done it … 16 laps around the field!  That’s what we would have gotten if we had ran 2 more laps.  We are so lucky.  We only had to for an hour.  They have to do it EVERY day!” ~Damian

‘Today I ran 6 km on the field.  On the first lap, I ran fast, but then I ran half speed because my throat was exhausted because I have asthma.  While I ran, my body got heavier and heavier.  On the fourth lap, I got so slow.  I did 12 laps which is more than I had to do.  Now I can feel the pain of the Peruvian kids.  Most of them wear sandals made out of recycled car tires.  They also have to walk that far EVERY day.  They can’t play with their toys or lay on the floor when they come home from school.  They have to do chores like babysitting or baking bread.  I think we are luckier than Peruvian kids.  If I was a Peruvian kid I would probably want to escape from Peru.” ~Jun

“Today we walked 4 km so we could have a sense of how far most of the kids in Q’enqo have to walk to school just ONE way.  While I was running … every time I wanted to stop running because I was running and not walking.  I thought about the Q’enqo children and kept running.  When I was running I always kept in mind that I was running for a reason.  I was running for Q’enqo.  It isn’t the same thing to walk 4 km in new fashioned running shoes and on flat ground compared to walking up hill in the mountains and in recycled car tire sandals.  When I was done I was flush red, dripping wet and TIRED … but … I was REALLY proud!” ~Martin

It's AMAZING how our Social Studies Inquiry has flowed into EVERY other curricular area!

“On May 29, 2012 all the grade Three students and teachers did a walk-a-thon for Peru!  You might be wondering why we are doing a walk-a-thon?  Well, we did it to see what it was like to walk 4 km only one way up hill.  After we did it, we felt sweaty, pooped, but proud!  It took about 50 minutes to do 11 laps by running and walking … I also forgot to tell you that when we went to the field we looked like an army of Grade Threes!  All the Grade Threes gave a little donation to Peru again, and I have no clue how much we got in all.  So … my estimate is $500.00, because there are 5 Grade Three classes.  Keep checking back … we will always be on the blog!” ~Kaylee

“On May 29, the Grade Threes at Battalion Park School had a walk-a-thon to see what it would be like to walk to school in Q’enqo Peru.  It was interesting to watch because lots of the kids were walking in pairs and many were talking about going into the school to get a drink.  But, someone heard them talking about that … in Q’enqo they do not have water breaks to get to school so it wouldn’t be fair to go into the school … it would be like cheating.  So, those two kids did not go into the school to get a water break.  During the walk-a-thon, there was someone who was exhausted but he was so amazed at how those Q’enqo kids do this every day … so he completed the walk and so did everyone else!” ~Jesse

“Today all the Grade Threes walked or ran a walk-a-thon.  My best friend and I walked together for almost the whole time.  But, that’s not what I am here to talk about.  I am here to talk about “Pennies for Peru”.  That’s what the WALK-A-THON was called.  I did 8 laps.  I feel proud of our work with Q’enqo and the library.  Have you walked a walk-a-thon?  I hope my school plans that again!  I LOVE studying Peru!” ~Sophie H.

Gosh … this is going to be a REAL challenge to add up … I MAY have to borrow your TOES again!!!

“The Grade Threes gathered up after recess to run 4 km.  Why, you might be wondering.  Well … that is how long it takes for a student in Q’enqo to go to school.  All the students in Grade Three made it to the field and started to walk, run and jog.  After a while you would get tired out … like you were chasing a bunny.  After 3 or 4 laps you would be sweating and exhausted like you had just run a half a marathon … and surely you would stop running if you were!  After your 7th or 8th, your hands, head and your arms would be watering with sweat.  After that I felt like I did not like running so much.  I felt extremely pooped!  Those kids in Q’enqo are really smart and happy … but … mostly ATHLETIC!  I feel really happy that they are EAGER to learn!” ~Eric

The forecast called for thunder showers this afternoon … so I am GRATEFUL that we were able to walk for Peru this morning!  I think that, as we ALL walked, we thought about the many children in Q’enqo Peru who do this walk DAILY … through snow, wind, rain AND sunshine … in their rubber sandals in order to get to school.  I am PROUD of our Grade Three students, and their work as Global Citizens, making a difference in the lives of children in Q’enqo.  And, we are  ALL  inspired by and PROUD of these rural Peruvian children who work SO hard to get an education on the OTHER side of the world!

These children face adversity with perseverance and smiles on their faces. They have taught us SO many incredible lessons!

On a DIFFERENT note … you SHOULD have seen the LOOKS on my students’ faces when I told them to lace up their outside shoes, late in the afternoon, in order to do ANOTHER 4 km to simulate the walk HOME!  Luckily, we know one another very well by this point in the year … and … after a moment or two, they could CLEARLY see that I was joking!  What an AMAZING journey this has been!



21 Responses to Pennies for Peru … walking a “mile” in someone else’s shoes!

  1. Elisa Waingort

    Dear Grade 3s,
    What an amazing simulation to better understand what it’s like for the children in Q’enqo, Peru to walk to and from school every day without the comforts that children in Canada have. I hope it made you more aware of how resilient these children truly are. Like Eric said above, “Those kids in Q’enqo are really smart and happy … but … mostly ATHLETIC! I feel really happy that they are EAGER to learn!” Good luck in your fundraising campaign! I look forward to reading more posts about this project.

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Elisa!

      Thank you for your wonderful comment! Most of us are STILL pooped from our walk yesterday! We know not all Q’enqo children have to walk that far to school every day, but we also know that it is MANY kids who do this in Q’enqo. You may not believe it, but, seriously, they think they are lucky … and they have smiles on their faces ALL the time. We know this because our very first guest speaker spent a lot of time travelling in Peru with his family, and he said that they are some of the happiest most generous people he has ever met even though they work SO hard and have so little. But, it’s not just HIM, Ashli and Geneva tell us this ALL the time when we Skype with them. They are there, back and forth, ALL the time and they work CLOSELY with the Q’enqo community. We will be Skyping with Geneva and Ashli in a few days … after that … we will DEFINITELY be doing more posts! Please check back … because we LOVE it when people leave us comments!

      Thank you!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  2. Carol Tonhauser

    Thank you for sharing your experiences in walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. I enjoyed reading your blog reflections on the 4 km journey children in Q’enqo, Peru must take every day to attend school. We are all very fortunate to have such easy access to schooling. You are very lucky to have such creative and interesting teachers in grade 3… What a great project!

    Edmonton, AB

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Carol!

      Thank you for your wonderful comment! It makes us feel good when people leave comments for us on the our blog because we learn new things from them and because we like sharing our Peruvian Library adventure with everyone. You are right … we DO have easy access to schools in the developed countries … and … MANY people in DEVELOPING countries have the same problem with getting to school as our Q’enqo friends. It isn’t everyone in Q’enqo who has to walk 8 km, in total, to and from school. Some walk less and some walk more. Ashli, from Mosqoy, told us that the walk is SO far once the kids go to Junior High and High School that many of them don’t even bother to go anymore. That’s probably part of why many of the adults in rural Peru don’t know how to read. We sure hope that the kids in Q’enqo learn to read and use the books in the new library so that they can teach the rest of their FAMILIES the MAGIC of reading!

      Please keep checking back … we hope to be Skyping with Ashli in the next few days. She is back in Peru … and is going to check up on the library to see if the Capacity Building is WORKING. Keep your FINGERS crossed!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  3. Lynn

    Wow – you all are amazing! What a great idea to walk “in someone else’s shoes! Many times I think I and perhaps all of us at times are too quick to complain and find fault in our circumstances. I am so thankful that you all had an opportunity to look beyond our own ‘world’ to consider what it might be like for someone else. That is a skill that I trust you will take with you as you grow up. Keep up the great work!

    Larissa’s mom 😉

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Lynn!

      Thank you for your wonderful comment! It would be really hard to TRULY know what it is like to “walk a mile in their shoes” because we don’t do that every day TWICE a day. Although some of us DO walk to school … none of us walk that far. A LOT of us ride the bus or our mom’s and dad’s drive us to school. If we had to do that every day it would be SO tiring … especially to know that we would have to come home and do huge chores before going to bed too! Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes is HARD to REMEMBER sometimes … we are not always used to it … but we are learning!

      Keep checking back … we will be skyping with Ashli soon!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  4. Roger Renton

    Wow! I have been following your journey since this wonderful blog started. I have to say you are the most dedicated students I have come across. Your commitment to these wonderful students in a country so far away is admirable. A library, books, a sense of responsibility to make someone’s life so much better. The walk today demonstrates your commitment to your classmates in Q’enqo. Your blog today confirmed how hard it was to walk 4 kms and how tired you were – the commitment it takes to go to school not on a bus, not in your parent’s car, but by themselves. Wow! How old are these kids? The desire for knowledge is a wonderful journey. Thank you for sharing your amazing blog. I am truly humbled by your commitment, your thirst for knowledge, and your generosity. Wow, wow, wow!

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Roger!

      Thank you for your wonderful comment! It made us feel amazing … it HAS been a lot of work … but … it is WORTH it! The kids who do this are in elementary school … but … the kids who go to Junior and Senior high sometimes even have to walk further. That is why a lot of them stop going to school. It is just too difficult for them. We feel pretty lucky to have a school so close to us … and a teacher who ALWAYS shows up!!!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  5. Ross Mannell

    Hello Global Grade 3,

    Two extended comments in two days? I have been busy on Global Grade 3. I always find your posts interesting and thought provoking. Here is the link for “Pennies for Peru”…

    Teacher, NSW, Australia

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hola, Ross!

      Thank you for your extended comment – you always put so much work and thought into the comments you write for us! We agree – each of us really believes that we COULD walk that distance each and every day … but … it would be tiring … and you couldn’t even REST because you would be coming home to chores on TOP of all that. It took us one WHOLE hour just to do half the walking some of those kids do in ONE day … and NONE of the chores they have to help with. We feel lucky to be children in Canada … we get to play and be kids when we are done school each and every day!

      Some of us got tired on our walk … because we were running AND walking. We know it’s not the same thing as Altitude Sickness, though. One of our guest speakers talked to us about this Altitude Sickness – it sounds AWFUL! We can’t imagine only breathing HALF the air we are USED to breathing in … it would make you even MORE tired. We think WE would be bothered by the altitude in Q’enqo, but the kids living there WOULDN’T be!

      You challenged us to think about what WE would do if WE found a “rubber-banded” wad of hundred dollar bills … here is what SOME of us would do:

      • Find the owner and return it, and if I couldn’t find the owner … I would use it to help someone ELSE!
      • Give it ALL to Q’enqo.
      • Give it to Q’enqo or another developing country.
      • I would buy some more books for the Q’enqo Library.
      • I would give it to some homeless people.
      • I would give it to a charity.
      • I would help some less fortunate people.
      • I would try to find the owner … if I found them I would ask what they are going to use it for … and then ask them if they would use it for the Q’enqo Library if they were looking for a place to donate it.
      • I would use half of it on Q’enqo … and keep the other half.
      • I would go to the store, get a pack of envelopes, put one bill in each one, then go out and put it in someone’s shopping cart … over and over again!
      • I would give half of the money to Q’enqo and start an organization that helps people to RECOGNIZE OTHER forgotten countries.

      Ross – thank you for stretching our learning and our understanding of the world. We ALWAYS look forward to your comments! We hope YOUR bucket is ALWAYS full … it SHOULD be because you go out of your WAY to fill the buckets of OTHERS!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

      • Ross Mannell

        Hola Grade Three,

        One thing you can notice when you start to look at the world through the eyes of a change maker, you have started yourself on a lifelong journey. Your decisions in life will be influenced by what you have experienced in this school year.

        Looking over some of the things you would do if you had found the money, I am not surprised to see so many would make choices to help others. When we keep our eyes and minds wide open we can often find ways of helping others. Help doesn’t need to be big but it does make a difference.

        With around thirty years as a teacher, the non-profit video/DVD/CD/photography I do, blogging and blog commenting, volunteer childcare, caring for my neighbour’s children when she is away on courses, and the small unknown things I do, there is no financial reward yet I feel enriched by the doing. I know I am making a difference.

        You have started your journey and I know you are all change makers.

        The future will show what changes you make.


        • The Grade Three Bloggers

          Hello Ross!

          Thank you for another magnificent comment! Again, your comment is filled with wonderful information. We love how you share with us all ways you try to make the world a better place. You amaze us with all the awesome things you do, day in and day out, for others … including US! We have discovered that when you fill other peoples’ invisible buckets that even the hard things you try to do seem easier when you are not alone. By helping others … even with a smile, (smee-lah), the world becomes a better place … and the amazing thing is that you end up filling your OWN bucket as well!

          We are going to write a blog post, closer to the end of the school year, to next year’s Grade Threes. Since we are passing the “torch” … our Battalion Park Library Project … on to them … we want them to know how we’ve felt about our journey … and how we hope they carry on this journey for us. Of course, we will check back on the blog … for a long time to come … some of us hope it carries on for YEARS!

          One of our parents, Lynn, left a beautiful comment with a poem … it was called SMILE … and we thought of YOU right away … we hope you read it, because it reminds us of the stuff you taught us about the Butterfly Effect!

          We have learned that there are TONS of ways to make a difference in other people’s lives. Thank you for making a difference in OURS!

          The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

          • Ross Mannell

            Hello Grade 3,

            The end of a school year was always a mixture of sad and happy for me. It meant I was passing on the students in my class to the next teacher but it also meant I would have a new group with which to explore learning.

            Here is a link to a post for you…

            I will now move on to read “SMILE”. The title has already brought a smile to my face.

            Teacher, NSW, Australia

          • The Grade Three Bloggers

            Hi Ross!

            Thank you for another amazing and creative comment. When we read your thoughts this morning, it made our teacher cry … and that was even before we watched the VIDEO! She was sad AND happy … just like you said. The end of the year brings change. It is hard to say goodbye but it is exciting to see the growth and changes too. We told her that relationships last forever … and we will leave with her in our hearts.

            The song roots and wings reminds us of the life cycle of a flower. You start as a little seed and then you grow … and your leaves begin to sprout and then, suddenly … you BLOSSOM. The roots are the family ties, both daytime AND night-time, the relationships and the memories. The wings are how we grow … we become more independent … we make mistakes, we learn, we grow … but … the roots are ALWAYS there.

            When the lyrics said “… set you free…” it reminds some of us of the dandelion … when the seeds are ready to be set free … they blow away in the wind. It also reminds us of the book Charlotte’s Web. When Charlotte’s babies are ready to begin their OWN lives … they float away by catching the wind.

            We are ready to take our wings and fly on to Grade Four, Ross. We will remember our blog and the journey of building a library in Q’enqo Peru. Before we finish our year completely, though, we have to write one final blog post to the future Grade Threes. We want to “pass the torch” and share our hopes for THEIR journey NEXT year.

            Ross, thank you for being such a HUGE part of helping us to develop roots and wings this year. We are SO thankful for the learning you have shared with us.


            The Grade Three Bloggers ♥

  6. Daytime Grandpa & Grandma

    Congratulations on your walk to find out what it is like to walk in the shoes of the children in Peru. You are all to be commended for your achievement!!! We can’t wait to find out how much 6.9 kg. of money actually is!! We will keep checking!

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Thank you for the compliment, Daytime Grandma and Grandpa! We enjoyed our walk, but it was very tiring for most of us. Some of us, though, ran MOST of the way … and did even MORE laps than we had to. 6.9 kg ended up to be about $140.00 … give or take a few pennies. The other four classes are still rolling and counting their money … so … hopefully it will be enough to buy many MORE books for the Q’enqo Library Project!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  7. Natasha's Mom; Saskia (fun lunch Mom)

    Hi everybody,

    Congratulations on a successful walk-a-thon and raising more money for the library. I am so glad you got to got to experience what it must be like to walk to school for 4km, even if it was only a glimpse into their reality! I was curuios to learn how many laps around the school field it would take to calculate to 4km. Now I know thanks! I think you will forever remember this special grade 3 pilot project. When I think back to my grade 3 class; I would have loved to have the Q’enqo project as part of my special school memories. Way to go class you should be proud and grateful that you together can make a difference!

    Saskia (Natasha’s Mom)

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Saskia!

      Thank you for your awesome comment! We will probably remember this project for a very long time because we were such a big part of it. This blog means SO much to us because it’s about the Q’enqo library. And, the LIBRARY is a BIG part of our every day lives now because we write posts about it and we have learned so much about Q’enqo and the community! We are sort of sad, in some ways, and sort of happy in some ways. We are a little sad because we’ve been on SUCH a journey with Q’enqo that it will be sad to not Skype with them anymore. We will also miss Ross’s big long comments and learning from people around the world! We are kind of happy that the blog will still be open for us to go on when we are in Grade Four. For us passing the torch onto next year’s Grade Threes … we really hope that they accept this gift with as much excitement as we have had over the past year! Next year, we hope the new Grade Threes keep going with as much passion as we had for getting books into the hands of the kids in Q’enqo! You are right! We are proud of how hard we have worked! Please keep checking back … we will write a blog post about “passing the torch” to next year’s Grade Threes!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  8. Global Citizen

    Hi Global Grade 3’s

    Thank you for sharing this fantastic blog with the world. From reading your blog I got inspired to be more of an change maker. Lots of people in the world want to be change makers, but they do not know were to start. I was like that intill I read your blog I really knew how to be a change maker and how to start. Are you going to try to run again for 4 kms. I would never want to walk or run for 4 kms. Even when I finish one lap I would definitely give up, it takes a lot of sweat and as you say perseverance, and your class has all it needs to run 4 kms

    Thank you for telling me about your work you have done to “walk in somebody’s shoes”. And that picture of the persons feet be brown and red he must have been through a lot! 🙂

    Global Citizen 😉

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Global Citizen!

      Thank you for your comment. Some of us would GLADLY do that 4 km walk/run again … but … many of us would prefer NOT to. We STILL can’t get over the fact that so many Q’enqo kids DO that walk DAILY!

      Not only do these kids go through a LOT … they wear recycled car tire sandals everywhere they go. Through snow, rain, wind, heat … EVERYTHING … and on a rocky path. We have learned a lot about these sandals … especially that they don’t keep out the cold as well as our winter boots do. Their feet become callused and strong … and the skin becomes thicker and less sensitive to the cold.

      Keep checking back! Our NEXT blog post is about a 20 Minute Makeover Challenge!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  9. Ross Mannell

    Hello Grade 3,

    It’s easy to see from your comment you all understood what was meant in “Roots and Wings”. Your comparison to the the life cycle of a flower is quite good. We, like all living things, have our own life cycle to live. When we are grounded with love, respect and the opportunity to learn and explore our capabilities, our roots are strong and help us blossom as we grow.

    Like you, I am a fan of E.B. White’s wonderful story. Apart from the book in my personal library, I have an animated version as well as the version starring Dakota Fanning in my DVD library. It is a wonderful film about friendship. I remember poor Wilbur’s reaction when he saw Charlotte’s babies being carried off by the wind and his joy when he found some had stayed.

    Rather than being blown randomly by the winds of chance as had happened with Charlotte’s babies, you have all been given direction and have realized you are all capable of being changer makers, of making a difference in the lives of others.

    With so little time left for the school year, I know great things can lie ahead of you if you are willing to explore opportunities in your lives.


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