Class assignment inspires Chartiers Valley students to hold 'Lost Boys' fundraiser
By Megan Guza
Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Who says kids don't pay attention in school anymore?
Students in Dave Peters' freshman English class at Chartiers Valley High School were so moved by an assignment that they held a fundraiser April 27 to raise money for the topic of their assignment — Sudanese Lost Boys.
“Lost Boys” was the name given to more than 20,000 young boys displaced or orphaned in the African country of Sudan during the Second Sudanese Civil War, which began in 1983.
Peters said his ninth-grade English classes read a non-fiction piece on the Lost Boys, after which he had showed them the National Geographic documentary “God Grew Tired of Us.” The documentary featured the story of Panther Bior, who, after being displaced, ended up in Pittsburgh.
“Noticing in the film's credits that Panther ended up graduating from Pitt, I thought it would be worth a shot just to see if he was still around,” Peters said.
Peters said after a few Google searches, he was able to get in contact with Bior, and he invited him to come speak to his classes. Bior's audience grew from Peters' English classes to the entire freshman class. He visited the school in January.
“All of us were moved by his story, and the students treated him like a celebrity,” Peters said. “Girls were literally squealing when they first spotted him in the hallways that morning. It was cute.”
Despite the buzz, Peters said, Bior's story is heart-wrenching.
Peters encouraged his students to channel their interest into action, and they began planning a walk-a-thon to help raise money for a school Bior is planning to build in his hometown.
“He has been trying to raise the funds for years,” Peters said. “This was a great opportunity for us to help.”
The students put their heads together and came up with the idea of putting on the walk-a-thon.
Peters said that while turnout was not as high as he and his students had hoped, they're continuing to collect money for their fundraising efforts.
“We did not get the numbers that were expected,” he said, “and it's hard not to be a little disappointed. However, donations are still trickling in and it was surely worthwhile.”
Peters and the students are continuing to collect money for the next week, and it will be given to Bior through the Pittsburgh nonprofit Heaven's Family, through which Bior is fundraising for the school.
Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Heidelberg project nears completion
- No make-up snow days needed for Chartiers Valley schools
- Work to shut down span between Carnegie, Scott for six months
- Township residents call foul on wayward fowl in Scott Park
- Carnegie youth going to the dogs with his Eagle Scout project
- Artist produces high-quality records of contemporary scenes
- Carnegie’s Savoyards to usher in new season
- Little Lenna Rose George heads impressive list of birthday celebrations