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UW-Eau Claire Children's Center
Raises Money for Afghan Children
MAILED: Dec. 7, 2001
EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Children's Center raised $75 for the America's Fund for Afghan Children through the American Red Cross.
"I got the idea (of raising money) from watching Bush's speech," said Michelle Wurzer, a preschool teacher at the Center. "He mentioned that one out of four Afghan children are orphans."
Bush went on to say that parents should have their children donate a dollar for the relief fund. "I thought a good way to do that was to incorporate it with the Fall Festival," Wurzer said, noting that it was a way for both parent and child to feel good about helping out. "I think that kids need to be empowered, to say they're making a difference."
The Fall Festival is an open house for families to get to know each other. There are games and other activities in each of the four classrooms. In the hallway, between the classrooms, the children's works of art were sold for one dollar each.
Each age level, from 2-year-olds to 5-year-olds, created artwork. There were pictures of globes with tiny handprints all around them and "It's a small world after all" written on top, and American flags all done with red, white and blue handprints. The four and five-year-old children attached poems about how to be a peacemaker to their artwork.
Teachers at the Center told their students that the children in Afghanistan don't have toys, food, and sometimes mommies and daddies. The children encouraged their parents to buy their paintings. One child was overheard saying to one parent, "Those kids need the money."
According to Wurzer, several parents donated more money. "I was very happy with how many parents supported the relief fund," Wurzer said. "We have multicultural children here. It's important for them to feel a part of the community. At the Center each child's background is important and appreciated."
Teachers have also been talking to the children about the Sept. 11 attacks. "It's important to make them aware that there are kids in need," Wurzer said.
Wurzer also said it's important to limit news that the children watch and that parents should watch the news with them to gain an understanding of what their children see. "Each age group deals with things differently," Wurzer said.
For the month of December the Children's Center will be focusing on more local efforts by collecting non-perishable food items for the local food pantry.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Dec. 7, 2001