Stanwich students raise funds for Rwandan community

Stanwich fourth graders Piper Treacy, Rebecca Boolbol and Caroline Bennett with kindergartners Addie Shaw, Chloe Sneddon and Sophia Large at the school’s fourth annual Family Festival.

Stanwich fourth graders Piper Treacy, Rebecca Boolbol and Caroline Bennett with kindergartners Addie Shaw, Chloe Sneddon and Sophia Large at the school’s fourth annual Family Festival.

In what Stanwich Head of School Paul Geise called “the heart of the true Stanwich spirit,” the recent fifth annual Family Festival was once again a success.

Members of the Stanwich School community came together at the school’s Upper School campus in Stamford to participate in carnival games for the event, which serves as a fund-raiser for Project Blessing.

A 10-year project in a rural Rwandan community, Project Blessing is the main community service fund-raising effort of Stanwich’s upper grades. For the past six years, Stanwich students have raised funds to create water, waste management and irrigation systems, as well as for the construction of a school for the community.

Proceeds from the Family Festival’s ticket sales totaled $3,682, which will go toward this year’s fund-raising effort, according to Stanwich Upper School science teacher, Shaun Fletcher. The Stanwich community has raised more than $60,000 since the project’s inception and the Rwandan school will officially open in January.

Mr. Fletcher began Project Blessing after spending three weeks in Cyabatanzi, a place where villagers had to walk more than an hour down a mountain to a well before carrying a bucket of water back to their home and children had to walk two hours to school.

He met with the leaders of the village on his maiden voyage and discussed plans to create a 10-year project to improve conditions within the village.

Mr. Fletcher has gotten the entire Stanwich community involved in the initiative, and has even brought a group of Stanwich students and alumni with him on a two-week journey to Cyabatanzi each summer since his initial trip.

Students in Stanwich’s Upper School hosted the festival. The older students created each of the 25 booths to provide a fun afternoon for the school’s younger students in grades pre-K to sixth.

Old-fashioned games, such as Water Balloon Smash, Hit the Target, Ping Pong Ball Accuracy and Decorate a Pumpkin entertained the students for the afternoon.

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