The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Taking a bite out of malaria

California youth raise $2,200 for nets

Tyler Moore saw a two-minute video on malaria from the ELCA and knew what to do. "I've been wondering what to do with my money. Now I know," the kindergartner told his teacher at Ascension Lutheran School, Thousand Oaks, Calif. "I am going to give it to chapel to buy nets and save people."

The next day, Tyler brought his piggy bank to the school office and donated its contents. Tyler and other students raised $2,200 (including a $1,500 matching grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans) for the ELCA Malaria Campaign.

"The kids were caught up in that excitement of being able to create change," said Susanne Maliski, the teacher who spearheaded the school's drive.

Once the student council adopted the project and designated the trimester chapel offerings to it, things began to happen.

Classes were decorated with mosquito nets as a "visual," a vivid reminder that even the smallest among us can help save lives, Maliski said. Teachers in each classroom explained the project, and a skit for kindergartners through fourth-graders illustrated the impact of malaria. The teachers followed up by reading to students Little Things Make Big Differences (Concordia Publishing House, 2010) from Lutheran World Relief.

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Embracing diversity