Last Spring at The Langley School in McLean, VA, fourth graders were asked to propose a service project. My son Jackson Merrick, then age 9, had been a supporter of Nothing But Nets, which he’d learned about from posters at a community basketball game.
Jackson told his classmates the compelling story of howNothing But Nets helps provide families across Africa with bed nets to protect them from malaria. That inspired fellow students Myles McPartland and Kiera Dent. By coincidence, the fourth grade was studying a unit on Africa and learning about various African cultures and crafts.
So, Jackson, Myles, and Kiera decided to make African-themed bead bracelets to sell at the student store to raise funds to support Nothing But Nets. Myles and Kiera were very motivated to make and sell the bracelets. Myles would talk about it after school with his family and shared with them how much money they were raising. Jackson and Myles were invited to make a presentation in front of the Middle School—quite an honor for 4th graders!
Myles and Jackson researched malaria and created a Google Presentation about the disease and how people can help prevent it. They used the opportunity to promote their bracelets to raise money for Nothing But Nets.
Malaria is one of the leading killers of children in Africa, so the students’ goal was to raise $180 to purchase 18 insecticide-treated bed nets to protect a classroom of kids and their families. They told the school audience that each net costs just $10 but is life-saving. The fourth graders sold key chains, bracelets, and necklaces for $2 each and said that just purchasing five of these items would save a family. They surpassed their goal within the first week, so they raised their goal and passed it again!
Ms. Thida Lim, fourth grade teacher at The Langley School provided terrific guidance for the kids in this special service project. Myles, Kiera, and Jackson loved sharing the work of Nothing But Nets, and inspiring other kids and families to join the fight against malaria!
Photo by Frank McPartland
From left to right, Langley School students Jackson Merrick, Kiera Dent, and Myles McPartland display the handcrafted bracelets they made and sold to classmates to raise money for Nothing But Nets.