Ferndale School District #502 | 6041 Vista Drive - PO Box 698 | Ferndale WA 98248 | ph. 360-383-9200 | fax 360-383-9201

Vista's Aiming High Students Give Back to Local, Global Communities

Release Date: January 5, 2011

Students in Vista Middle School's Aiming High Class are supporting a variety of local and global community projects—crossing cultures and borders.

Each year, students in Gail Smedley's Aiming High class contribute to Kiva, a micro-lending organization. The money must come from the students, not their parents, so it truly becomes their legacy project. All micro loans are for $25. As each loan is repaid, Kiva notifies the class and students who in turn re-lend that amount again. Over the past four years, students have made 129 loans to the tune of $3,400. This is just one of many charitable and service projects students complete during their two years in Smedley's class.

Kiva's mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva empowers individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending. Kiva has facilitated over $100 million in loans.

For this past Christmas, students collected nearly $400 to help provide Christmas presents for children in the Ferndale community. Also, students supplied all of the books requested by Lummi Nation this past Christmas.

Other ongoing service projects in the school building include helping the custodian and tutoring. Eighth graders are about to begin their yearly community service project in their community (somewhere in Whatcom County).

"I am so proud that my students are not just talking about compassion, but are also truly practicing it," said teacher Gail Smedley.

For more information:
Gail Smedley, Vista Middle School Teacher, 360.383.9409
Tammy Bengen, Public Information Officer, 383.9207