Earlier this year, the Wonderment merged with the non-profit Student Ties. Student Ties has been working to bring globally connective experiences to students while engaging them to raise money for school supplies and renovations in developing countries. We invited Student Ties founder (and now our new favorite Wonderment colleague) Kelly Swanson to share her experiences with Student Ties engaging kids make real projects happen through their friendship bracelet fundraising initiative Friendly Ties:
"As students share culture, lifestyle, interests, and dreams, scholastic challenges and differences often show up too. During interactions with schools in developing countries, many students came to recognize the needs of other students; those who want to attend school, but may lack the necessary support to buy school supplies.
In the true spirit of Wonder, students began to think about ways they could work together in order to resolve this problem. Rather than creating "Us" and "Them" positions, kids created partnerships to raise money through The Friendly Ties Project.
Friendship bracelets are made during art class and then sent to students and schools who can offer support. The bracelets are sold at school carnivals, Friendship Stands (like Lemonade Stands), now via WonderCamp events, Open Houses, and even school lunch times. All of the money earned is sent back to provide school supplies for those who would otherwise go without.
Students in Haiti branded these bracelets, Bon Lavi, which means "Good Life." We agree that every child has the right to attend school and be provided the tools to build the best possible life. Bon Lavi bracelets allow students around the world to collaborate and solve a debilitating problem.
One bracelet at a time, WonderKids are making sure everyone can attend school.
We invite interested kids and schools to participate in The Friendly Ties Project!"
To get your students involved, check out the Wonderment Path 'Friendly Ties'.