October 1, 2015

Merton Williams students learn a lesson in adaptation; raise money for LIMBS International

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Time Warner News story

Did you know that there are an estimated 40 million amputees throughout the developing world and only five percent of them have access to any type of prosthetic leg system? Students at Merton Williams Middle School are working to change that. On Sept. 30, all students participated in a Community and Service Learning Activity as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme.

Seventh graders spent the morning doing activities to raise awareness about the struggles people without limbs face every day, including eating with their non-dominant hand, buttoning a shirt with one hand and bending to pick up items standing on only one leg. They also participated in an assembly to learn more about LIMBS International, an organization that gives amputees around the world a second chance at life by providing them with a LIMBS leg system.

Garrett Spring, a sophomore at Hilton High School, was the guest speaker. Garrett had his lower leg amputated when he was a baby and now walks with a prosthetic. "This is what miracles really are," said Garrett, who was the inspiration for the school's involvement in LIMBS International. "What this organization is doing... it's like... I am so blessed and fortunate. I never really looked at this like I am so lucky, but I am starting to now realize that I am super fortunate."

Eighth graders began their day at the assembly, then participated in a walkathon around the school to raise money for LIMBS International. Students took pledges and have a goal of raising $900, enough money to provide three people with new legs."We know that they are expensive, but LIMBS makes it so that they can buy it under the price of a smart phone, so it makes it easy for us to raise money to get them for some people," said Mark Koszela, a student ambassador.

The IB Middle Years Programme requires students to become involved in community service and be internationally minded, both of which apply to the LIMBS project  "I think it is never too early to teach kids it is not just about them, not just their immediate community or their family. It is about a global perspective," said teacher Chris Monfiletta.

For more information about the fundraiser and to donate, visit https://www.limbsinternational.org/funding/mycampaign?reset=1&id=95