Feb 042009

Keokuk Catholic School third-graders pose behind school supplies and other items donated for a boys’ home in Bolivia. Sitting are Cole Peacher and Chase Stutes. Standing are Joshua Ward, Trevor Petty, Nolan Logsdon and Justin Walte.

By Celine Klosterman

Some 25 Bolivian boys likely will have new clothes and school supplies soon, thanks to students at Keokuk Catholic School.

Students at the elementary school filled seven boxes with crayons, notebooks, socks, underwear, toys and other items during Catholic Schools Week for Casa Nazareth in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Casa Nazareth, or House of Nazareth, shelters and provides education and counseling for 25 boys ages 6-12, according to its Web site.

The drive was organized by Julie Edgar, third-grade teacher at Keokuk Catholic School. While brainstorming activities for Catholic Schools Week, she contacted a priest at her mother’s parish of St. Charles Borromeo in St. Charles, Mo. The priest, who’d ministered in South America, suggested helping Casa Nazareth after a Sister in the Society of Precious Blood told him of the home’s need. Knowing the Sister belonged to that order, which Edgar’s great aunts belonged to, boosted the teacher’s faith in the recommendation.

The effort was Keokuk Catholic School’s first international service project. “I was just amazed at the amount of items students brought in,” Edgar said.

Katie Printy, a seventh-grader, said she thought it was “cool” to help other kids.

Third-grader Nolan Logsdon agreed. “It felt good giving to kids who may not have what we have,” he said.

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