Students present a photo-worthy check — and a real, smaller one

The second and fifth grades of The Island School presented a check for $8,848.47 to treasurer Paul Carroll and other board members. The students raised that money by creating and selling 2020 calendars. The theme this year is “Plant Life on Ometepe and Bainbridge.”

Students voted to designate part of the the money to fund 2½ college scholarships for Ometepe students studying at universities in Nicaragua. The students also are supporting a second sign-language interpreter and signing workshops, a weekend ambulance driver, the Extra Edad program that helps older students catch up on studies, chess sets for blind students and book purchases that the Library Committee makes based on requests from Ometepe schools.

This is the 27th year of the project, which was started by Alice Mendoza and her third-grade students at Wilkes Elementary School. The project later moved to Ordway Elementary School and then to The Island School. Students choose a theme, draw the grids and illustrations, and sell the calendars.

They hear about the Sister Islands’ community projects on Ometepe and choose which projects to fund with the money they earn — a powerful message that kids really can make a difference for good in the world. Students also learn a little about how the printing industry works through a visit to American Printing Company, where they see their calendars come off the press. Custom Printing also helps with the project, by digitizing the students’ work and sending the file to the printing company.

Right after Thanksgiving, the calendars will go on sale for $10 — the same price it’s been all these years — at T&C, Safeway, Ace Hardware, Blackbird Bakery, Good Egg, Eagle Harbor Books and The Island School.