Students at Cherry Crest Elementary school in Bellevue, Washington, were buzzing with excitement last week as they gathered to learn even more about malaria for a fun-filled afternoon with the Nothing But Nets team and Seattle Sounder Sanna Nyassi. The entire school has been raising money to send bed nets to refugees and have already raised more than $5,000!
After an assembly with the entire school, we broke the students into groups by grades with additional activities rotating for the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. In one room, students would enact skits about malaria – some pretending to be mosquitoes, some as their victims, and others as the community health workers who teach the proper use of the nets, so they could see all aspects of the bed net deliveries that they made possible. At another station they received toolkits about malaria in Africa and Nothing But Nets t-shirts and at the third station, we played our very own version of malaria-themed Jeopardy!, and when a team got the answer right, they got to work together to shoot a goal on the Seattle Sounder’s Sanna Nyassi. It was a blast and the kids all loved playing with Sanna, who is very familiar with malaria as a native of the Gambia. I even brought my nieces Davis, 11, and Emma, 10, who were on spring break, along for the ride.
But that’s not all! At the Seattle Sounders game over the weekend, the students from Cherry Crest were recognized by Major League Soccer W.O.R.K.S. and the Sounders. Several students presented an oversized check to our own Adrianna Logalbo and Danielle Garrahan at half-time. What’s more, the students canvassed the stadium with buckets collecting donations, raising an additional $3,700 that night alone.
Many thanks to Cherry Crest Elementary school and the two teachers who have been championing Nothing But Nets – Mrs. Titus and Mr. Heinemann – I can’t wait to see what you do next!