Sixth Graders Give to Help People in Uganda

Andrew Lovell

This year marks the second year of Mr. Lovell’s “Pennies For Peace” reading marathon. During the reading marathon students had family members, friends, and neighbors pledge to donate a certain amount of pennies for each minute that they read during a one week period. Students then did their part by reading for multiple hours each day.

 Last year, students in Mr. Lovell’s 4th grade class raised a total of $2514.80 and donated it to the Utah Foster Care so that they could provide each foster child with a Christmas present. This year, Lovell’s class took their project to another continent, Africa. After researching and writing essays on children in Uganda, a country where Mr. Lovell served as a humanitarian worker in 2009, students decided to use this year’s fundraiser as an opportunity to serve the very children and country that they had researched. With the help of Musana International, a locally based international non-profit organization, Westside 6th graders pledged to donate every penny earned to help build a free public library in Lugazi, Uganda. This library would be the first public library in a 60 mile span of small communities and villages and would provide dozens of schools with books that would be transported to them on a weekly basis by motorcycle. With the help of Mr. Casado, Mrs. Herrmann, Ms. Freeman, and all their respective classes, all the 6th graders at Westside Elementary jumped on board and participated in the 2017 Pennies For Peace fundraiser. To up the ante, Mr. Lovell vouched to return to Uganda with his wife and help construct the very library that was being funded if they reached their goal and beat last year’s donation.  After one week and hundreds of hours spent reading, students raised a total of $2784.66. 6th grader Jacob Hernandez who spent two hours in the rain, asking family friends for donation pledges said, “It feels great providing other kids with books and knowing that I was able to play a small part in bringing the excitement of books into other people’s lives.”

                Mr. Lovell and his wife have booked flights to Kampala, Uganda on June 1st and hope to bring you more exciting news over the upcoming months. Pennies For Peace is also expanding and will be incorporated as a state-wide fundraiser for Musana International.  You can watch interviews and learn more about Pennies For Peace by tuning into Channel 5 KSL news today (5/17/2017) at 6:30 p.m. For more information about the project or ways in which you can help, please contact Andrew Lovell at