unnamed Sylvester Middle School needs Goats! That’s right…GOATS! To help women farmers in Africa, that is… A “We Create Change” fundraiser is in full gear at the school, and they have raised $550 towards their goal of $2500 – equivalent to 50 goats – for women farmers in Africa. Teacher Breck Ivy is behind the Goat Drive. He’s a Highline High School alum (1995), and was also a student at Sylvester in the late 80s/early 90s. He and his colleague Stan Thesenvitz (also SMS and HHS alum, c/o ’95), brought twenty 7th and 8th grade students to WE Day on April 24. “We were inspired to start fundraising for causes we believe can create big change for families overseas, as well as help our students realize that they can create big change in the lives of others,” he said. “To meet our ambitious goal, we need help from our community,” reads an announcement. “Our deadline is June 12th.” “We are challenging local businesses, Sylvester alum, and others within the community to sponsor a classroom. Tax deductible donations of any denomination will be accepted through Friday, June 12th. Feel free to donate by using our attached “Go Fund Me” link, or make checks payable to Sylvester Middle School.” HOW TO HELP You can drop checks off in the main office, donate online here, or snailmail your donation to 16222 Sylvester Rd. SW, Burien, 98166. Here’s more info:

Details The challenge to our student body is two-fold. If their 1st period class raises $50, enough for one goat, they will be able to participate in our annual field day activities. If one class raises more than $50, they can choose a class to donate their excess funds. The idea is that we all work together to not only improve the lives of those overseas, but to raise awareness within our own school, and to build upon the philanthropically strong foundation we have in place at Sylvester Middle School. Why should you… $50 can provide a goat for a family overseas. Your gift of a goat can flourish into a herd, providing an entire family with nutritious milk and sustainable income. That herd enables a woman to start turning her home farm into a thriving business. Equipped with entrepreneurial training and financial education, she can earn enough to send her children to school, plan for emergencies and build a better future for her family. Ending poverty once and for all means sustainably equipping families with the tools they need so they can empower themselves and their communities. WE Day Inspires WE Day is an event where students from across Washington State come together to draw inspiration from each other, as well as a number of celebrities, inventors, athletes, artists, and philanthropists from around the World. Our students were inspired to start fundraising for a cause called “We Create Change”. We were all drawn to this cause because people love goats, and we didn’t realize how much a difference one goat could make for a family in African villages/towns. If you have questions and/or need more information, please email [email protected], with “Goat Fundraiser” in the subject line.

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.

6 replies on “Sylvester Middle School needs Goats, and here's how you can help!”

  1. What a fun and challenging event. I hope it does well as it looks like it already is..c
    I hope we can please also remember that we have poverty right here and right now at home in this district.
    Check the stats on how many children in our district are on free or reduced meals at the schools. 69.3 % ( source OSPI ) The numbers are extremely high. I hope that we can fund more things right here in our home town and district to assist our kids in need and give them even more hope.
    I see so many children walking to school on cold or rainy days wearing just T shirts.
    Tossing them a book bag and pencils isn’t always the solution.
    I don’t want to see any families world wide suffering but I do hope we address issues in our home back yard as a priority first. Poverty breeds crime and trouble later. (IMHO) My opinion only…And best of luck with the goat project.

  2. Hey Travis,
    Yes, I agree that there is poverty right here in the district, it can lead to many problems and at Sylvester they have their fair share. Can I recommend that you check out the great work being done by the Highline Schools Foundation? The foundation works to meet many needs for students living in poverty here in the district. Check out the backpacks of food being distributed to needy Sylvester families through Project N.O.W ( Nutrition On Weekends)
    If you have run or supported a runner in the Brat Trot, been an angel sponsor for a kid who wishes to run but can’t afford it, attended the Gold Star Breakfast fundraiser, or bought a Hands Around Highline coupon book, you have helped. If you haven’t …those are just some of your chances to do your part.
    What is incredible is that whatever their current circumstances, it does not stop these kids from caring about people who have even less than them. At this school, the students earn reward tickets (tomcat tickets) for positive behaviors (this is part of their Positive Behavior Intervention Supports, PBIS for short) I have volunteered when they have their rewards store open, and have seen the students often choose to donate their tickets to charity rather then receiving the immediate gratification of snacks or going into a raffle for prizes. It is humbling to see their generosity, knowing that the majority of them are from underprivileged backgrounds.
    This goat fundraiser is a great way to empower students to feel they can make a change in the world. That experience of empowerment can inspire great things. I sure hope that folks will consider donating whatever they can spare – even a dollar or two, to help these students know that their community will stand with them in supporting their goals.

  3. World Vision is the Charity…..These kids have the Vision of the World in their HEARTS and want to make it Better. GREAT JOB.

  4. I must give props to Stan Thesenvitz for helping this fundraiser become a reality, He is keeping it going right now while I am out of school, Thank you Stan! He is such an amazing asset to Sylvester and should definitely be recognized for his contributions over the past 3 years. Along with the Sylvester ASB representatives, he posted goat pictures and info throughout the school, drafted announcements for staff and students, and he designed and assembled the display you see in the picture above.
    Stan also invited me to go with him and the 20 Sylvester students to WE DAY in April. We discussed the idea of starting the fundraiser on the bus ride home, along with a few students. His persistence and focus helped bring the whole idea to fruition.

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