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A Goat for Shadrack: Students find passion and purpose in serving others
Reaching beyond their classroom and sponsoring a child from Kenya, students in Ms. Miller’s 5th-grade class at Jefferson Elementary pose with a photo of their new friend, Shadrack.
Leann Miller

When singer Jake Gill visited Leann Miller’s 5th-grade class at Jefferson Elementary last fall, he shared his musical talents, led students in a creative song-writing exercise, and invited students to think beyond the walls of the school and consider sponsoring a child from Kenya. 

“He told my students it would take just 50 cents per week from each student to sponsor a child,” explained Miller. “My class jumped on the opportunity!”

The class sponsored a 3-year-old boy named Shadrack. They received letters and pictures from his family and continued to correspond with them from Great Bend to Kenya during the school year. 

“Around Christmas time, I was sharing that the gifts Shadrack’s family wanted were goats, chickens, cows — things that could benefit their family,” Miller said. “At first they thought it was funny and imagined sending a goat all the way to Kenya. But as they really thought about the need and importance of food for Shadrack and his family, they asked how much it would cost. When I told them $100, three girls in my class quickly stepped up to the challenge and championed the cause.”

The “Goat for Shadrack” campaign soon began and students brought contributions of all sizes, from 10 cents to $20. It took several weeks to collect the funds, but the persistent work of the students made the gift possible and Shadrack’s family received a goat in February.