Students give new sight by donating old glasses

November 21, 1995|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

The children at St. Philip Neri School may not know much about Guatemala, but in collecting used eyeglasses for that country's poor they are learning a lesson in helping others.

Lesley J. Pinkosz, a fourth-grade teacher at the school, suggested the idea to her students as a community service project. She remembered that her eye doctor kept a barrel in front of his lobby for patients to drop in old eyeglasses.

The fourth-graders at the Linthicum school nearly have filled up two small boxes with old eyeglasses collected from friends and family.

Mrs. Pinkosz said Dr. Donald Schwartz of Laurel will repair the eyeglasses and distribute them to countries in Central America. The doctor plans to hand them out in Guatemala next month, Mrs. Pinkosz said.

"I think it's kind of good that we're giving things to the poor," said Amanda Markov, 9. "They can't buy eyeglasses, so we'll collect them and give them to the poor."

The children have drawn posters encouraging everyone to contribute to the project. The posters, sketched with crayons and pencils, dot the walls of St. Philip Neri and show adults and children smiling and wearing new eyeglasses.

"We do this so they can see," Stacie Whitacre, 9, said of the project. "Because if they can't see, they'll bump into stuff and hurt themselves."

Mrs. Pinkosz said the school has sent letters home with the children to remind parents of the project. A note telling everyone the project has two weeks left will go out this week, she said.

She also said she hopes the project has taught the children the value of giving and the "satisfaction of knowing you are working and doing things for others who can't do things for themselves."

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