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Small school making big contribution in India

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t’s not too hard to become an amateur artist at Domain School when you have a talented teacher like Sanford’s Barb Batulla teaching the students.


Domain School has raised money on two separate occasions for villages in India to assist them with building wells to bring in fresh drinking water.


Domain students from early years — grades 1 to 4 — to the middle years — grades 5 to 8 — have been busy with learning crafts from painting in watercolours and acrylics to making bracelets, necklaces and feathered earrings and hairclips. They are currently fundraising for their third well.


The students raised approximately $800 on the two previous occasions by selling their art at a Mother’s Day Tea and at several Co-ops in surrounding areas.  


Batulla takes the students’ completed artworks and scans them to create greeting cards. One features a snowman scene created with acrylic paint on canvas. There are three other different scenes— a farmer’s field, a Christmas scene and an African scene with women carrying jugs of water on their heads.


Batulla felt the water scene was important to paint as it portrays a real-life situation, in that the Indian villagers have to walk several miles to get water if they don’t have wells in their communities. Batulla also said it was important for the kids to be aware of the world around them and to be aware of world issues.


Domain School may be small, with 33 students, but all the kids have big hearts. They have been involved with the SOPAR Project (Society for Partnership) for the past three years. SOPAR is an organization that links schools with helping people to survive in their environments.
In addition to the well project it also runs house-building projects in other areas.


"Being from a small school they can still make a difference, even though they are only focusing on assisting with the wells, their efforts are important and they can make a difference in the world," Batulla says of her Domain students.  


In addition to the greeting cards, students built a haunted house using their own scripts and decorations last fall at the Domain rink. Half of the money they raised went to the cost of the project and the other half went to their SOPAR fundraising.


Last year, Domain School sent some of its money to Lingapuram, a village in the district of Guntur, located in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. The cash brought water for 180 people. In 2010-2011, the school sent its money to the village of Muppalla, and its effort supported 150 people.


"I thought it was good cause they don’t all have clean water to drink, everyone should have clean drinking water ,and I thought it was great to make this well, even though they were around the world," said Grade 7 student  Carleigh Enns.


In return for the donations, SOPAR sent a plaque to Domain School featuring a photo of the well and the words "Domain School" mounted on a sign beside it. The school was happy with the plaque, as it allowed the kids to actually see where their fundraising money is going.


Sandra Murner is a community correspondent for Sanford. She can be reached at sanya@mymts.net.

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