Peter Swanson, 10, gave children in his native Cambodia a reason to smile this Christmas.
Swanson, a fifth-grader at Johnson Elementary School, raised $1,704 in quarters for Sustainable Schools International to build a playground at Sre Chrap Primary School in the rural Kampong Speu province of Cambodia, giving children extra incentive for remaining in school despite a high dropout rate.
“Normally, they don’t want to come to school because it’s not really that fun (without a playground),” Swanson said. “A few more kids have actually joined the school now because of the playground.”
With the help of his teacher, Tracey Clark, and classmates, Swanson distributed full M&M tubes for students to enjoy and bring back filled with quarters for the school. One tube can hold up to $14 in quarters.
“It’s a neat way to involve the kids,” said Jessica Davis, Swanson’s mom. “You’d be surprised how many quarters fit in those.”