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Huntington and Salem High Schools Partner To Save Some of the World’s Most Vulnerable Children

If you think your school might like to become a part of The Walk for Africa – One Life to Make a Difference in the future, look for the contact information at the bottom of this blog.

Freshman at Huntington High School in West Virginia and Salem High School in Virginia are partnering to answer the call to save suffering children. As many as 700 ninth graders will be walking on November 25, the day before Thanksgiving, to raise thousands of dollars to serve children in Africa who are caught up in what has been called the greatest humanitarian crisis in history. There are already millions of children who have been orphaned in Africa by AIDS. Many of those children are taking care of younger siblings as the number of child-headed households soars. These children are vulnerable to incredible dangers of many kinds. Other children are dying of malnutrition, malaria, and lack of clean water. Many children are being kidnapped and forced to serve in terrorist armies. Tragedy on top of tragedy is raining down on these innocent children.

Teachers at both schools have agreed to participate in “incentive stunts.” When a student reaches $30 in donations, teachers agreed to eat “gross” varieties of baby food. The more students who reach that level, the more the teachers will eat. When individual students reach $60, other teachers will begin drinking concoctions of stomach-busting liquids (all teacher-approved). When students reach $100, they will have the opportunity to throw a pie in the face of a teacher. Assistant Principal Scott Habeeb agreed to allow students to vote on a stunt that he will perform if total donations at his school reach $4,500. Voting will be done by placing donations in jars representing different stunts. The jars will be available during lunch periods. If donations reach $6,000, one teacher will shave his head. All the stunts will take place during the walk with local news media present to record it all.

This is the third year that Salem has done The Walk for Africa. They are thrilled that Huntington joined them this year. The schools have established a “ning” to communicate ideas, goals, and encouragement. They have also participated in two video conferences with more conferences to come. In each of the first two years, Salem raised about $5,000. Last year by placing the money with matching grants from government and private organizations, the total impact of the students’ efforts for the children of Africa was $17,000.

Both schools are dreaming big dreams and believe that the excitement generated by the partnership will push this year’s total to new heights making a much larger impact for some of the world’s most vulnerable. If you think your school might be interested in partnering with Salem and Huntington in the future, please contact Ray Moore or Josh Ratliff through the Freshman Transition Network ning or email Ray at

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Comment by Scott Habeeb on November 26, 2009 at 12:08pm
Awesome! Be sure to check out this video from Channel 10.
Comment by Gerry Sawrey on November 25, 2009 at 3:16pm
The Freshmen Academy at HHS did a great job with its first Walk for Africa – One Life to Make a Difference walkathon. Thanks, Salem, for inviting them to partner with you. Such a great lesson for our freshmen - to look beyond their own lives, perhaps their own troubles, and help those who are suffering. Thanks, HHS academy and administrators, for going the extra mile to plan and make this event happen. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving - there is so much to be thankful for!
Comment by Scott Habeeb on November 2, 2009 at 8:13pm
Gerry - if your AP does something as well, we should video the "stunts" and make a "Look what we did to our principal" video.
Comment by Gerry Sawrey on November 2, 2009 at 11:13am
Way to go, HHS Freshmen Academy! So, is our assistant principal ready to match the challenge issued by Scott Habeeb at Salem?
Comment by Cat Mejia on November 2, 2009 at 9:09am
This is so exciting! Can't wait to do the walk.... even if it means I have to drink a nasty concoction :-)

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