Lapham Students Run to Build Library for African Orphans

In an effort to build community, enhance self-esteem and inspire the
spirit of giving among its students, Lapham Elementary School has
organized a very special service-learning project. The “Lapham to
Lubasi Run-a-thon”, held Wednesday May 10th, was led by one of the
school’s second grade classes to raise awareness of poverty in Africa
and to collect books to build a library for the Lubasi Children’s
Home, an orphanage in Livingstone, Zambia.
Lubasi is a community-supported home for over sixty Zambian children
ranging in age from 5 to 15 years. As part of their Africa curriculum
this spring, a class of Lapham second graders made a connection with
this special home, and has been writing back and forth to learn more
about life in Africa. And learning about some of the challenges of
growing up in a poor country made the students eager to help.
Inspired by teacher Catherine McCollister’s passion for running and
fitness, they selected the run-a-thon as their way to support their
new friends, and they enlisted the entire school to help.
The event was a great success. The students had a collective goal of
832 laps around the field. With each lap representing 10 miles, this
goal would symbolically take the runners the 8,320 miles from Lapham
School all the way to the Lubasi Home for Children. Nearly 250
students ran the course in three waves. Parents and teachers cheered
the students on and everyone celebrated together as laps accumulated.
An old school bell was rung at every one hundred laps reached. By the
time the third wave had finished, the students had run over 1,200
The students also surpassed their goal for book donations. With a
goal of collecting at least 200 books, their efforts have raised over
450 beautiful new books so far, as well as several hundred dollars to
cover shipping and help Lubasi with library construction costs.
Next week Lapham students will write letters to their friends in
Zambia, and pack up their gift to send the 8,320 miles to Lubasi.
For more information, please contact:
Katherine Davey, (608) 770-9066 or