Unity Church has been a long-time supporter of Mano a Mano, which includes many of our most dedicated volunteers and having dozens of their members traveling to Bolivia over the years with us.

Unity travelers visiting the Sancayani water project in March 2012

Unity travelers visiting the Sancayani water project in March 2012

Over the next few months they have a new project with Mano a Mano; the information below is taken directly from Unity Church’s newsletter:

In collaboration with Mano a Mano and the team of Minnesota teachers headed to Bolivia in June, our Religious Education program and families will be learning about our far-away friends in the villages of the Altiplano. A number of fundraising projects and donation drives will give Unity folks an opportunity to contribute much-needed school supplies to teachers and students in rural villages in Sancayani and Japo, Bolivia. Our teacher team will be offering day-long pedagogy conferences in these two villages, instructing as many as 100 teachers in best practices for early literacy development and basic math skills.

Here are some details about our projects:

The Penny Challenge!

Our three services will go head-to-head in an all-out competition to raise funds to buy classroom materials and specific tools for the skills being taught in our conferences. There will be a giant jar assigned to each service: 9:00, 11:00 and 4:30. The winning service will have a special celebration with treats in honor of their generosity. (Adults can put pennies in their service jar too!)

Penny War_March 3 Service_Unity_2013

How does a Penny Challenge work? Each PENNY in your service’s jar gets you a point. To increase your lead over the other services, you can put SILVER COINS into your opponents’ jars, which will subtract points from their total according to the coins’ values. No bills allowed. Our Penny Challenge will run from February 10 through March 31, with the totals announced on April 7. All proceeds from the penny drive will be used to purchase math tools for our friends in Bolivia, including dice, flash cards, pens, pencils and paper.

The School Supply Drive!

Throughout the months of February and March, we’ll be collecting gently used and new school supplies. Check your drawers and cupboards at home for extras of these items before purchasing new ones and watch for good sales at retailers. Keep an eye out for packaging that won’t create a problem for the villagers: paper is better than plastic and “no package” is best of all! For our friends in Bolivia, we’re collecting:

  • loose leaf paper
  • spiral notebooks
  • pencils
  • pens
  • crayons
  • colored pencils
  • working solar-powered calculators
  • children’s scissors
  • paintbrushes
  • watercolors
  • tempera paints

If you have other items or large quantities, please check with Kerri ([email protected]) before bringing your item to church.

The BIG BOOK Project!

We’ll be purchasing and constructing Big Books (used for large-group literacy instruction) in Spanish. If you have Spanish-language skills, artistic skills or are willing to help with repetitive manual assembly of blank Big Books, please join us on Wednesday evenings throughout February and March. Our Big Book Project team will meet each Wellspring Wednesday from 7:10-8:30 p.m. Drop-in help welcome!

Thanks Unity for your support! If anyone is interested in helping out with collecting school supplies (no need to be a Unity member), please contact Mano a Mano Office Manager Dana Dallavalle – [email protected].