CCHS Key Club makes donation to Senegal school

Published 12:47 pm Monday, April 3, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

CLANTON — Chilton County High School Key Club students donated $1,000 to Elisabeth Nichols, a teacher at the Dakar Academy in Senegal, during a club meeting on April 3.

Club president Aaron Binion had presented the idea to the club.

“They do not have the resources that we have in America,” Binion said.

The club held a bake sale and asked community members to donate to the project.

Binion said Nichols will be able to use the funds to buy needed supplies, while she is here over the Academy’s spring break, to take back to Senegal with her.

The club raised $500 and an anonymous donor matched the funds.

This school year Nichols teaches fifth grade.

“The reason I am raising funds, and am so appreciative of what you guys are doing is we are starting a class for students with severe special needs,” Nichols said.

In Senegal, Nichols said these students are not allowed to attend other schools.

“In public places, they are not allowed and even sometimes their family will push them out. So, by starting this class we are able to have the kids come into our school and we are able to teach them, and show them love,” Nichols said.

Dakar Academy is a private, Christian school in Senegal, which is located in West Africa. Many students are boarders.

“Our school is considered an international school. We have kids from 34 different countries,” Nichols said.

She said when students first come to the school, many of them do not speak the same language.

“So, we do a lot of smiling at first,” Nichols said.

Students are taught English, and all of the lessons are taught in English.

In addition to telling the CCHS students about the school, Nichols told them about the country.

“Fishing is one of the most common jobs there,” Nichols said.

Some of the canoe-shaped boats in Senegal are large enough to hold 100 people.

Music and dancing is also a big part of Senegalese culture.

While public transportation is available, it is often overcrowded. Nichols said most people walk everywhere they go.

“Most people do not feel the need to drive. It is not safe on the roads because there are very few rules of the road,” Nichols said.

She said Senegal is a third world country, but “everyone appreciates what they have.”