On Dec. 19, fifth-graders at Beye Elementary, 230 N. Culyer Ave., conducted a crafts fair for a cause. The students peddled everything from Nepalese scarves donated by area residents as well as used books and bookmarks to homemade bath bombs and ornaments to raise funds for an organization called the Yes We Can World Foundation, which converts buses into classrooms for children living in two shelters in Tijuana, Mexico, near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Organizers of the Oak Park initiative to raise funds for Yes We Can said that each bus comes equipped with three certified teachers and, starting January, one psychologist. So far, 70 students are being educated on the buses. 

Founded by Estefania Rebellon in July 2019, the organization claims on its website to be the “first bilingual education program for migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico Border.” 

Karen Fogg, a fifth-grade teacher who helped organize the Beye service project, said she and her students had a goal to raise $300 that day. They ended up raising more than $1,300 —- just $500 shy of the roughly $1,800 a year it takes to fund the education of one child on the mobile buses. 

The money pays for a uniform, a backpack and school supplies, such as pens, pencils, notebooks and crayons. 

“I think this is a good cause that we’re helping, because with this money there are kids who are getting their schooling,” said fifth-grader Delilah Carey, 10, who on Thursday sold bracelets that she wove herself. 

“I loved doing crafts, so I was really excited for this,” said fifth-grader Sonia Gupta. “When I got home, I started making stuff and had been looking forward for this moment to arrive. Now we’re finally helping out with it and it’s really fun.”

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com 

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