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January 1st, 2010
Time for School Series
Video: Pen Pals

After watching Time for School, a group of students from Lawrence Middle School in Long Island, NY, wanted to do something to help Joab, the Kenyan boy in the film, and his classmates at Ayany Primary School in Nairobi. They started a club called “Kenya Krew” in 2006 and in the years since, have raised almost $8000 by selling friendship bracelets, washing cars, and recycling cell phones and ink cartridges. The money was used to buy new desks and chairs for the seventh grade classroom, and to establish a new library for the kids at Ayany Primary School. The library still lacks tables, chairs and books, so the Lawrence Middle School students, many of whom have now graduated to high school, are still at it.

Just as important as the growing library are the friendships that have sprung up between students in two very different parts of the world. Teachers from the two schools matched up sets of pen pals, and the kids have been writing back and forth since 2007.

When producer Frederick Rendina returned to Kenya in 2008 to film Time for School 3, he brought video messages from the Lawrence Middle School students to their pen pals at Ayany Primary. Click below to watch their messages and to see the responses from the Kenyan kids.

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