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S E C T I O N 2 Community S TO R I E S A B O U T P E O P L E A N D E V E N T S I N T H E C O M M U N I T Y Corte Madera students roll up their sleeves to help change the lives of Afghan children By Renee Batti C atie Cassani will be teaching first-graders how to play soccer. Alec Vercruysse will set up a lemonade stand — “with coffee to excite the adults.” And student leaders of Catie and Alec’s school, Corte Madera in Portola Valley, are organizing a community flea market this month — all efforts whose proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Trust in Education, or TIE, which funds projects supporting the people of Afghanistan. Corte Madera students have been involved in the TIE project for more than six years, and their work has kept four children in the war-torn country off the streets and in the classroom, contributed to more than half the funding to restore a grove of nearly 13,000 fruit trees in a village, and helped equip a new school in the village of Farza that, when it opens in a few months, will be attended by about 225 girls whose prospects for a brighter future are likely to improve dramatically as they pursue an education. TIE’s founder and leader, Budd MacKenzie of Lafayette, spoke at a recent Corte Madera assembly, updating the kids about the projects they have made possible, and others that their continued efforts will help complete. He told the fourththrough eighth-grade students that they have raised more money for TIE than any other participating school. This fact might not seem so remarkable, considering that the students live in one of the wealthiest communities in the country — except for one key fact: They must raise the money on their own. “I don’t want to take a single dime from your parents,” Mr. MacKenzie told the students several years ago. In response, he said at the assembly, the kids rolled up their sleeves and earned every penny they contributed to the organization. About a decade ago, when Mr. MacKenzie began thinking about what he might personally do to improve life for people in a country being battered by war, he considered creating a nonprofit, and came up with a name for it whose acronym suggested its goal. But, he said, he wondered if it was really going to be possible “to tie communities in the United States with villages in Afghanistan.” He came to understand that what was needed was imagination and resolve, he told the students at the assembly. “And your school has more more imagination than any school I know of, and your school has more resolve than any school I know of,” he added. Service Learning The Corte Madera effort is part of the school’s Service Learning program, which incorporates into the curriculum a component that gets kids “involved in ... activities where they have the opportunity to learn while making a difference in the lives of others,” says former Corte Madera teacher Elaine Winer, Continued on page 27 Budd MacKenzie with children from the village of Lalander, Afghanistan, where his nonprofit, TIE (Trust in Education), built a school. Photo courtesy TIE NO SMALL CHANGE March 20, 2013 ■ ■ The Almanac ■ 25

The Almanac 03.20.2013 - Section 2

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