Munford students participate in 1 million bones challenge
by Shane Dunaway
MUNFORD – More than 350 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders from Munford Elementary School participated in the One Million Bones challenge Friday in the school’s gymnasium.

Each student created bones from newspaper and masking tape with assistance from their teachers and Eric Hall and Stephanie Roberts, representatives from Students Rebuild, a collaborative initiative of the Bezos Family Foundation designed to inspire young people to connect, learn and take action on critical global issues.

“It feels good to be a part of this project because you’re helping people overseas who are going through hard times,” fifth-grader Lillian Macoy said. “It shows other parts of the world that we care.”

Before the students went to work, Hall and Roberts conducted an interactive presentation to inform the students about ongoing humanitarian crises affecting the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia. The duo explained to the students how 20 years of civil war and crippling poverty have severely impacted both nations.

“I think oftentimes we underestimate our youngest kids and think, ‘Oh, they’re too young for this,’” Roberts said. “It definitely comes from a good place as far as wanting to protect them from hearing about things that are hard and are not easy topics. But I think this is a way for our kids to learn about the world and learn they can do something — even if it’s as small as taking five minutes to make a bone. We can each do something to make our world a better, safer and more interconnected place.”

Naomi Natale, an installation artist, photographer and social practice artist, founded One Million Bones in 2009. The bones constructed by the students will be displayed for three days with bones made by schools across the U.S. as part of her large-scale social art project June 8-10 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Munford Elementary is the only school in the state currently supporting the challenge and Hall projected the students would generate nearly 2,000 bones.

Each bone created raises $1 in humanitarian relief up to a maximum of $500,000 donated by the Bezos Family Foundation to support CARE, a humanitarian organization helping to fight poverty. Hall said the proceeds would go to help schools in Congo and Somalia.

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© 2013