Notebooks for Manure

Every year my friend Suzanne holds a program called “Notebooks for Manure” where kids can bring bags full of manure that they have collected to get weighed in by buckets and traded for tokens to buy school supplies.  Suzanne sets up a “store” in her compound that has lots of notebooks, pencils, erasers, pens, rulers, compasses, and paints.  For each bucket full of manure the kids bring they get one token for the store.  Some children had two or three, some had 20 or 27.   She starts the program around 8am but the kids start lining up outside her door around 6am.  For the kids who can go to a local school but can’t afford to buy any school supplies, this is a big deal.  The program teaches them work ethic as well.  It is an accessible way for them to “buy” school supplies.  There are cows, goats, sheep, and chicken every- equaling large available amounts of manure.  The kids have a good time, get needed supplies, and feel pride in their work.  I thoroughly enjoyed participating this year!

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