The following story was based on information from a press release provided by District 28.
Northbrook Junior High is hosting school district 28's ninth annual Concert for Africa fundraiser on Friday night, collecting donations for school construction projects for Kenyan orphans.
The concert, at 1475 Maple Ave. in Northbrook, runs from 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and features local student bands 7 Cents, Wavelength and the NBJH All-Star Band. The $10 admission includes pizza until 7:00 p.m. and a glow-in-the-dark jelly ring.
District 28 adopted Spurgeon's Academy in 2004, a school in Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, after the U.S. Congress passed a bill that asks American schools to adopt and support a third world school.
Over nine years, D28 has raised $45,000 to build a high school for Spurgeon's female students. Many of Spurgeon's students can't afford food on weekends and rely on a single daily meal from their school.
“It means a lot to have students from Northbrook raise money to help build the school,” Spurgeon's founder, Fred Outa said in an e-mail to D28. “I personally want to thank them for their commitment. Over the years I have seen their love and passion to help the vulnerable kids in Kenya. They want these girls to have future [sic] and by doing that they can change literacy and help us towards a better world.”
Sue Vaickauski, a retired Westmoor School secretary who co-founded the Fred Outa Foundation and helped to organize the first eight concerts, echoed Outa's sentiment.
“I have been overwhelmed with how much the parents in this community and school district not only want to help those in need but also believe that teaching their children about the orphans in Kibera Slum is so important,” she said. “These parents want their children to know that the rest of the world is not like Northbrook and that there are other cultures and customs so different than what we know."
"They consider this project, and talking about poverty andthe struggles of other countries, to be a very important part of a well-rounded education,” Vaickauski added.
The Kenyan girls' high school is currently under construction, made with brick to withstand the region's diverse weather and will consist of six classroom. The funds raised also help provide food, water, medicines and school supplies for all students at Spurgeon’s Academy.
Vaickauski organized the Concert for Africa with the District 28 PTO Council, the Westmoor Student Council and the Northbrook Junior High News and Culture Club. This year, Vaickauski passed her responsibilities to District 28 parent music school owner Christopher Laughlin.
For more information on Outa and the schools, please see the Fred Outa Foundation website, http://www.fredoutafoundation.org.
Any community members who wish to donate to the foundation can send a check made out to “The Fred Outa Foundation” to Fred Outa Foundation, c/o School District 28, 1475 Maple Avenue, Northbrook, IL 60062.
For more information, please see the District 28 website, www.northbrook28.net.