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4th-graders receive atlases from Kiwanis

By Staff | Jan 31, 2018

Fourth-graders at Christa McAuliffe Elementary Charter School in Cape Coral got a pleasant surprise Tuesday morning in their school cafeteria.

The Cape Coral Kiwanis came to give every one of them a new atlas to help them learn about the world around them.

Mick Sheldrake, president of the Cape Coral Kiwanis, along with some Kiwanis members, handed out more than 100 atlases to the kids, who then got a chance to break them in as they were asked questions they had to find the answers to in the book.

Sheldrake said this is a local Kiwanis district program that started in Fort Myers about a decade ago and grew into Cape Coral.

“We found out what great results it had with kids and we picked it up about four years ago and it’s been a resounding success,” Sheldrake said. “The kids love it and it’s a way for them to connect with the rest of the world. It’s not an Internet experience, it’s a book that’s theirs forever.”

Cape Coral Kiwanis will be giving more books away at Cape and Oasis elementary schools in the coming weeks. Sheldrake says it’s a way to give back to kids who have the commitment to serve.

And the books have had an impact. One student from Oasis received an atlas and went on to compete in the state Geography Bee last year in Jacksonville.

Kelly Cook, a teacher, thought it was great how the Kiwanis does this program annually.

“The children are very excited to get the books and Kiwanis is wonderful,” Cook said. “They learn about geography and we usually give them a geography project so they can use the books. I think the kids appreciate it.”

The fourth-graders said the book is fun and will be good for them to learn about other places and cultures.

“It will help me with geography and history. There are a lot of good facts to learn and we’ll have fun doing it,” said Zachary Louzao, “It’s an amazing opportunity.”

“I think the atlas is cool and all the places there are,” said Joshua Hill. “I learned the annual income in Africa is $1,000 per person.”

Cape Coral Kiwanis’ mission is to help children “one child at a time.” It holds an annual scholarship program for high school seniors and a Christmas party for special needs kids, as well as an Easter egg hunt and fishing derby, among other things.