Tucson students make impact in Guatemala through coloring books

Published: May. 12, 2017 at 2:08 AM MST|Updated: May. 12, 2017 at 7:17 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Fourth grade students at Canyon View Elementary School are making an impact in the lives of people in Guatemala through the use of coloring books.

Some students in Jeaneen Ghori's fourth grade class have been working all year to research, draw and print the 35-page coloring book that teaches people in Guatemala about nutrition.

Guatemala has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the entire world.

"We did a coloring book. Packed it up in a suitcase, did a digital version and now it is being shown in Guatemala," Ghori said.

Ghori said this process of "project based learning" has been beneficial to the students. They've been able to get a hands on experience in learning Spanish, research, healthy eating and revision.

This project started as a pen pal relationship between the class and one of the students' uncles, who is a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala.

"A lot of what Peace Corps does, is they put the volunteers here in communities where there is a lot of chronic malnutrition. A lot of that stems from a lack of education on food groups and what foods people should include in their diets," said Matt Stoker, a Peace Corps volunteer.

Some of the students are already thinking of next steps.

"We could improve it until it makes bigger effects in Guatemala," said Kaylen Stoker, a student.

While the students have learned a lot of about various subjects along the way, perhaps their the biggest take away is knowing they can make a differences in the lives of complete strangers.

Most of the students said their favorite moment in the process was seeing pictures of a girl in Guatemala coloring in the book they created.

"I was like, 'Oh my god. She's actually coloring the pictures,'" said Sophia Freas, a student.

"It's really exciting how they take something that a regular fourth grade class makes and then turns it into this giant thing," said Ansel Emmons, a student.

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