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Pay It Forward: Sandcreek Middle School Zambia Fund

Zambia School Hi Sandcreek
Sandcreek Middle School

AMMON, Idaho (KXPI) - A local middle school student body jumps at the chance to help other students. Those are the words of their teacher and advisor, but the students in need are half a world away. This is the first time Pay It Forward has gone international.

First it takes us to Sandcreek Middle School in Ammon. The teacher doesn't know we're coming! So it's a perfect setting to Pay It Forward.

"We have just checked in at the office here at Sandcreek Middle School. C'mon. Here is the rest of our group. We've got Jacob right here," said Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz.

"Mountain America Credit Union," said Jacob Baggaley, introducing himself.

"And the vice principal," said Kunz.

"Ms. Suitter," she said, introducing herself.

"And we are loaded with some other people here and we are going to barge into the classroom. Here we go. Let's go," said Kunz and the group started walking down the hallway toward the classroom.

"It'll be like Christmas," said Suitter.

"Yeah. Of course," said Baggaley.

"And nobody there knows that this is happening at all," said Kunz.

"It's going to be great. Nothing better than interrupting, right?" said Baggaley.

"Stacey Rogers is the teacher. We are interrupting Iron Chef cooking class," said Kunz.

"Knock, knock. Mr. Kunz and Mountain America Credit Union are here," said Suitter, opening the door and walking into the classroom.

"Hello. Hello. Are you Mrs. Rogers?" said Kunz.

"I am Mrs. Rogers," the teacher replied.

"Are you the advisor for the student council?" asked Kunz.

"I am," said Rogers.

"I brought with me a friend from Mountain America Credit Union and we want to talk with you," said Kunz, introducing Baggaley, who was standing next to him.

"Hi Stacey. It's good to meet you. My name is Jake. I'm with Mountain America Credit Union," Baggaley said.

"Hi Jake," said Rogers.

"One of your students actually submitted your name for our Pay It Forward program," said Baggaley.

"Wow," said Rogers.

"So on behalf of Mountain America Credit Union, we want to thank you for all the work that you are doing with the Zambia Scholarship Fund and donate and Pay It Forward to you guys. And just want to show our gratitude. It is so wonderful everything you are doing, not only to unite our community, but also help serve people in another country that may be less fortunate than us. And so we are just hoping to Pay It Forward and be able to use that to do some amazing things," said Baggaley, handing over an envelope of cash.

"You guys, thank you so much! That is awesome. Do I get to hug you or something?" replied Rogers.

"Absolutely," said Baggaley.

"Thank you so much! That is awesome! You guys! Thank you so much. That is way awesome!" said Rogers, waving the envelope to the class.

"I think that will kick us over..." said Suitter.

"Over 7-thousand! Wow! That is so awesome! Uhm, I don't even know. How much is this?" said Rogers.

"It is $500," replied Baggaley.

"You guys. Did anyone want to see what a Benjamin looks like?" I'm like shakin you guys. That is so awesome. That is a lot of money. Uhm, the kids over there will be so happy. This helps them get desks and paper and supplies and teachers so, thank you, thank you, thank you," said Rogers.

After all the excitement, Kunz pulled Mrs. Rogers aside to a quieter classroom to find out more about their Zambia fundraiser that was sprearheaded by the students.

"These kids jumped on it. The teachers really kind of embraced this, because it's education. Like, we, as students, are having the opportunity to give to other students. As educators, we get to give to other educators. We started it last year with our student council and so I think the fact that we were able to get those pictures of students in the stuff that we sent them, so last year, we did a drive and we got some pencils. We got $1,700 in donations, markers, and we also got our Hillcrest and Sandcreek shirts that we sent over, and so I think when we put that together and the kids were able to see, like, 'Oh my gosh, these kids are actually receiving what we are giving to them.' And got a sign made, so that they could hold up a sign that says, 'Hi Sandcreek.' So when the kids saw that, they were just like, 'Oh my gosh, like, they know us.'"

The students started this fundraiser March 1 and it ended March 31. They raised more than $7,000 for the schools in Zambia.

"Pay It Forward" stories air the second Wednesday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "News" then "Pay It Forward" under the menu stack at the top left of our homepage. Fill out the submission form, or send an email to Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz at

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Todd Kunz

Todd is an anchor for Local News 8.


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