The fight for Peru: Spanish classes raise money for less fortunate through trial program


Gracie Blackwell

Coppell High School senior Kirtana Kalavagunta (left) and junior Priya Mekala (right) take part in raising money for the hungry in Peru for Darryl Lee’s AP Spanish IV classes on Tuesday. The multicultural snack bar includes brownies, fried rice and fruitcake.

Gracie Blackwell, Staff Writer

As the school year is coming to an end, many classes are wrapping up and not doing anything. For Darryl Lee’s AP Spanish IV students, it is quite the opposite.


For the past two weeks, Lee’s classes have been participating in a service learning project to raise money for the hungry in Peru.


Lee got the chance to apply to AP WE Service, a trial program where a service project is enacted for students in AP classes. The goal of the service projects is to help students further their learning and deepen their understanding of the class material.


“I [was] excited [about being accepted into the program] because I believe that service learning is really engaging for the students and it’s something that can enhance their language learning so if I can get them outside of the classroom and involved somehow in the real world, it really connects with the kids and it makes their learning even more enriched,” Lee said.


Lee’s students got to choose their own topic for the project. The topic had to pertain to a global issue or charity that they would like to solve to help. They decided that hunger in Peru is something that is a big issue that many people do not know about. After the topic was chosen, students corresponded through email to organizations and people in Peru.


“A lot of people [possibly don’t] even know that Peru [has] problems with food apportionment and malnutrition,” Coppell High School senior and AP Spanish IV student Hiran Buyyanapragada said. “It’s a real problem so now more people are going to know about it [with the help of the fundraisers] and hopefully they’re knowledgeable and motivated to donate in the future too.”


The students in Lee’s second and fifth period classes split up into smaller groups, depending on how each group wanted to raise the money.


On Monday night, Tappy’s Yogurt, J. Macklin’s and Lee’s students partnered up so that a portion of the proceeds from that night go to the organizations.


Various other fundraising activities the students held included selling T-shirts, organizing a basketball tournament and collecting change from all fourth period classes.


Students organized a snack bar Tuesday and Wednesday after school by the horseshoe. The multicultural aspect of the snack bar included foods such as Chinese fried rice, Indian fruitcake and brownies. All of the proceeds to the snack bar go to Acción contra el Hambre, where every 25 cents earned equates to one meal for a Peruvian child.


“It’s very easy to organize something small like [the snack bar] but yet it makes such a big difference for those children,” CHS junior and AP Spanish IV student Priya Mekala said. “We’re very fortunate here in Coppell and so we should do more to help others.”


Lee waited until after AP exams were over because he wanted to keep his students engaged throughout the rest of the year and show them that giving back to the world is an important part of a person.


“We’re uncertain on how much money we’re going to raise but we know that every little bit help,” Lee said. “Some of my students have done research and they realize that for every dollar that American dollar that is raised, it gives somebody in Peru three meals and so if we can at least provide some meals to the hungry people that are in Peru, then it’s a job well done.”


With the projected success of the likeability among students for this project, Lee sees himself continuing it on for years to come. Lee hopes to expand and do both a global issue-like hunger in Peru – and a community issue.


“This project could potentially change or save a child’s life and this is a really good cause,” Buyyanapragada said. “I’m really thankful Señor Lee applied for this project.”