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IMS students helping Ethiopian children

It could be the start of something large and long-lasting.

Ironton Middle School students are collecting books and classroom supplies to send to school children in Ethiopia.

The effort started earlier this school year after IMS Principal Kim Imes returned from that country's capital, Addis Ababa, and shared her experiences as a guest of the international group People To People. That organization seeks to improve cultural and educational ties between Ethiopia and other nations. One of the impediments to education for Ethiopian children is lack of basic educational resources.

Ironton students have donated books, paper, pencils and other supplies.

"I'm proud of the kids, proud of their thoughtfulness," Imes said.

Imes said she hopes other schools as well as local businesses and churches will join in the effort. Already, the Ironton City School System is donating books. The Kentucky-based organization International Book Project is helping pay shipping costs. She will speak to children in the Fairland School District

Wednesday about her trip and the effort to help Ethiopian children.

"This is about children helping children," Imes said. "The power comes from children saying 'I want to help.' When children get involved in helping other children, something magical happens."