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In 2005, I was inspired by my third grade teacher, Mrs. McHugh, who told the class they could build a one-room schoolhouse in Africa for very little money. With the help of family and friends, I raised $2,000. In 2006, with the help of family and friends, I found the perfect location for a two-room schoolhouse (converted from an old cow shed) in Kakamega, Kenya. To raise additional funds for this project, I wrote my first book, My Adventures With Stitch, about my pet rats. Donations from books financed the construction of this first school, which was completed in 2007. That year, I went on to write my second book, Stitch and Molly Tour San Francisco.

The profits from these books went toward building the second school in Bungoma, Kenya. I realized last year, however, that we still weren’t earning money fast enough to finish this second school. So during summer 2008, I wrote my third book, Stitch and Friends Go Green. This book was published November 2008 and I hope that it will raise enough funds to finish the second school by the end of 2009.

This summer, if I can find someone to sponsor my airfare, I hope to travel to Kenya to visit the schools our foundation has helped build. After meeting the kids and teachers at the school in Bungoma, I plan on writing a fourth book about the school and students there to raise awareness of the need for education in East Africa.

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Today’s Brilliance from Stefan Lyon

I started raising money to help those in great need after September 11. I sold cookies, but realized that I wasn't making as big a difference as I wanted to, so I decided to start a project to help orphans in Africa. I wrote a book about my pet rats to raise money for a school for kids in Kenya, but the donations from one book weren't enough, so over the past two years I've written two more books. Starting this foundation has taught me many lessons. I've learned how to spend my time helping other people. I have learned…

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