published Monday, September 12th, 2011

Bradley Central students help ‘Invisible Children’ in Uganda

From left, Ugandan teacher Ben Kasule, Ocoee Middle School teacher Chris Cretton, Bradley Central High teacher Bonnie Cretton and Ugandan teacher Florence Acan Lango have been active in the Invisible Children effort in Cleveland, Tenn., to build a student dormitory in northern Uganda.
Contributed photo by Bonnie Cretton
From left, Ugandan teacher Ben Kasule, Ocoee Middle School teacher Chris Cretton, Bradley Central High teacher Bonnie Cretton and Ugandan teacher Florence Acan Lango have been active in the Invisible Children effort in Cleveland, Tenn., to build a student dormitory in northern Uganda. Contributed photo by Bonnie Cretton
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CLEVELAND, Tenn. — There is a new dormitory at a school in northern Uganda this year, and Bradley Central High School students played a big role in making it happen.

Last school year, Bradley Central students started a fundraising effort for Invisible Children, a worldwide organization that seeks to end child abductions and forced military service in Uganda.

Bradley Central’s Invisible Children club was one of the organization’s top fundraisers in the United States and Canada. The $15,404 raised by Bradley Central students paid for a girls’ dormitory at Lacor Secondary School in northern Uganda.

During the summer, a delegation of Bradley Central students were sponsored to attend an Invisible Children conference in San Diego. Students Jessilyn Adams, Lindsey Armstrong, Laura Kate Evans, Matt Cook, Devin McCulley and Katrina Hughes went.

“At the conference, the students were challenged to rise up and stand for social justice in their own communities and around the world,” said Heather Bischof of Bradley Central’s marketing department.

A teaching couple from Bradley County also went to northern Uganda. Ocoee Middle School teacher Chris Cretton and Bradley Central High School teacher Bonnie Cretton took part in a teacher exchange.

In January, Bradley Central will host a Ugandan teacher.

Teacher Exchange is an Invisible Children program, Bonnie Cretton said.

The Crettons mostly were struck by the similarities among people, including students, in Uganda and here.

“I mean, sure, their cultures are outwardly dissimilar, but overall the students were very much the same,” Bonnie Cretton said in an email. “People’s personalities, emotions, thoughts and faith across cultures are much more similar in the world than they are different.”

Bradley High students will raise money again this year, she said. Their goal this time is $32,000 to build a rehabilitation center for rescued child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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