Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District News Article

Roxboro Celebrates International Education Week With Purpose

Nov. 18, 2021 -- For ten years, Roxboro Elementary and Middle students and staff have been raising funds for their sister school, the Dougbe River School, in Liberia. The Liberian school has grown dramatically in that time and is now educating over 230 children from multiple villages in grades pre-K through 9.

This year is no different. Rox El’s Student Council has planned a series of spirit days in celebration of International Education Week and have requested small fees from students who are participating each day. “The suggested donation is 50 cents,” said Karen Willmitch, an intervention specialist who serves as Student Council advisor. “Of course, some kids dress up without paying which is totally fine and some families give much larger amounts. We want this to be available to everyone.” 

The Spirit Days were carefully selected by the 16 members of the Student Council. On Monday of this week, students were invited to bring in something from home that represented their (or another) culture or nationality. Everything from books and flags to traditional clothing, art and instruments made their way into the Rox El building.

The rest of the week consists of more typical elementary choices, from dressing as twins and in their favorite sports jerseys to Disney Day and, of course, Pajama Day on Friday. “I really wanted them to take ownership,” said Ms. Willmitch of the students who were responsible for making and hanging posters to advertise the week and collecting donations in the mornings. 

Roxboro Middle School will also help out with its annual Teacher versus Student Volleyball Game, prior to Thanksgiving break.

The leaders at the Dougbe River School are thankful for the support it receives from the Cleveland Heights community, including that from several neighborhood churches. Giving has decreased over the past year while costs have gone up due to pandemic precautions. If you are willing and able to make a donation you can send checks to Dougbe River School, PO Box 18017 Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 or visit, where you’ll see artwork done by Ruby Kauffman, a Heights grad who designed the school’s logo when she was a Roxboro Elementary 4th grader. 

International Education Week 2021  

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