03/16/14 — Student's efforts to continue; this time to build new school

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Student's efforts to continue; this time to build new school

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on March 16, 2014 1:50 AM

Last June Katie Johnson held the first 5K for the people of the village of Kiruani in Tanzania with the goal of raising enough money to dig a well in the village.

The first run was held in downtown Goldsboro with almost 50 participants and raised more than $10,000. That amount, combined with donations from another church in South Carolina, built the well.

"It was very successful," Ms. Johnson said. "My dad went back July 13 and saw the well drilled."

This year's run, set to be held March 29, is called the "Run to Learn" and is aimed at expanding the school in Kiruani to be able to teach more children.

What started as Ms. Johnson's senior project for Charles B. Aycock High School has continued with Project KATIE (Keeping All Tots in Education).

Project KATIE is a sub-ministry of her father, pastor Doug Johnson's, ministry, Blessed2BlessU Ministries.

Blessed2BlessU offers scholarships to students in Kiruani to attend school for $30 a month.

"They only have one school there, and it costs $30 a month to send children there," Ms. Johnson said. "We are trying to build a school so that they don't have to stop teaching children or turn them away.

Her goal for this race is to raise the $20,000 needed to build the first stage in the five-part process of building a school.

"The goal is to raise $20,000 a year for the five years to get the school built," Ms. Johnson said. "I will be going back in May, and hopefully I'll get to see the school built."

Ms. Johnson has been coordinating the 5K from Raleigh where she is a freshman at North Carolina State University.

"It's a little stressful, especially now that I'm not in Goldsboro," she said. I believe it's in God's hands, and I am just trying to do his will."

Ms. Johnson decided to continue the project even after graduating from high school because "once you see the look in the children's eyes, you want to help. They had been drinking this muddy water from a river and now they don't have to."

Registration for the race is $30 up until race day.

Runners, walkers and cyclists are all welcome.

Participants get a T-shirt, snacks, drinks and an entry into a raffle for a beach trip.

Donations will be accepted at the race, and they can also be sent to the ministry by mail at P.O. Box 2016, Fremont, N.C. 27830.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 29, in the St. Paul United Methodist Church parking lot with door prizes. The race will begin at 9 a.m.

Businesses can also sponsor the race on different levels, Ms. Johnson said.

Bronze level sponsorship is $50 and gets the business name on display board at Run to Learn.

Silver level is $100 and also comes with the business logo on an individual display board at Run to Learn

Gold sponsors of $200 receive all of the above as well as their logo on the race T-shirt and also receive a race T-shirt.

To register, contact Katie Johnson at 919-920-0467 or Doug Johnson at 919-920-0932.