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Woodcrafts sale returns to Millerton to benefit school projects in Kenya

The annual pop-up woodcrafts sale to raise funds for education projects in Kenya will be at the Irondale Schoolhouse again this year on Friday, Nov. 25, Saturday, Nov. 26 and Sunday, Nov. 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Items are crafted by John Roccanova and all proceeds go to the nonprofit Grow Against Poverty to fund education projects in Busia County, Kenya.

“The Board of the Irondale Schoolhouse has been very generous over the years to let us use this historic space for this event”, said Roccanova, a retired technology teacher at Webutuck school, known to many students and staff as “Mr. Rocc”.

Roccanova and his wife, Jean, also a retired teacher from Webutuck, have raised funds since 2004 for the Kenyan community, where in public schools classrooms have been built, a 12-station computer lab set up, meal programs implemented, organic gardens planted and a bicycle transportation program called “Pedal Power for Kenyan Education” started.

Community outreach includes the construction of a Grow Against Poverty-Kenya program building, installation of water tanks, women’s health and entrepreneurial workshops, COVID relief and assistance to families who are subsistence farmers.

Pedal Power for Kenyan Education has reached a milestone as 50 bicycles have recently been awarded to a high school bringing the total to 250 among five schools. Students who walk an average of 10 miles to get to school and back home borrow these bicycles.

At the Schoolhouse you’ll find many finely crafted items including salad bowls, platters, cutting boards, rolling pins, candleholders, earrings, pens and wooden toys. The items will also be available at Mr. Roccanova’s Ancramdale workshop. Contact him at: growagainstpoverty@gmail.com or (518) 329-2021.

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