Students raise money so classmates can have special glasses to watch the eclipse

Posted at 5:35 AM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 09:57:06-04

Students at O'Conner Elementary in Mesa are about to get a little surprise.

The Messick family has been busy planning this for months.

"This gives us fulfillment that when you work hard and we've got a good purpose we can see the rewards of it as well," said Robert Messick.

The entire school -- all 600 or more students -- are getting the glasses that meet safety standards to view the solar eclipse on Monday. They're so dark, a cell phone light is barely visible.

RELATED: Where to find safe, affordable eclipse glasses

The Messicks knew the eclipse would be so popular and such a good learning experience they wanted to make sure every class could participate.

So, 7-year-old William and 10-year-old Kimberlie started fundraising. The brother and sister went door to door and even asked businesses to donate.

"They will be able to experience something new that doesn't happen a lot in America," said Kimberlie.

The two elementary students raised about $500.

"It's the difference between textbook learning and real-life practical learning," said Scott Eshman, the school's principal. 

RELATED: 12 places offering resources to watch, learn about the eclipse in the Valley

If it weren't for the Messick's donation, things would look different.

"We probably would have missed the event," said Eshman. "We would have talked about it. We probably would have shared different videos and animations for the kids to explain the event to them but the kids would not have gone - to be able to go outside to actually view and witness the event first hand."

It's key to view the eclipse through glasses that meet the requirement for ISO 12312-2.