Donations Impact Sister School

Family, District 28 Recognized for Impact on Children
Posted on 11/05/2019
Spurgeon's Academy classroom
Spurgeon's Academy

Click on the photo above to see a photo story of the Fridman's trip.

Family, District 28 Recognized for Assistance to School in Kenya

Last summer when the Fridman family of Northbrook was preparing to travel to Kenya, they wanted to bring as few personal items as possible: They already had four suitcases full of school supplies, sports equipment, clothing and computers that were donated by District 28 families.

After fund-raising for two years on behalf of the Fred Outa Foundation and the orphan children of the Kibera slum, the Fridmans packed their bags to visit District 28’s sister school, Spurgeon’s Academy,  and Fred Outa, a senator in the Kenyan parliament who founded the school.

Northbrook District 28 PTO Council has sponsored Spurgeon’s Academy for more than 10 years through the Fred Outa Foundation. Mr. Outa has visited District 28 several times to share stories and photos of the school that the district helps through an annual fund-raiser.

Joli Fridman, the president of the Fred Outa Foundation, traveled to Kenya with her husband, Ruben, and daughter Maya.  They shared letters written by District 28 students along with the donated supplies. This month, District 28 students will write a new batch of letters that Mrs. Fridman will share with the Spurgeon’s students in hopes of building a bond between the students.

“When we shared letters from students, they were so interested,” Mrs. Fridman said.

While in Kenya, the Fridmans also visited a community center built with fund-raising dollars that serves as a preschool and child care center for working adults. A deep well at the community center provides clean water for all who live near it.

While visiting with Mr. Outa in parliament, the Fridmans were surprised to be the subject of a televised ceremony honoring them and Northbrook School District 28 for the impact they have made in the lives of vulnerable students in Kenya.

 “This trip has made me more committed than ever to help these students in any way I can,” Joli said.

The sister school partnership was established when Sue Vaickauski, a retired staff member from Westmoor School who met Mr. Outa 12 years ago during a trip to Kenya. She came home and started the Concert for Africa, which raised $100,000 over ten years as part of the District 28 PTO Council. The Fridmans and the Svoboda family have taken the reins of the sister school effort the past two years and have organized the Family Fun Day.

Letter Writing Campaign
This November, District 28 students are invited to participate in a letter exchange. Students can share their favorite subjects, activities, what winter is like, something about their siblings and/or some family traditions. Mrs. Fridman will oversee emailing the letters back to Spurgeon's Academy. She hopes the Spurgeon's students will responsed through the computer lab the Fridmans helped set up during their visit.

Email family contributions to Terry Ryan, Communications Director at or drop off paper copies at the school office. Please submit letters by Nov. 30.

The next annual District 28 fundraiser, Family Fun Day, will occur on Monday, January 20th at Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park in Buffalo Grove. For more information, go to or