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Elementary students raise money for Texas schools after hurricane PDF Print E-mail
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Written by JOE POIRIER   
Wednesday, 20 September 2017 19:34

   Students from Ozaukee Elementary School recently learned a valuable lesson in generosity by raising more than $1,000 to support schools in Texas that were affected by Hurricane Harvey.
    “With Hurricane Harvey happening right before the start of the school year, I met with my staff and said, ‘I don’t know what we can put together but I would love for our students to be able to reach out and help,’” Lynn Kucharski, first-year principal of the school, said. “Many of the students and teachers have family members and friends who live and teach in Texas. We felt like we needed to do something to help them.”
    The students raised $1,076.73 by organizing a coin drive in each classroom.
    “We didn’t make it a contest,” Kucharski said. “After the first week of class, students were sent home with a note explaining the cause. We were just asking the families for coins and change – every penny counts.”
    The coin drive ran last week. If the students reached the initial goal of $500, Kucharski said, she would treat the students to popsicles on Friday. By the end of Thursday, the school’s 340 students earned their Friday treat after they exceeded Kucharski’s expectations by $576.73.
    “Being new to the community I had no idea what to expect,” she said. “Well, after collections from Monday and Thursday, it still gives me goose bumps to say that we raised $1,076.63. I’m very proud of all the students.”
    According to Kucharski, the money is going to be matched by an online organization called DonorsChoose.org, which allows for individuals to donate directly to public school classroom projects.
    With the grand total of $2,153.26, Kucharski said, the money will support five classroom projects for Texas schools impacted by the hurricane. The projects include new school supplies, books, hands-on learning math materials, a new reading area and a projector screen with an adaptor.
    “There are not enough words to express my joy, gratitude and thanks for your generous donation toward my class project,” said a teacher from Texas in a letter to Ozaukee Elementary School. “My students and I are so very appreciative of your support towards our education and creative hands-on techniques for our learning.”
    The teacher also sent a picture of the school building that showed floodwater up to its roof.
    The kids are also making cards for students in Texas and Florida.
    “Unfortunately, after that Hurricane Irma hit. We didn’t have time to hold another coin drive, but we felt the students’ cards could be helpful for the children in Florida,” Kucharski said. “Coming from one elementary student to another is reaching out with words and actions.”
    A second grader from Ozaukee Elementary School wrote, “Dear friend, I hope your school is built up. I hope you’re feeling better, I feel sad, too. I hope you get your school supplies.”
    Kucharski said the school is going to erect a board in the main entrance of the school, that will show pictures and messages regarding the progress of the classroom projects to teach the students about what their generosity can accomplish.
    “I’m beyond impressed with the giving nature of our students and their families and teachers with their willingness to help people whom they’ve never met,” Kucharski said. “I’m really proud to be part of this community.”

 
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