Van Buren Schools help with hurricane relief efforts

Friday, September 8, 2017 1:14 pm
Van Buren Schools help with hurricane relief efforts

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Students and staff in the Van Buren School District are doing their part to help their Texas neighbors following the devastating Hurricane Harvey. Several schools have collected supplies to benefit victims of the recent storm.

Central, City Heights, Rena, and Tate Elementary Schools, along with Butterfield and Northridge Middle Schools, have been accepting donations of non-perishable food items, bottled water, and other supplies. Students, staff, parents, and donors from the community have been encouraged to participate in the various drives and to help send as many supplies as possible to those in need.

At Tate, fifth grade students initiated the collection of items including non-perishable food, diapers, bottled water, etc. for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The school partnered with Van Buren First Assembly (VBFA) Church, which transported the items to Texas over Labor Day weekend.

Butterfield Trail Middle School also collected and sent supplies through VBFA last week. Nurse Janie Nichols organized the drive among staff members. Students are now following in their leaders’ footsteps, with the BTMS Cheer, Dance, and Student Council teaming up to adopt classrooms affected by the hurricane.

“While waiting to be matched with a classroom, we connected with a teacher, Ms. Woodeshick from Humble Middle School, a low socio-economic school in Humble, Texas, a town devastated by Hurricane Harvey,” explained BTMS Principal, Dr. Karen Endel. “Ms. Woodeshick teaches 6th Grade English / Language Arts, and has communicated that the parents of students have expressed that they are in need of various school supplies, including composition notebooks, glue sticks, pencils, markers, binders, backpacks, and colored pencils.” Other needs for the Texas classroom include, small white boards with expo markers, clip boards, and pillows, which will be used as flexible seating.

“We may soon be matched with another classroom, and have a need to reach out to other classrooms affected,” noted Endel. Students donating supplies can bring them to their STAR advisory classroom.

Collection efforts are also ongoing at Rena. Individuals are encouraged to bring bottled water, baby wipes, trash bags, and paper goods (ex. toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, etc.). The school is also asking for items such as books (activity, coloring, or reading), crayons, markers, sharpened pencils, fruit snacks, card games, and small stuffed animals. These will be used in assembling goodie bags for children in Texas.

“At Rena, we talk about being ‘Bucket Fillers’ by doing kind things for others and showing good character,” noted Principal Joyce Sanders. “This is a way to show kindness and empathy to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.”

Donations continue to be collected at Northridge Middle School, as well. “After reading about the devastation in Houston, many of our students felt like they wanted to help in some way,” explained teacher Vivian Owen. “We decided to partner with First Baptist Church and collect the needed items.” FBC-Van Buren will deliver supplies to Shoreline City Church in Dallas, which is caring for those fleeing from Houston to find shelter and safety. Supplies needed include: new socks and underwear (men, women, children); pillows/pillow cases; blankets; flip-flops; towels/wash cloths; toiletries/hygiene products; baby formula; diapers/wipes baby bottles; and Graco Pack ‘n Plays. Items can be dropped off in the Northridge office through September 14.

For more information, contact one of the participating schools or call the District at (479) 474-7942.

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