Thu, Aug. 22

School children helping Katrina victims
All C-OC schools collecting money, supplies

They may be kids, but they have big hearts that go out to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Children and teachers in each of the schools in Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District are collecting money and supplies to help victims in the Gulf Coast disaster area.

District Superintendent Julie Larson said children in the district are aware of and talking about the hurricane disaster. Every school in the district is doing something different to collect money or supplies to help with the relief effort.

Even the youngest children in the district, the kindergarten through second graders, at Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School have raised $934 as of Tuesday morning.

"I think it will go up," said Kathy Epperson, principal. "We had Dollar Day last Friday."

Epperson said student council members from Cottonwood Middle School will come to DDB to read to each class that averaged $1 per student.

Michelle Stadelman, principal of CMS, said she includes some news about Katrina each morning during her announcements.

"I let them know we are helping," she said.

Stadelman said a coin jar has been placed in each classroom for the American Red Cross.

The middle school is also helping in another way. Stadelman said that as of Tuesday, two girls had enrolled from the disaster area. A third student may enroll by next week.

Denise Kennedy, principal at Cottonwood Elementary School, said her school has a fish tank in the office for a Dimes for Disaster drive. "We're going to fill that tank to the brim," she said. The money will be given to the American Red Cross.

Kennedy said the school is not giving awards for participation in the fund-raising effort. "They should just feel good about doing something for someone," she said.

In addition to the fish tank, CES is collecting money from some of the classrooms while others will collect specific items to put together family packs of supplies and clothes. One class is collecting baby items, such as diapers and formula. Another classroom is collecting school supplies.

Erika Williamson, secretary at Tavasci Elementary School, said the school held a Dollar Drive on Friday and raised almost $500. "We're expecting more today," she said.

"The kids are all fired up," Williamson said. "The kids are putting in nickels or whatever they have."

Money raised at Tavasci will be donated to the American Red Cross.

Oak Creek School is looking for a school to adopt, according to teacher Beth Rossiter. She said the school nurse is going through a school-nurses network to locate one or more schools, probably in Texas or Louisiana, where victims of Katrina will be relocated.

"We'll work with their school nurse," Rossiter said. She said basic supplies are what will be most useful for the adopted school. Items such as backpacks, pencils, paper and even money for medication will all be needed.

To that end, the school is busy collecting supplies or money. Rossiter said some parents in the Brookfield subdivision of Verde Santa Fe have offered to pay the shipping costs for the supplies.

Persons interested in helping the schools raise money or collect supplies may contact the school of their choice directly: Cottonwood Elementary, 634-2191; Cottonwood Middle School, 634-2231; Dr. Daniel Bright, 634-7039; Tavasci Elementary, 649-8144; and Oak Creek School, 639-5109.

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