By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
When news about the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey made its way to Cleveland, educators and students at E.L. Ross Elementary School decided to help.
They turned an annual school fundraiser into an effort which would instead support a Texas school affected by the hurricane. In the end, they raised approximately $2,700.
"We're a small school, so that is a pretty good amount," said Principal Lisa Earby. "They're very selfless students."
Each fall, E.L. Ross has a “chain link fundraiser.” People are asked to donate money to the school, and, for each dollar, a donor has his or her name written on a strip of paper. These strips are made into paper chains which are displayed throughout the school.
Fourth-grade teacher Sara Whitener, who organized the fundraiser this year, said school staff discussed the events in Texas and decided to raise money to help.
The $2,700 the local school raised will be donated to Kingwood High School in Kingwood, Texas, through the Humble ISD Education Foundation.
According to the foundation, this school suffered significant damage due to several feet of flooding. Students are now attending a different school, and officials are unsure of when they can return.
The educators and students of that school have needed to replace the educational tools they lost in the storm. This is in addition to the personal needs many of them have; many saw significant damage to their homes and personal belongings.
"We wanted to support this school in particular because it is in a smaller town," Whitener said. "Larger cities like Houston were hit as well, but they are more well-known."
With donations pouring in to help the Texas school, students at E.L. Ross have watched their paper chain grow longer and longer, snaking its way along the ceiling of a main hallway. Earby said this was "really neat to see."
Among the fundraiser's generous donors were the girls of Junior Girl Scout Troop 40949, half of whom attend E.L. Ross. The girls voted to donate $561, part of the money they raised during their annual cookie sale.
"The kids who go to that school don't have what they need," said Deidre McKelvey, an E.L. Ross student and Girl Scout. "We had this and thought it could help."
Earby and Whitener said they were proud of all the students who gave to this effort. Students brought in handfuls of change and hard-earned allowance money to help schools of students they do not know.
Others, like student Ephraim Kyle, also helped by tackling the time-consuming work of creating the paper chains themselves. Though this was a daunting task, Kyle pointed out students in Texas "are having to work harder" to deal with their losses while trying to keep up with school.
Brooke Jones, an E.L. Ross student and Girl Scout, said some students were really motivated to give, because they had tried to imagine what it would be like to be on the receiving end of the donation.
"I thought, what if this had happened to us? We'd have to start over and replace everything, too," said Jones.
Anyone interested in learning more about efforts to help Kingwood High School and the 42 other schools in Texas' Humble Independent School District can visit http://www.humbleisdfoundation.org.
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