When Learning and Caring Meet – FHSD Students Raise Over $6,000 for Hurricane Victims

Posted on 09/12/2017
Ms. Morrow's Fifth Grade Class at Becky-David Posing Proudly with Their Donation

Many things divide us these days, but nothing unites Americans more than the chance to help our neighbors. With Hurricanes Harvey and Irma devastating parts of the southern United States, Francis Howell School District students and staff – specifically, Becky-David Elementary, Central Elementary, and Francis Howell High School – have been stepping up to make a difference in the lives of others, raising thousands of dollars for disaster relief efforts.

This is just another example of FHSD students making a difference, which is part of their daily education. “One of the character traits we want to build in children is caring,” Becky-David Elementary Principal Sherri Brown said. “(Our charity effort) gave them an opportunity to earn some money to give to others in need.” FHSD educators also used the increased interest in weather phenomena as a teachable moment. “It also gave our teachers an opportunity to teach about current events and how weather can impact communities,” Brown said.

At Becky-David, a rudimentary plan resulted in an extraordinary yield of more than $5,000, and that really says something about the generosity of students and staff. “We originally planned to have two fundraising days to help the people affected by Hurricane Harvey – a Hat Day and a Pajama Day. We collected over $2,500 on the Hat Day.” Then came the news about Hurricane Irma. “So we decided to dedicate the funds from Pajama Day to that disaster,” Brown said. “The staff donated money to wear jeans to work for a two-week period. They raised $558! Our grand total was $5,040!”

For a bunch of kids and a few staff members, $5,000 in donations for people they’ve never met is a truly remarkable return. “I have always been proud of our Becky-David community, but this was a bit overwhelming! To raise this much money reminded us all of the amazing community in which we learn, work, and live.”

And that’s just it – disasters such as these offer a learning opportunity. Tragedies allow us to put life in perspective, to understand that we may have our own struggles, but that others may be dealing with much greater issues. Disasters also give us a chance to help others, even people who live thousands of miles away. Help is always needed, no matter how small, or in Becky-David Elementary’s case, how big.

Central Elementary also helped out in a big way. With a Spirit Shirt Day and Silly Socks fundraiser, students and staff raised over $800. Francis Howell High School’s soccer program raised over $450, and its Catholics in Action club is currently collecting money; the two programs will make a collective donation to the Red Cross once they are finished.

“From events such as this,” Brown said, “we are reminded that the power of many small acts of kindness come together to make a much larger impact on our world!”

And that’s where learning and caring meet. 

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