A School Helping Schools
Students in North Carolina give back to schools devastated by Sandy
Donations of food gathered by members of the Wiley International Magnet Elementary School are stacked and ready to be shipped to charities. (Photo courtesy Alexandra Pritchard)
You've probably heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They're two big shopping days after Thanksgiving. Well, there's also a campaign after Thanksgiving called Giving Tuesday. Students and teachers at Wiley International Magnet Elementary School community in Raleigh, North Carolina, decided to participate in Giving Tuesday by helping people affected by Superstorm Sandy.
Far from the areas hit so hard by Sandy is the close-knit Wiley community. Even though the school wasn't affected by the storm, the students wanted to help the victims of Sandy. So they reached out to other schools in need.
A Wiley parent suggested checking out DonorsChoose to find teachers to help. DonorsChoose is a website where teachers who need grants or supplies post their projects. The Wiley community decided to look for teachers who needed arts and literacy materials because they believed that people might not think funding these was as urgent as more basic needs.
"We wanted to make sure we helped the arts and literacy," said Katie McMahon, the principal at Wiley. "We felt like kids who have been through a tragic event need a way to relax, and art and books are a good way to do it."
Wiley targeted the classrooms of Ms. Norena, Ms. Dyer, and Ms. Vizuete, teachers at PS 140 Nathan Straus and PS 43 Franklin D. Roosevelt in New York State. These teachers needed non-fiction and fiction books for their classes.
Wiley staff, parents, students, and members of the larger community around the school put the word out. There was a large response, and soon all three of these projects were fully funded. Ms. Vizuete's class received $521 in donations; Ms. Dyer's class, $508; and Ms. Norena's class, $408. Wiley was also able to get their donations doubled through a Groupon offer.
Two weeks before Christmas, Principal McMahon's office was filled with also bags of food and presents for many students whose families couldn't afford to put presents under the tree and food on the table – all gathered by the Wiley community.
"Being an international magnet [school], we learn a lot about taking care of self and others," McMahon explained. "And we have a rich tradition of that here at Wiley,"
You can find share your Hurricane Sandy experiences and find more coverage of the storm and its aftermath on the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Blog.
HURRICANE SANDY RECOVERY SPECIAL REPORT
Find out how kids across the country are helping the Hurricane Sandy relief effort — and catch up with the Kid Reporters' on-the-ground reporting during the storm — in the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Special Report.
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