Under the guidance of Amanda Dougherty, fifth-grade teacher at Central Elementary, over 394 pounds of supplies were gathered and shipped to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Through an “Adopt a Classroom” program she discovered on Facebook, Dougherty was paired with fifth-grade classes at two elementary schools devastated by the tropical storm. “Most of the students lost literally all of their school supplies,” she said. According to Dougherty, the students at Little Cypress Intermediate School (Orange, Texas) and Dunbar Middle School (Dickinson, Texas) were not only in need of school supplies in general, but they also needed basic hygiene items like hand sanitizer and toothbrushes.

While students had a general idea of the impact Hurricane Harvey had on schools in Texas, they were able to see the damage through videos their teachers showed in class. “It’s fifth-graders helping fifth-graders,” said Dougherty. “I think it became more relatable for our students after seeing how other kids their age were impacted.”

As supplies rolled in, Dougherty and the team of fifth-grade teachers began to wonder how they would cover the shipping costs that would be required for delivery. Through the help of local businesses and money raised by North Polk staff members, 27 boxes of supplies were successfully delivered to the two schools in Texas. Jeff Oleson from FinishBinders coordinated and arranged for boxes to be shipped. Thank you to Mr. Oleson and the following businesses who made shipment possible through their financial contributions — ETHOS Design Group, Polk City Chiropractor (Chris Tigges) and Extraordinary Floral & Events.

Through these types of service projects, our students are able to see the positive impact they can have by caring for and helping others. Thank you to the many people who donated supplies and money in order to make this project possible. This is another example of what makes our school and community so special.