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Local Students Help People in Haiti

Many organizations are stepping up to help the people of Haiti in the aftermath of the powerful earthquake that devastated the country. Among those working to raise money for relief efforts are some of the youngest members of our community. KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more…

sound of money into jar

That’s the sound of coins being dropped into a donation jar at Sequiota Elementary in Southeast Springfield. The K-5 school is one of several schools in Springfield that are working to raise money to help the people of Haiti.5th grade teacher Jeannie Ratcliff says 5th graders took on the project after the school’s principal and some teachers started talking about how they could help.They set up coin jars near the office and at the end of each day, they help count the money. Nearly $500 has been raised so far, and the collection goes thru tomorrow if snow doesn’t cancel classes.She says there’s a lesson to be learned by doing this project…

"I think it teaches them to look beyond their own community. A lot of them get caught up on just the Sequiota community or just Springfield, but this shows them that there are people in need, people that are hurting outside of even our country, so it helps them to think more globally, and I think it's really helped the kids to be thankful for what they have."

Courtney Collins is a 5th grader at Sequiota…

"I feel it's a great cause, and, like, the money's gonna go towards a lot of great things."

"How did it feel when you dropped the coin in?"

"I feel I did the right thing. It makes me feel good."

Bailey Ratcliff is also in 5th grade at Sequiota…

"I feel good because it will help them have a place to live and not just live on damaged roads."

Even the youngest students at Sequiota are helping out. Lexie Fisher is in kindergarten…

"How do you feel about getting to help out the people over in Haiti?"


"What do you hope the money gets used for?"

"Food and water."

Her brother Bailey Fisher has a good perspective on why they should help out the people in Haiti…

"We have houses and food and shelter, and the other places don't, and we can help them because we have shelter."

Sequiota principal Kristi Johnson says the money collected at Sequiota will go to the Red Cross for relief efforts in Haiti…

"We hope that the people there will get whatever they need with the money that we donate."

Tentative plans are to present a check to a Red Cross representative in front of the whole school at an assembly.At Holland Elementary, principal Nicole Kimbrough says a 2nd grader and his family came up with the idea for a “Quarters for the Quake” coin drive…

"We're just collecting loose change in each one of our classrooms and totalling it up at the end of every day and sending it along with a donation made from one of our Community Partners, Messiah Lutheran Church, and we're gonna send it all over there to Haiti."

The Lutheran organization Thrivent will match 50 cents for each dollar Holland raises.Kimbrough is excited about the learning opportunities that the coin drive provides...

"We're always trying to create global learners, and this is just another way that students can see that, you know, even though what I'm giving is so small, it's a bigger picture that we're raising it for, so, not only are we getting a chance to learn about people in another place and how they live, but we're also learning about giving."

So far Holland students have raised around $300.Other Springfield schools are raising money for Haiti, too. To see a complete list, go to our website and click on “news.”I’m Michele Skalicky, for KSMU News.

Other school projects:Weaver Elementary sponsored “Hearts for Haiti.” Students and staff purchased paper hearts for a quarter each with the goal of having a chain of hearts that went all the way around the building. The money raised will go to Convoy of Hope.Harrison Elementary students assembled hygiene kits to send to Convoy of Hope and included notes of encouragement. They’re also collection coins.Boyd Elementary Students are holding a Girls vs. Boys fund drive for Convoy of Hope’s relief efforts in Haiti.Watkins Elementary is collecting money for Convoy of Hope.McBride is collection donations of hygiene items and loose change for Convoy of Hope.Mark Twain students are accepting $1 donations to send “Valentine Grams” to other students. The money will go to Convoy of Hope.Fremont Elementary is conducting a coin drive and collecting items for hygiene kits.Sherwood Elementary, Hickory Hills and Jeffries Elementary held a “Hats for Haiti” fundraiser. Students and staff could wear hats to school one day last week if they donated money.Glendale High School student council and boys and girls service society are organizing a drive to collect items for hygiene kits.Mann Elementary is collecting money and donations of items for hygiene kits.Pipkin Middle School student council is collecting money during lunch for Convoy of Hope to purchase water filtration systems for clean water in Haiti. They also held a “Hats for Haiti” fundraiser.Cherokee Middle School collected money to support relief efforts in Haiti.

Pittman Elementary students are collecting money and hygiene products for Convoy of Hope for relief efforts in Haiti.