Students Lend Hand To Hurricane Victims

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

September 14, 2005

Life's lessons are learned just by doing everyday things. In the classrooms where academic lessons are taught, students are learning to help others as kids of all ages in the area are helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Students at Venable Elementary School sang the national anthem on the day it was written by Francis Scott Key. Key was inspired to write the Star Spangled Banner after seeing 'Old Glory' standing strong after the bombing at Fort McHenry. Like Key, Americans, including kids, are standing strong to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

"We've got a jar in our classroom that we put money in...and then we'll donate it to the American Red Cross," said Ryan Cox, a 4th Grader at Venable Elementary School.

Venable students aren't the only kids helping. Several throughout the city schools are pitching in to those along the Gulf Coast.

"It was extremely moving. I think it's really fun to see them getting an idea of what we do when we are patriotic," said Laura Flickinger, and Kindergarten Teacher at Venable Elementary School.

The Charlottesville High School Athletic Department donated $1,000 to the American Red Cross. Students at Burnley-Moran and Walker Upper Elementary Schools are forming individual fundraisers.

Students at Greenbrier Elementary have a special touch for their fundraiser. Principal Faye Giglio hails from New Orleans, and she's teaching them the language of the 'Big Easy.'

"The name of our project is called 'Lagniappe: For Kids, From Kids.' 'Lagniappe' is a New Orleans and South Louisiana word which means something a little bit extra, or an unexpected gift," said Faye Giglio, Principal of Greenbrier Elementary School.

According to some, the gifts of basic necessities combined with school supplies and love are just what the victims need.

"I hope we can restore the city, and I hope things can get back to normal. I hope not too many people have died," said Carman Drake, a 4th Grader at Greenbrier Elementary School.

Ms. Giglio urges anyone who wants to donate money to hurricane victims to do so through the schools because it teaches students to show compassion for others. Most schools are donating their money raised to the American Red Cross.

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