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The Examiner U-46 News Feed

Some U-46 schools react to Hurricane Harvey


By Seth Hancock
  As residents in southern Texas rebuild after the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, citizens across the country including here are pitching in to help the Lone Star State.
  According to a press release from School District U-46, at least seven schools are holding events to raise funds for organizations like the American Red Cross.
  The Category 4 hurricane hit Texas late last month, and a rain gauge near Cedar Bayou measured the rainfall at 51.88 inches which is the highest recorded in the nation’s history. According to several media reports on the ground, one-third of the city of Houston was underwater.
  Two of those U-46 schools holding events are Streamwood High School and Bartlett’s Hawk Hollow Elementary School.
  Streamwood held a Miracle Minute on Friday, Sept. 8. Principal Michele Chapman said teachers Nicole Fernstrom and Jaimee Shearn organized the fundraising event.
  “It is a way the whole school can come together at a given moment and really focus on what we are trying to do and the lives of the people we are trying to help,” said Fernstrom who added the Miracle Minute idea has been done before to raise funds for disaster relief. “The idea is that if every person in the school can come together for this one minute, we can make a significant contribution, and really try to make a difference for those in need.”
  A morning announcement was made at Streamwood and for one minute students donated money that will go to Houston’s public schools.
  “We really like the idea of schools helping schools,” Fernstrom said.
  According to the Houston Independent School District, the seventh largest in the country, out of its 275 schools 75 were forced to close due to flood damage.
  Shearn said her AP world history class adopted a “class down in the Houston area to start off with” to encourage those affected by the storm. Fernstrom said several clubs in the school, including the student council and National Honors Society which she sponsors, were discussing how to help.
  “The kids made cards of support for the students there and they were hoping for more of a way to give to those affected, so I reached out to Nicole and we combined forces,” Shearn said. “I think it’s great for our students to have opportunities to not just hear or talk about events, but also take a genuine part in making a difference--in this case to help their own peers down in Houston.”
  “As principal, I am inspired by the generosity of our students and staff and enthusiastically support their efforts,” Chapman said. “Schools helping schools is important and Houston Public Schools need our help.”
  Hawk Hollow for Houston allows students at the elementary school to purchase paper for a dollar to write a note to a fellow classmate, and the funds will go towards the American Red Cross at the Houston Convention Center where many displaced families have been sheltered since the storm hit. The fundraising effort will begin on Monday, Sept. 18 and will run through Oct. 6.
  Principal Noelle Dupuis said teachers Mary Dyer and Val Janicki are the Hawk Hollow student council’s teacher leaders, and “they came up with the idea and are in the process of working with our student council representatives to raise funds for those in need in Houston.”
  “As the principal, I am thrilled to see our students supporting others in need,” Dupuis said. “It teaches our students compassion and encourages them to reach out to others who may be struggling due to tragic events like Hurricane Harvey.”
  Bartlett Elementary School as well as two elementary and two high schools in Elgin are also holding fundraising efforts.

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