Schools add to hurricane relief

City students raise $45,000

area districts collect funds, classroom items, teddy bears

Baltimore & Region


Students and staff in Baltimore schools have raised $45,000 for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, the city school system announced yesterday.

Fifteen first-graders from Dallas F. Nicholas Sr. Elementary School, which raised $800, joined school system CEO Bonnie S. Copeland as she presented a check to the Baltimore Community Foundation's hurricane relief fund.

Unprompted, the children began asking Copeland questions about Katrina ("How did the hurricane come?") and telling her things they had learned about the storm: that some people died and others were left without clothes.

"It was terrible, wasn't it?" Copeland said.

The total includes 180 buckets of change collected by students at schools across the city. In addition to the $45,000 earmarked for the Baltimore Community Foundation, students collected supplies and held independent fundraisers. At Western High School, for example, students chipped in to help new classmates who moved from the Gulf Coast.

The city school system is one of many that has raised thousands of dollars for hurricane relief. Schools around the region have reported children donating their birthday gifts and emptying their piggy banks.

Howard County schools had raised $103,000 by mid-September, according to the school system. One school alone, Worthington Elementary, raised $11,134 - half of which was matched by the Columbia Bank.

In Baltimore County, Gunpowder Elementary collected $9,000, which was matched by General Electric Corp., plus several teddy bears and blankets, according to the school system. At Victory Villa Elementary, first-graders had a competition in which the teacher of the class that raised the least had to kiss a frog.

At Liberty High School in Carroll County, students and staff said they collected $10,000 worth of items, such as backpacks filled with school supplies and teacher supply kits.

Student council associations from 20 of Maryland's 24 school systems gathered 1,000 packages of supplies for children and teachers, according to the State Department of Education.

Sun reporters Hanah Cho and Gina Davis contributed to this article.

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