W.O. Parmer students making a change

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 1, 2005

The students at W.O. Parmer Elementary School are learning that even they can make a change in the lives of those who have lost everything.

For the last two weeks, students have been bringing in their loose change for the teachers to collect. This money has been pooled together, and the total amount has been given to the Department of Human Resources and the Red Cross for the victims of both Hurricane Katrina and Rita.

"My son Kaleb began asking questions about Hurricane Katrina and about the people who had been affected by it," Melissa Rinehart said. "He wanted to know if there was any way he could send some money to help the hurricane victims and evacuees. So we asked if we could get the whole school involved."

Rinehart said that it was important to help the children to understand what was happening to the hurricane victims, and that, most importantly, they wanted to show the children that even their pennies, when combined, would help people in need.

Carole Teague, principal of W.O. Parmer Elementary School, gave out letters to the entire student body to inform everyone of the school's "Change Drive." Each day, the teachers took up the students' change.

"This change drive shows what the children have learned about being a good citizen and being conscientious of others' needs," Teague said. "We really appreciate the support of our parents in this endeavor, and, of course, the generosity and thoughtfulness of our students."

According to Rinehart, the Butler County Bank sorted, counted and wrapped the change for the students, then made out the cashier's check for them.

On Friday, Sept. 30, the students of W.O. Parmer Elementary School presented the cashier's check for $434.65 to DHR and the Red Cross.

"It's important for children to learn to be charitable just for the sake of kindness and of giving," Melissa Rinehart said. "There weren't any prizes given for doing this. It was a great chance for them to learn to share their blessings with others."