(Photo by Donna Brown)
When Jackson Middle School assistant principal Christa Turner learned that a fire had destroyed another Missouri middle school April 10, she wondered how she and her students could help.
Turner discovered the answer when the school rallied behind the students' effort to organize a donation drive of hundreds of books, papers, pencils and other school supplies for Fredericktown Middle School. Today is the final day the public can add to the collection.
"This is a good way to teach service to our kids," Turner said. "This is a relevant service project that our kids grabbed hold of and took off with."
Throughout this week the school has collected many more donations of books, paper, notebooks, folders, binders and more office supplies. School officials plan to load the items into a U-haul today and transport the trailer to Fredericktown on Friday.
Items yet to be donated but requested by Fredericktown Middle School officials were flash drives to access files, Turner said.
Donations have come from individuals, businesses and fellow schools such as Central Middle School in Cape Girardeau. Turner said Immaculate Conception School in Jackson plans to drop off its donations sometime today. The public has until 3 p.m. today to donate any items at the middle school, 1651 W. Independence St.
Dr. Kelly Burlison, superintendent of Fredericktown Public Schools, said donations from those like Jackson Middle School have lifted the spirits of not only her district but the entire community. Through Wednesday 55 individuals, clubs, schools, churches and businesses from as far away as the Bootheel had donated items ranging from computers to pencils.
"We've received just about everything imaginable that a school can use," Burlison said. "This has helped the morale of our kids because people they don't even know are willing to help us. It makes you feel good there are people like that out there."
The sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade Fredericktown students are meeting at Calvary Temple Church until school ends May 28. Burlison said they're searching for a building to hold classes for the 2010-2011 school year.
"We'll be in good shape for finishing the year out," Burlison said. "The support we've received from everyone is fantastic.
"For next year we're just pursuing every open space we can find," Burlison said. "We're looking at every idea so we can get our kids in here."
1651 W. Independence St., Jackson, MO
1725 E. Highway 72, Fredericktown, MO