Clover middle school helps other students in need

Clover middle school helps other students in need


by ANJANETTE FLOWERS/ NewsChannel 36 Staff

Posted on May 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Updated Thursday, May 17 at 6:02 PM

CLOVER, S.C. -- When one of the science teachers at Oakridge Middle School in Clover got the idea from her church to collect school supplies for students at another school, the Rachel’s Challenge Club didn’t hesitate at the chance to help.

After all, that’s what Rachel’s message of spreading kindness is all about.

"It was something that just touched my heart and I knew we could make a difference and my kids just took it and ran and I'm just really proud of them for doing that,” said Wendy Howell, a teacher at Oakridge Middle School.

Students collected hundreds of school supplies for students at Thomasboro Academy in Charlotte.

"Over 99 percent of the school is on free or reduced lunch. A lot of the kids are homeless,” said Howell.

She was even told, “that the kids don't have pencils, that they can't have pencil sharpeners because they'll take them apart and use them as weapons.”

In the end,  boxes were filled with things every student needs to succeed in the classroom.

"One-hundred and eighty-one folders, 170 notebooks, 37 packages of loose leaf paper, 1,050 pencils, 750 erasers, 22 packages of flashcards, 170 dry erase markers,” said Erika Thalacker, a student.

Howell knows all too well how important those things are for both students and teachers.

"You have a kid who doesn't have a pencil and they can't do anything you're doing,” she said.

Before Rachel Scott was killed in the Columbine High School shooting, she had written about spreading a chain reaction of kindness that ties directly into what these kids are doing.

"Rachel’s Challenge is all about helping others and stuff and like being a good person,” said Tamara Barton, a student at Oakridge.

And each item they’re donating has a note from the students at Oakridge.

"We just wrote messages of kindness,” said Thalacker.

She read one of the notes, “Random acts of kindness can have a lasting impact. Try it today.  We care about you. Oakridge Middle School, Rachel's Challenge Club."

It’s their way of taking a classroom lesson outside the classroom.

"Something small can be something big to somebody else,” said Maddie Conn, a student.
Kaitlin Goforth, also a student added, “I want them to feel happy about themselves because people care about them.”