Students at West Hartford’s Bugbee Elementary School are showing empathy and raising money to help families in Texas and Florida impacted by recent catastrophic hurricanes.
By Ronni Newton
Bugbee Principal Kelly Brouse said she could not be any prouder of her students.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, students came up with their own plans to provide hurricane relief.
According to Brouse, students made brightly-colored bookmarks to show empathy, emblazoned with positive messages like “Believe in Yourself” and “Don’t Give Up.” The bookmarks, as well as donations the students collected, will be sent directly to schools with which they have formed connections in both Houston and in Florida.
Brouse said that the school in Houston is attended by a student’s extended family member, and a Bugbee teacher’s friend is affiliated with the Florida school.
In the first week, donations totaled more than $1,200.
Brouse said that a group of fourth graders took the hurricane relief effort to an even higher level, spending several recess periods and meeting after school to plan bake sales to raise additional funds.
The first bake sale was held Saturday at 1898 Asylum Ave., and raised more than $400 in just four hours. Brouse said the students hope to hold additional bake sales at Hall High School sporting events.
Brouse said that the next bake sale will be Friday night at the Hall vs. Glastonbury home football game, which begins at 7 p.m.
“In all honesty, seeing students step up with their own plan when they heard there were people who could use our help was inspiring,” Brouse said. “This was one of those experiences where I just tried to get kids what they needed and then got out of their way.”
The school copied flyers and gave the students a place to meet – during recess. “[That] allowed for this group to rally, collaborate, and complete a service effort that would directly benefit kids just like them,” said Brouse.
“Our phrase here at Bugbee is ‘Be a Bugbee Champion,’ which means to look for ways you can champion the success of others, and this was a perfect example of kids seeking to do just that. I could not be more proud!” Brouse said.