Sunset Ridge School raises money for Oklahoma tornado victims
By Corey AmEnde - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Thu., Jun. 20, 2013
Students at the Sunset Ridge Elementary Academy of Arts and World Languages recently raised about $360 for the victims of tornadoes in Oklahoma. Two different tornadoes struck Oklahoma in a span of just 11 days in May.
The first struck Moore, Okla., on May 20, killing 24 people. The second tornado devastated the area near Oklahoma City on May 31. Cara Quinn's sixth-grade class sponsored the fundraiser, which ran for two weeks.
"They were upset about all the devastation and loss of life,” said Leslee Flanagan, a fifth-grade teacher at Sunset Ridge Academy of Arts and World Languages. “The students were especially concerned because the elementary schools were destroyed.” Students contributed their own money as well as seeking contributions from family and friends.
Flanagan's fifth-grade class raised the most money out of all the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade classes at the school. “We raised about $96 of the $360, and I had my kids write about it,” said Flanagan. One of Flanagan's students raised $65 on her own and told Flanagan that she has a personal connection to the Oklahoma tornado victims.
“She told me later that she has a relative on her dad's side that was impacted – they weren't injured, but their house was destroyed – so it was very close to her heart,” explained Flanagan.
For other students, this fundraiser stressed the importance of lending a helping hand. “I had one little girl, she started this year and her house had burnt down right before school started last year, so she said she really understood how it's important for people to reach out and help other people,” said Flanagan, who teaches about weather at Sunset Ridge. “We'd been talking about tornado’s and hurricanes so they understood how devastating those can be, but I think they learned that it's important to reach out to people if they can help them in any way,” said Flanagan.