Harvey relief: APS schools adopt school from Texas

Courtesy Photo Besser Elementary School students and teachers pose in front of the school sign. Besser Principal Eric Cardwell initiated the idea for a Hurricane Harvey Flood Relief Fund so Alpena Public Schools and surrounding schools can raise money and donate school supplies for Guess Elementary in Beaumont, Texas.

ALPENA — Alpena Public Schools and surrounding schools are teaming up with the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association to raise money for Guess Elementary in Beaumont, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey hit the school and city a few weeks ago.

“We decided that it would be a wonderful opportunity for APS and surrounding schools, which is All Saints and Immanuel Lutheran, to get involved and adopt Guess Elementary,” Lisa Gildner, NEMCSA school success for Besser Elementary School, said.

Gildner said the school was not directly hit, but 90 percent of the families were hit by the hurricane. Eleven percent of staff members lost their homes.

A penny war began on Sept. 25 at all Alpena elementary schools, Thunder Bay Junior High, All Saints, and Immanuel Lutheran. The penny war is scheduled to run through Oct. 6. The funds will go to assist Guess Elementary students purchase of shirts, pants, underwear, shoes, and socks.

Students are asked to give their pennies to their teachers. There will be collection jars available for adults during the morning and afternoon pickup times in the main lobbies.

School supplies also can be donated. The schools would like donations of school supplies for what Guess Elementary students will need.

“People can drop off school supplies at any school,” Besser teacher Cherie Honeycutt said. “There will be tables at every school for all the school supplies.”

At Alpena High School, the students are holding a penny war between all grades starting on Monday that will run throughout homecoming week.

“The student leadership class is really the leader of the penny war,” AHS Principal Thomas Berriman said. “The class that has the most money in their jar will get points toward the spirit trophy.”

The jugs for the penny war will be in the Commons area in the high school.

The high school also is holding a “School Supply Drive” during the homecoming football game on Oct. 6. The school wants donations of any school supplies that Guess Elementary students will need. A table will be located at the entrance of the football stadium where people can bring their donations.

“Some of our leadership students will manage the table when people come into the stadium,” Berriman said. “There will also be a jug at the table for money donations.”

Eighty-five to 90 percent of the families in Beaumont had between five and 10 feet of water because of Hurricane Harvey. Gildner said some houses had 11 foot waves.

“We wanted our community to have that feeling of help and gratitude,” Gildner said. “We will be able to help the families because everything in their homes were wiped out.”

Collection points for penny war donations and school supplies will be at all APS main offices, All Saints office, Immanuel Lutheran office, and NEMCSA office.

“It’s a huge community event taking on Guess Elementary,” Gildner said.

Berriman made a PSA that has more information about the events at the high school. It is available for viewing on the Alpena Public Schools Facebook page.

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688.