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Columbia’s Texas Roundup gives hurricane relief

MADISON – Realizing their peers’ plight in Houston, Columbia Elementary School students conducted a “Texas Roundup” for relief after Hurricane Harvey.

When the hurricane pelted Houston, students were asking teachers about ways they could help. Starting Sept. 6, Columbia students collected about 1,000 pounds of much needed school supplies and gently used books to Houston schools.

Columbia teamed up with Pete and Teresa Brammer, owners of the UPS Store on County Line Road, to ship donations to a Houston stadium for distribution to the school district. On Sept. 19, the Brammers packed all the donations, and Columbia PTA paid to ship the supplies.

“In the packages, we also included handmade cards providing uplifting thoughts that each grade made for students who were affected by Hurricane Harvey. Students were able to help give back to a community in need,” spokesperson Amanda Parker said.

Jennifer Arent, Columbia PTA Vice President of Membership, coordinated Texas Roundup. The fundraiser idea was a collaboration between PTA and Columbia teachers with personal connections with Houston schools that Hurricane Harvey damaged.

Students in special needs wrote cards stating, “The sun will come out tomorrow!” with sunbursts and trees. Other cards read, “To keep hope, the sun will shine.”

One student taped a note inside a donated book to tell the Houston child how he was thinking and praying and to keep faith.

During the hurricane, students asked questions trying to comprehend the volume of water from the storm. Fourth-grade teacher Alyson Durrett assigned a math project showing students “what that much water looked like and how it was able to cause so much devastation,” Parker said.

Texas Roundup allowed students to think how they can help others who are in need. Hurricane Harvey became more personal to them, “not just something they see on TV,” Parker said. “They put themselves in their shoes (in Texas) and understand a little better what they might be going through.”

Columbia students donated 769 books, 10 backpacks, hundreds of packs of paper, folders, art supplies and scissors, along with teacher necessities.

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