Sycamore students donate to IB school in Florida impacted by hurricane

Sycamore students donate to IB school in Florida impacted by hurricane
Sycamore students donate to IB school in Florida impacted by hurricane

            Sycamore International Elementary School students recently walked a few laps around their school to celebrate their hard work in raising money – and sock donations – on behalf of another International Baccalaureate (IB) World School.

            Following Hurricane Irma, Sycamore Secretary Julie Abney suggested the Sycamore family adopt an IB school in Florida that was hit hard by the hurricane. The students and staff at Sycamore embraced the idea.

            Sycamore’s IB Primary Years Program Coordinator Julie Walker noted: “At Sycamore, we received so much support after the tornadoes last year, which affected many of our families. Because of that help we received, we wanted to reach out and help another school.”

            J. Colin English Elementary School is an IB school in the Lee County Public Schools district in southwest Florida. When Hurricane Irma hit, it wreaked havoc throughout the school district – which serves 90,000 students. According to district officials, many of the district’s families were displaced, and are in need of extra help.

            Mrs. Walker reached out to the PYP Coordinator at J. Colin English to see if Sycamore could help, and discovered that the Florida school was in desperate need of tennis shoes, socks, uniform pants, and uniform shirts.

            The students and staff at Sycamore decided to collect sock donations, while also raising money they could send directly to J. Colin English. The Sycamore 4th-graders took charge of the fundraising efforts by generating ideas for “quarter dress-up days.”

            The Sycamore students settled on five ideas. Monday (Oct. 23rd) was “Sweatshirt and Sweatpants Day – Don’t sweat it J. Colin English Elementary School! We Will Help.” Tuesday (Oct. 24th) was “Wacky Sock Day – Sock it to Hurricane Irma!” Wednesday (Oct. 25th) was “Wear orange for National Unity Day.” Thursday (Oct. 26th) was “Rainbow Day – Let’s be J. Colin English Elementary School’s Rainbow after the storm.” Friday (Oct. 26th) was “Kokomo Wildkats Spirit Day – Let’s show J. Colin English Elementary School our spirit!”

            The students and staff at Sycamore dressed up all week, and offered a quarter donation each day for the opportunity. The fundraiser was very popular.

            “It was a big school event,” Mrs. Walker added. “Everyone participated… from the custodians and lunch staff to the students.”

            In early November, the Sycamore family packed up the donations, and then celebrated their service efforts with a lap around the school. Music played over the intercom, and students danced through the hallways. Sycamore student ambassadors waved signs of support for J. Colin English Elementary. Other ambassadors proudly displayed a giant check for $642. This money Sycamore raised will allow administrators at J. Colin English Elementary School to purchase some uniforms and tennis shoes for their students.

            Mrs. Walker noted that this service project supports the theme Sycamore has adopted this school year: Legacy. This theme was designed to provide a connection between Sycamore and Kokomo High School, which launched a similar theme at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. Sycamore administrators will use the Twitter hashtag “#legacybeginshere” throughout the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year.

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