Monday, 01 March 2021 11:30

Sending Texas a little love from East Rockingham Elementary

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East Rockingham Elementary recently adopted a school in Texas and sent cards, banners, and a check to the school. East Rockingham Elementary recently adopted a school in Texas and sent cards, banners, and a check to the school. RCS

East Rockingham Elementary School Counselor Sarah Radford is part of a group of elementary counselors nationwide who have a group on Facebook. The group bounces ideas off of each other, asks each other questions, and collaborates about the school counseling profession.  

This group was also where Radford linked with a counselor at Naumann Elementary in Cedar Park, Texas.  

“During one of our discussions, counselors across the nation began to ask the school counselors in Texas how they were doing and if it would be possible to ‘adopt’ their school,” she said.  

Last weekend, Radford collaborated with Naumann Elementary’s counselor and asked what their needs were in the area. She also asked for a narrative of what was happening where they were so she could share it with East Rockingham’s students and staff.  

“She said that many students in the area were still without water or electricity,” she said. “They were planning to open the school back up this past Wednesday, which they did. Luckily, their school was not flooded as some of the others in their area and their building also had electricity. However, the building still does not have hot water, phone service, or internet. Even though that situation is not ideal, it would still offer students in the area stability and a place to go that had both electricity and running water.”  

Radford shared their story with East Rockingham’s students and staff and requested their support, and everyone was quick to jump on board. Teachers shared videos of the winter storm in Texas with their students, they located the school on Google Maps, and they shared some of the experiences that students were having halfway across the nation.  

“It was also a wonderful opportunity for social-emotional learning, which helped students to empathize with other students their age, during an incredibly tough time and even tougher school year,” she said. “Many of our staff members made cards and donated cash to be sent to the school, to use in any area they see a need.”  

Radford will mail the cards and check on Monday. She said the counselor was very appreciative. 

“She almost began to cry,” she said of their conversation Friday. “She said the students are going to love the cards and they will use the check from cash donations to ensure students have food at home, as many of their grocery stores are bare due to limited shipments in the past few weeks due to road conditions.”  

Radford said many of their classes have discussed zooming or becoming pen pals with the students after they receive their cards. One of the fifth-grade classes made a banner for students to hang in their room.  

Radford may have presented the idea, but she said the teachers and students brought everything to life.  

“Our teachers did an awesome job explaining and showing students the circumstances in Texas,” she said. “I hope that this has been a learning experience for our students at ERES and that even when times are hard, we all need to stick together, even if it’s halfway across the country!”