Berks students, teachers pitch in to help schools in Texas

Oley Valley Elementary collecting school supplies

OLEY TWP., Pa. - The images coming out of Texas are appalling, but where there are people helping, there's hope, and that hope can come in different forms, including school supplies.

Oley Valley Elementary School is reaching out from 1,500 miles away to help a pair of schools in Texas.

"Two nights ago, two of my teachers came to me with some ideas of how to support individual classrooms," said Oley Valley Principal Matt Broskey. "We talked and said, 'Why don't we just support the whole school?'"

Teachers Deb Hummel and Jennifer Muriel came up with the idea of adopting classrooms in Katy and Pasadena, Texas. Then the idea grew.

Both schools are just outside Houston, and they've been hammered by flooding. Students and their parents are already showing their generosity.

"It's a very exciting time for us to share, and it's a very difficult time for them going back knowing everything they have lost," said Hummel, a first-grade teacher.

The teachers said they have connections in both schools, which they said are vulnerable to flooding.

"We know how much work we put into our classrooms at the beginning of the school year," said Muriel, a fifth-grade teacher. "And they didn't start their school year, and everything is just going to be destroyed."

"They're not sure what their school even looks like at this point, so we're ready to collect as long as we need to," Broskey said.

The teachers ask that donations be dropped off in the school's front office. They said that, for their students, it's a lesson in giving.

"I told the students about it and they were so excited about it since we've really been talking about kindness as a character trait in the beginning of the school year," Muriel said, "and this is a perfect way to show our kindness and show our compassion."

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