April 29, 2019, San Jose, CA: First grade students at Baker Elementary School organized a grade-level book donation drive, to include bookmarks and hand-made cards, that will be donated to Pine Ridge Elementary School in Magalia, California, a school that was heavily affected by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California in November, 2018. Just five miles outside of Paradise, homes and schools in Magalia were evacuated and burned from what has been called the worst fire in California History.
“My class wanted to let the first graders at Pine Ridge Elementary School know that we haven’t forgotten about them even though the smoke has cleared,” said Baker First Grade Teacher Cindy VanHoy. After learning about the fires and the impact it had on the lives of others, Mrs. VanHoy’s class brainstormed how they could make a difference. Baker’s retired Reading Specialist, Barbara Harrold, visited the class to share her story. Ms. Harrold moved to Magalia and still has not been allowed back in her smoke-filled home. Together, Mrs. VanHoy and Mrs. Harrold led the discussion and offered insight on how students could show support.
Other Moreland students have demonstrated their concern for fire victims as well. A group of Baker’s fourth and fifth grade friends fundraised for disaster relief, including Direct Relief and Global Giving organizations for California fire victims. Last spring, Country Lane Elementary School raised money through Spirit Week donations that benefited Piner-Oliver School in Santa Rosa. Latimer 3rd grade students held an art auction to raise money for Hidden Valley Elementary School, also in Santa Rosa, where schools were affected by the North County fires in October 2017.
The Moreland School District is incredibly proud of the continued efforts students, families, and community members have made to support various organizations in need throughout the region, state, and country. One of Moreland’s Strategic Plan goals is to “Prepare Students to Become Responsible Citizens.” Through providing a safe, supportive environment in all seven Moreland schools, students are demonstrating a global awareness and respect for their school, community, and surrounding environment.