Districtwide effort by Lindbergh Schools helps Joplin schools recover from May tornado

Lindbergh Schools staff, students and parents have been turning their focus to Joplin Schools in need, helping the southwest Missouri community recover from the tragic tornado that destroyed several schools in May, according to a district news release.

Kennerly Elementary School

Kennerly Elementary School has buddied with Irving Elementary School in Joplin, which was completely destroyed by the storm.

The school is organizing several activities all year through the school’s “One School, One Cause” service project. Kennerly students celebrate their birthdays by bringing a birthday bag of goodies for children in Joplin, instead of or in addition to birthday treats for their own classmates.

In addition, they partnered with Two Men and a Truck in October to collect coats. The “Truckload of Warmth” coat drive provided coats, scarves, gloves, sweaters and hats to Operation Homeland-Joplin.

One teacher’s story

During the first week of school, Kennerly students collected school supplies for students who attend Joplin Schools. Then, third-grade student teacher Christy Helmsing had the incredible opportunity to deliver those supplies to Cecil Floyd Elementary on Oct. 28. The delivery was conducted in partnership with The Teachers’ Lounge teacher supply store, where Helmsing works part time.

“I cannot even begin to explain what an amazing experience this was,” Helmsing stated in the release. “The students in the two classes where I delivered supplies said that Friday was ‘like Christmas. ‘The teachers were very appreciative and thankful.”

Long Elementary School

Long Elementary School music teacher Wes Kassulke developed a creative solution to a recurring problem, and found a way to raise $200 for Irving Elementary School in Joplin at the same time.

Many third-, fourth- and fifth-graders did not have cases for their recorders or had lost their cases, so Kassulke asked his mother, Carolyn, to sew several handmade cases and sell them during lunches for 50 cents each. The students learn to play the recorders as part of their music curriculum.

Carolyn Kassulke, who lives in Sullivan, has volunteered in Joplin three times with her church, helping to clean homes and organize a distribution center. During her visit to Long School, she shared photos with students and talked about her experience.

“The money we raised will go to buy literacy book sets and electronic books at Irving,” Wes Kassulke stated in the release. “Their school was completely destroyed and they are having school in a temporary space. Dr. Debbie Fort, the principal, was very thankful for all the help.”

Crestwood Elementary School

Crestwood Elementary library assistant Beth Mazdra organized and conducted a “One For” fundraiser during the school’s Scholastic Book Fair.

Students were reminded of the rebuilding Joplin effort and gave money to help rebuild Joplin school libraries. In all, the school collected $118 to purchase and mail books to Joplin.

Sperreng Middle School

Lindbergh parents, students and staff headed to Joplin Oct. 15 to build a new playground for Irving Elementary School and provide the American Red Cross with Lowe’s and Wal-Mart gift cards, which were distributed to families in need.

Some of the trip’s efforts were funded by a jeans day at Sperreng Middle School. Sperreng teachers and staff wore “Jeans for Joplin” to support the cause.

Concord Elementary School

Concord teachers recently wore “Jeans for Joplin” and raised $196.50.