Students donate books to hurricane victims

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Students in Shauna Lange’s fifth grade class at MFL MarMac recently donated books to hurricane-affected schools in Texas and Florida. (Submitted photo)

Amy Bunting’s fifth graders also took part in the donation effort, contributing several books from their book order. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, students in Shauna Lange’s fifth grade class at MFL MarMac were troubled by the destruction they saw in Texas and Florida. They wondered what they could do to help.

“We had a book order going in,” Lange said. “That’s when they came up with the idea of books.”

The class builds up credits from their book orders, which go toward purchasing books for the classroom. This time, however, the students wanted to use those credits to purchase books for hurricane-affected schools in Texas and Florida.

“We even opened it up to kids to bring in gently-used books,” Lange said. “The kids were also able to purchase books for the cause. They didn’t buy for themselves.”

Their enthusiasm was contagious. Fellow fifth graders in Amy Bunting’s class donated a few books from their book order, as well, creating a grade-wide effort.

In all, 60 books were sent to classes in Rosenberg, Texas and the Jacksonville/St. Augustine, Fla. area earlier this month.

Lange said many of the students left notes inside the books, encouraging the recipients to “hang in there” and “stay positive.”

“If they’d read the book themselves, they said, ‘This is one of my favorite books. I hope you enjoy it,’” she shared.

The classes who received the books were appreciative, Lange said. 

In Rosenberg, which is located near Houston, the teacher noted some students were displaced by Harvey. 

“We are in a very low poverty area, so this is such a kind gesture,” she commented.

The situation is similar in Florida, where that teacher noted the school had a 40 percent homeless rate prior to Hurricane Irma.

“In my class alone, there are two [students] who have completely lost their homes. We suffered a lot of flooding,” she said. “I appreciate your offer and, as a class, we will definitely pay it forward as you have.”

Hearing these statistics really touched her students, Lange said. She’s proud of the work they did to bring a sense of normalcy back to other children’s lives.

“They’re a good class,” she said. “They have such big hearts.”

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