Schools Doggedly Help Hurricane Effort

Gompers student Joe Aubuchon’s generous donation to hurricane relief efforts last month paid off in an unexpected way this week. His donation of more than $200, which he had been saving for years to buy a rare breed of puppy, inspired State Schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell to present the boy with a 10-week-old white German shepherd. "That was quite a heroic and selfless act," O’Connell said of the boy’s donation while addressing students at a surprise assembly. He presented Gompers with a certificate of recognition for the nearly $1,400 the school has raised for hurricane relief. "This school really stepped up in a big way, and so did other schools throughout the state," O’Connell said. Students and staff in public schools statewide have raised more than $800,000 for hurricane relief, he said. The first grader already had a name picked out for his new dog – Marshmallow. He has raised another $65 by doing household chores, and he pledged to donate that money to hurricane relief, too. The Long Beach Unified School District has now accepted 40 students who were displaced from the Gulf Coast. Students and staff throughout the district continue to raise funds in support of the relief efforts. • Poly raised $8,177 over a one-week period for the Hurricane Katrina Fund. Efforts included class-to-class collections by the Poly Student Commission, JROTC and Peer Counselors, sale of products donated by food vendors, and collections at the first home football game with the assistance of the Long Beach Fire Department. Funds were divided among Operation USA, American Red Cross, and Salvation Army. Each of the six New Orleans students enrolled at Poly were given $100 gift cards to a local retailer. • Cubberley raised $4,000 in support of relief efforts. • Rogers collected $2,678. Donations went to the Red Cross and to Oprah’s Angel Network which provides home supplies and appliances. • The recreation staff, community and school student body at Robinson raised $1,600. They sent some funds to a school in the New Orleans School District, gave money to the Red Cross and wrote a check for $500 to Betty Hucks in the Office of School Recreation. She forwarded the amount to her mother, who lived in New Orleans and lost her home due to flooding. Staff at the Administration Building also contributed to the fund. • Efforts at Butler have raised $2,670. Brooke Polius, fourth grade student and Hurricane Katrina survivor, presented the donation to a Red Cross representative at an all-school assembly. • The MacArthur community, students, parents and staff have collected more than $1,900 to donate to the Red Cross. • Lindbergh students and staff collected $1,025 for the Red Cross. • Burbank raised more than $1,500 for hurricane victims. Approximately $430 went to the Red Cross. The remainder was used to assist the two families from New Orleans who are newly enrolled at Burbank. • Prisk is selling links in a paper chain that lets purchasers write an encouraging thought. Links are connected into a chain that will run the length of the school’s main hallway. Students and staff will continue the effort into January. Proceeds will be donated to the Houston Independent School District.