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Students in Arcadia celebrate receiving their new backpacks.
Pine View School students of Sarasota County recently loaded a school bus with supplies to transport to Memorial Elementary in Arcadia who suffered tremendous losses due to recent hurricanes.
"This is a win-win situation for our students at both Memorial Elementary and Pine View. Our students understand the purpose of "sharing our gifts", this makes it more personal by establishing a one-on-one relationship," said Coach Shannon Donovan, one of the coordinators of the effort.
School supplies, clothing, canned goods, personal hygiene products, stuffed animals and money were collected to help out the students and their families at Memorial Elementary in Arcadia. "Memorial Elementary School needed help because of the hurricane damage, and I felt it could happen to me. I thought they would be happy if they could have school supplies to use and feel like they had something and were not deprived of anything. I also thought they needed to know somebody cared about them," said Stevie Peacock, a Pine View fifth grader.
More than 35 Pine View students traveled to Memorial Elementary School in Arcadia to give the children their gifts, which were distributed at a Popsicle party at the end of the school day.
3rd Grader Joshua Simon from Pine View prepares for their backpack distribution in Arcadia.
"I am once again very proud of our school. If we are able to make small positive differences for another school community it will be most worthwhile," said Principal Steve Largo.
The Sarasota school also donated $10,000 out of its reserves to the elementary
school, and Pine View's Parent Teacher Organization donated $1,000.
DeSoto County Schools Superintendent Adrian Cline said he does not know how the school will use the money, which could pay for computer equipment, more school supplies or items for the media center. He said the school's staff will make that decision. "Being a good neighbor means giving and receiving. I think this will stay with these students," Cline said. "These students aren't going to forget this." The donation kicked off what school officials hope will be a year-long partnership they call "Building Buddies." During the school year, classes at each of the schools will start a pen-pal system and write back and forth.
"Those are just some of the events", said Pine View School Principal Steve Largo. "What we hope this is all about is kids helping kids, parents helping parents and teachers helping teachers."
In October, the Sarasota school is planning a book drive to benefit the Arcadia school's media center. The majority of these new English or Spanish language children's books will be donated to the Memorial Elementary School children to take home to start their own personal "at home libraries." The remaining portion of the books will be donated to the school library.
For more information on Pine View School, visit http://www.sarasota.k12.fl.us/PVS/.