First grade team gives victims of tragedy a jumpstart on healing

By: Sherri A. Hutchinson, Contributing Writer

Thanks to a $100 grant from Start A Snowball, a group of first graders from The Premier Charter School took teamwork and collaboration to new heights. The group launched project “Packing Hope” with the goal of delivering 20 backpacks filled with what they envisioned would provide comfort and hope for the future to children struck by loss due to fires.

These backpacks were filled with school supplies and everyday hygiene items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste to assist victims of tragedy in rebuilding the structure of their everyday lives.

The team hoped that with every backpack, pencil, and notebook other children would feel part of the spirit of The Premier Charter School’s vision, “The students we serve today will be the spirit of St. Louis tomorrow.”

A part of helping children struck by tragedy was twofold. The team realized it was not enough to collect  filled backpacks, but would need a group of caring first responders to get them to those individuals in need. They were fortunate to find that community collaboration with firefighters in their St. Louis community. The team provided the filled backpacks to the fire station so the firefighters could deliver them to the children.

The project “Packing Hope” came to fruition with hard work collecting backpacks and items such as school supplies, hygiene products, reading books, and small toys. The students called upon parents, made announcements, and worked with community resources to compliment the foundation of the Start A Snowball grant.

This project exceeded the expectations of its plan through great drive and ambition by these students so children in their community would have the opportunity to start anew. The Premier Charter School first graders provided over 30 children with backpacks full of supplies. They decided to make it an annual service event aiming to touch the lives of children who have lost everything in fires and other tragedies to start anew every New Year.

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