HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 24, 2017 – Future teachers at High Point University are sending $3,000 in school supplies and food to support teachers and children in the Beaumont, Texas area that was heavily damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
Faculty in the Stout School of Education have strong networks with educational leaders throughout the country. When they heard from colleagues that schools in the Beaumont area were left struggling with basic supplies and families were going without food after the storm, they formed a plan to help.
In partnership with the Student Government Association, HPU’s Teachers of Tomorrow and Council for Exceptional Children will donate $3,000 worth of school supplies and food. The Beaumont Independent School District and Southeast Texas Food Bank will each receive $1,500 in supplies.
“When I spoke with a colleague, Dr. Kelly Brown of Lamar University, and saw photos of the magnitude of devastation Beaumont and its families were experiencing weeks after the hurricane, organizing efforts to help was second nature for myself and our students,” says Dr. Tawannah Allen, associate professor in the educational leadership studies program. “My colleagues and I believe leadership has no borders, so the distance between HPU and Beaumont was not a question. We asked, ‘How can we go, serve, and make some good things happens for those in need?’ Our effort is a small gesture to let the students and families in Beaumont know HPU’s School of Education cares, loves and supports them in rebuilding their lives.”
HPU students purchased a list of desired school supplies and nonperishable foods and are shipping the items via Amazon as a cost efficient model. Allen, along with education majors Kate Horne and Julia Goldman, will travel to Texas on Nov. 28 to distribute the items to the school districts. Fellow education majors from nearby Lamar University will also help distribute.
“Your students don’t care how much you know, but they know how much you care,” says Horne. “Giving to the schools in Beaumont and the food bank will hopefully send the message that even people who they haven’t met still care for them. To me, this is the essence of a great teacher.”
“I’m proud to have the opportunity to represent Teachers of Tomorrow,” said Goldman. “As a future teacher, helping children and their families is an important part of our careers. This is my way of giving back and helping children and their families become strong again.”
Rosie Tarara, instructor in the School of Education, and Brianna Beard, HPU education major and member of Teachers of Tomorrow, were also instrumental in securing the funding from SGA.