Fifth Graders Give Back

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Eisenhower fifth graders Ethan Woods, Trenton Schark, and Carter Johnson handed out $300 checks on Wednesday, June 3 to three local non-profit organizations. The effort was part of a project resulting from the COVID-19 school closure. 

Last fall, Eisenhower fifth graders earned money during their school carnival with the hopes of using it to support an end-of-year celebration. With COVID-19 and an abrupt end of their last year in elementary school, they decided to donate over $1,600 to several local organizations to help community members affected by COVID-19 as well as plant a tree hear Eisenhower's new outdoor classroom.

Donations will support:

  • Whatsoever You Do - provide shelter to homeless families
  • Emergency Youth Food Program - support meals to students
  • Food Bank of Iowa - food for families
  • Ottumwa Police Department - a thank you meal to show appreciation for their service to our community

"We need to do what we can," said Woods. The donations made him feel helpful.

Schark talked about his school's Bulldog Beliefs and the process of Zooming with his classmates to discuss how to use the funds to support the community. He feels "great about giving money to people who don't have food."

Of the three students who made check presentations, Johnson is the only one who had experience donating to the community. His past student council experience included raising funds for the Ronald McDonald House and Heartland Humane Society. "I'm feeling excited because its going to support a lot of familes," he said about the donation to the Food Bank. According to Johnson, the funds will purchase 1,200 meals. 

"I'm very proud of our fifth grade students and their willingness to find a positive solution to the reality of the COVID-19 and the impact it had on the end of their school year," said Dana Warnecke, principal. "They recognize their contributions do make a difference to our school, district, and community."

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Trenton Schark presents a check to Yvonne Johnson, the district's food service director.

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Carter Johnson presents a check to the Food Bank of Iowa.