Fifth grade students formed a club called HOPE as an outgrowth of their previous efforts to help other people around the world.
Julie Vangroll, the Mountain View Elementary School teacher who inspired the club, found out this spring that she was chosen for a UNICEF trip to Tanzania this summer. Earlier, her students had conducted a service project to raise $521 for water well installation in Africa, and she won the trip based on recognition of the success of that project.
Her students formed a club called Helping Other People Everywhere, as they had become newly aware of the issues surrounding global poverty and were thrilled to join a global effort to make a positive difference.
As the school year came to an end, Vangroll and her teacher colleagues began boxing up their classroom supplies since most were scheduled to change classrooms due to renovation and addition projects on the campus.
“Instead of boxing up all the supplies, we decided to give it away,” the teacher said of the excess items she uncovered. “They did all the work,” she said of her students.
The fifth-graders collected unused school supplies from throughout the school and turned the items over to the Killeen Independent School District Homeless Awareness Response Program.
“She said the kids will be very happy,” said Emma Waterman, one of the fifth-graders describing the service project.
Vangroll plans to take some of the overflow school supplies on her trip to Tanzania and will use a $1,000 UNICEF grant to supplement her donations.
Students also started pen pal relationships with students in Zambia where Vangroll’s daughter Holly spent a 27-month volunteer stint with the Peace Corps.