TPSD aims to raise $8,000 for Haitian relief effort

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Tupelo Public School District has joined the effort to raise money for victims of the Haiti earthquake.
The district kicked off the TPSD Haiti Relief Project on Wednesday with hopes of raising at least $8,000 by Jan. 29 – a goal based on $1 each from the district’s 8,000 students and staff members
But community members also can donate by calling their nearby school, Assistant Superintendent Fred Hill said.
“After reading the newspaper on Sunday, I realized we weren’t on board with the community efforts that were going on with Haitian relief,” Hill said. “One of the beliefs of the Tupelo Public School District is that we want to go out and serve the community. This is a way we will serve the global community.”
The money will be donated to the Tupelo-Haiti Relief Project established by the city of Tupelo and managed by the CREATE Foundation. That money will go to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund.
“We’re excited when the city and school district can partner for any cause such as this,” said City Council member Jonny Davis. “We’re trying to provide money to supply food, clothing, medicine – anything they may need.”
Hill said this project could be the first of many to help the Haitian people. The district also announced Wednesday that it would create a larger philanthropic foundation named Wave of Hope.
“We will continue to help,” Hill said.
Each school will handle its own collection of money. Carver Elementary Principal Brenda Robinson said her school will tie the project to the columns outside the school that read “enter to learn” and “depart to serve.”
“It is important for them to understand that there are boys and girls who are the same age as they are who had this devastating thing happen, and they need help,” Robinson said.
Tupelo Middle School will incorporate a project it already began to help earthquake victims.
Seventh-grade students will read “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” a book about a Japanese legend that says if a sick person will become well after folding 1,000 paper cranes.
In response, students will fold a paper crane for every 50 cents that is donated, and the cranes will be hung in the school’s cafeteria.
“It makes the curriculum more meaningful and the service more meaningful,” said TMS Principal Linda Clifton.

Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or at chris.kieffer@djournal.com.