Dirksen students video chat with Hurricane Harvey-impacted class they sponsored

Updated 10/19/2017 12:02 PM

First- and second-grade students in Katie Vonderheide's and Megan O'Brien's classes at Dirksen School participated in a video chat Oct. 18 with a class they adopted in Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

The Dirksen teachers selected Suzann Benson's class at Taft Elementary School in Port Arthur, Texas from an adopt-a-classroom list published post-Harvey by Texas Teachers of Tomorrow. The Dirksen students collected four boxes of school supplies, along with backpacks for each child in the Taft class.


"We sent school supplies down so they can have more supplies," said Mason, a first-grade student.

"They needed them because of the hurricane," added his classmate Jack.

O'Brien and Vonderheide also collected six boxes of other donated items such as toys, clothing and shoes from family and friends, which they sent to the Taft students along with the school supplies.

"Most of the kids at our school lost their houses," Benson, the Taft first-grade teacher, said during the video call. "Other classes were adopted, too, but I wanted to brag on y'all -- do you say y'all? -- nobody got boxes like Ms. Benson's class. The boxes just kept coming!"

The Taft students thanked the Dirksen students for the donations, and both groups asked questions about the other students' state and school. The Dirksen students were surprised to learn that the Taft students regularly see horses and cows near their school, and the Taft students loved finding out that Dirksen's mascot is a dolphin.

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