LAS CRUCES—Tens of thousands of Houston, Texas school children are heading back to school in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.  To help the students and teachers, Las Cruces Public Schools is hosting a district-wide school supply drive now through Friday, Sept. 29, announced LCPS officials. The donation drive, dubbed #CrucesLuvsHouston, is collecting school supplies for students of all ages and for teachers.

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NMSU student Brigitte Martinez Avila donates a backpack and other items for Houston students. Donations are accepted at any LCPS school or at the main LCPS Administration Building, 505 S. Main.

“As my own family struggled with their losses in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, it occurred to me that nobody was talking about how to help the public schools recover from this unprecedented disaster,” said Jennifer Raess, a clinical social worker with the LCPS Special Student Services department who organized the drive. “This drive is our opportunity to provide a sense of normalcy and routine to a community that may never be the same again.”

“Basic school supplies will mean so much to children and teachers whose lives have been turned upside-down,” added LCPS Superintendent Dr. Greg Ewing.

Based on discussions with HISD officials, Raess suggested student items such as paper, spiral notebooks, pens/pencils, markers, highlighters, colored pencils, pencil sharpeners, protractors, composition notebooks, one- and two-inch three-ring binders, pocket folders, scissors and backpacks.

Those wanting to donate teacher supplies should consider copy paper, dry erase markers, USB flash drives, sticky notes, index cards, anti-bacterial soap, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, paper plates and cups, quart-sized storage bags, and Spanish/English dictionaries.

School supply donations can be dropped off at any LCPS school or at the LCPS Administration Building, 505 S. Main Street. At the end of the drive, all of the donations will be delivered by truck to HISD, with the support of Cervantes Enterprises, Inc. of Las Cruces, said Brigitte Zigelhofer, LCPS community outreach liaison.

 

“As an educational community, it’s important for us to remember that all districts throughout the country share the common goal of educating the next generation,” Ewing said. “We are ready and willing to help those devastated by Hurricane Harvey, and I encourage all school communities to support these children and families in their time of need.”

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Artwork created by students in Houston, Texas.

In addition to the supply drive, several LCPS schools have been conducting independent fundraisers including a combined project from Vista Middle School and Jornada Elementary.  Students collected coins in a “Pennies for Pets” campaign in support of the hundreds of displaced pets.  The students sent their donations to the Texas Humane Society.

Hillrise Elementary students also collected donations of blankets, baby products, towels and other toiletries.  Their items were provided to the Salvation Army which sent the items to impacted areas of Texas, officials said.

According to the HISD website, an assessment of 306 school and office buildings in an area spanning 312 square miles, found that some schools have substantial damages and will require students to attend classes at nearby vacant school buildings or underutilized campuses. HISD is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States. It serves approximately 215,000 students at 283 campuses and is one of the largest employers in Houston, with about 29,000 team members.

For more information, contact Raess at jraess1@lcps.net, 527-6053, or Zigelhofer at bzigelho@lcps.net, 527-6014.

—Paul Dahlgren, LCPS Communications, 575.527.5808, pdahlgren@lcps.net