SMITH MS STUDENTS HOSTING SCHOOL DANCE AI INGLESIDE MIDDLE SCHOOL
A group of Smith Middle School students will be visiting Ingleside ISD Friday to deliver classroom supplies--and host a school dance for their new best friends at Leon Taylor Junior High School.
The Cleburne students will board a bus early Friday morning to travel to Ingleside, located 18 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, which sustained a hard hit by Hurricane Harvey. Every CISD campus has partnered with an IISD campus, reflecting the District’s initiative in going “Side by Side with Ingleside” by providing assistance and support to the schools and families impacted by the storm. More than $5,700 has been raised by Cleburne campuses through student and staff donations, to be allocated by the Ingleside Education Foundation to meet needs in their community.
As a follow-up to the letters written by Smith students to their peers at Leon Taylor Junior High, Principal Amber White sat down with her faculty for a brainstorming session to determine their next Ingleside initiative.
“We had just made plans for our first school dance of the year and thought a back to school dance for the students at Leon Taylor might be something we could sponsor,” White said. “Student Council offered to take the lead as a service project. When I emailed their school principal, ‘wow’ in capital letters was her response. She said her kids would love it.”
Fundraising efforts tied to Red Ribbon Week activities, including a classroom door decorating contest and the opportunity to wear hats to school one day, are being used to underwrite the dance.
“I’m hoping this will give our students a real-life experience in helping people who have been through tragedy,” White said. “I know a number of our students experienced some of what those in Ingleside have faced, when the tornado hit Cleburne in 2013. Many of them shared their experiences in the letters they sent to the students at Leon Taylor.”
Smith Student Council President Audrey McClure is very excited to make the trip to Ingleside and hopes to make the day special for the 394 students at Leon Taylor.
“I think this is a great thing to do,” she said. “I think we’re going to lift their spirits. A school dance is a fun thing. They’ll get to see their friends in a relaxed setting. I think it will provide some special memories for the Ingleside students—and our students. I’m looking forward to connecting with them and seeing how they are doing, with all the difficulties they have faced.”
The delegation from Smith also includes several students who purchased $1 tickets, in the hopes of having their name drawn to make the trip with the Student Council. Sixth grader Viviana Ramirez is one of the lucky winners.
“I really wanted to see for myself how the students there were doing,” Ramirez said. “In my letter to the students at Leon Taylor, I told them not to let what happened in the hurricane make them feel like it was the end of the world. I said to keep on trying, because things would be better. I hope I can meet whoever got my letter.”
“I think this is going to be really fun,” Ramirez said. “I’m going to dance a little and meet people and see how things are going for them.”
Robert Daigle, faculty sponsor of the Smith Student Council, said assisting with the dance would be this year’s major project.
“We choose to do a ‘give back’ project every year,” he said. “We are utilizing some of the funds Student Council raised last year to bring in a DJ and provide pizza and drinks. Once we get down there, I think our kids will tour the school then begin setting up for the dance. Their school gym was damaged in the hurricane, so the dance will be held in the cafeteria.”
“My concept of Student Council is building future leaders,” Daigle said. “This includes teaching members how to serve. I can’t think of a better way to do that than what we will be doing in Ingleside on Friday. “
Eighth grader Jaret Piety is among the “party planners” organizing the back to school dance for the Ingleside students whose hurricane-damaged campus didn’t open for classes until September 21.
“This isn’t about us missing a day of school,” he said. “I’m excited about giving back to people in their time of need. I hope we’ll see kids who are excited about being back together at school. I hope they are happy about having a place to go and learn.”
Smith Middle School Student Council members organize school supplies they are delivering in person Friday to Ingleside ISD’s Leon Taylor Junior High, which was damaged by Hurricane Harvey, as were the homes of many of its students. The Smith students will also host a school dance for the Taylor student body.
The Smith Student Council delegation to Ingleside includes Zoe Wilson, Alacia LeDoux, Brooke Hunt, Maritza Ortiz, Autumn Bias, Jasmine Cortez, Aubrey Whitehead, Marissa Bosher, Emma Burns, Jacoby Hasan, Chris Hallen and Rylee Jenkins.