POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Warming homes, hands and hearts in Poplar Bluff, Mo. through a school and community partnership now focusing on ways to meet needs in the wake of extreme cold weather.
Bright Futures was launched by the school district in October. It's a partnership, and according to coordinators, the only one of it's kind in eastern Missouri to bring schools, faith-based organizations, parents, students and businesses together to meet the needs of students.
"We want to make sure they have what they need to get back to their education and when those essential every day needs are met that makes learning a lot easier and more productive," said Social Worker and Bright Futures Coordinator Carrie Booker. "Right now we have daily requests for coats and hats and gloves. At the end of November through a post on our facebook page a business stepped up to help a family who's home was damaged in a fire get the heat back on. Those things make a huge difference in the lives of a student when their life needs are in place."
As those requests to help families and students and families stay warm in the cold weather come in, one class says they truly realize just how important a project they took on at Christmas turned out to be.
In Kristie Robinson's fourth grade class at Oak Grove Elementary, they decided instead of swapping Christmas gifts, they would take donations of warm hats, gloves, and other clothing for kids in the district in need.
"This is such a giving class," said Mrs. Robinson. "And in these bitterly cold temperatures it makes a huge difference if they have those hats and gloves. We have a lot of students that need those items just because it's an extra expense the parents can't provide for whatever reason. The class took on this idea with lots of enthusiasm and some even used their own money to buy warm things."
One of those students was Clara Ralmann.
"I brought a hat and a sweater and some other things," she said. "I probably spent about $30 but I wanted to do it. It made me feel good. It's better to give and be kind and helpful."
"It was good to give to kids who really need it," said Kirstyn Millner, fourth grade student.