Column: Towne Meadow Elementary School ‘family’ steps up

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Commentary by Jeff Worrell

It feels a little bit like the biblical miracle story of the fishes and the loaves. But after just six days of $1 popsicle sales to the kids eating lunch at the Towne Meadow Elementary School cafeteria, the money-counting moms couldn’t believe their spreadsheets.

The annual fifth grade service project hoped to bring in $2,800 if the students sold every single popsicle. But the revenue kept growing disproportionately, and they still had cases of Popsicles left to sell.

When the income exceeded $4,500 heads began to nod with understanding as they relished a miracle occurring right before their eyes. The students of Towne Meadow had truly become a family, and when it comes to family, there are no limits.

It was an awful day earlier in the school year when the mother of a Towne Meadow first-grader learned that her daughter’s father had been killed in a car accident. There is no description worthy of the pain and agony the two must have felt.

But the mother had no choice but to push forward, accepting condolences and sympathy as best she could. But she had a fear. It was a nagging worry about how to take care of her daughter before and after school, plus during the summer while she worked for a local grocery store.

Coincidentally, planning was underway for the annual fifth grade service project. Traditionally, the project was a fundraiser for the local food pantry, books for the school library or a new tree for the schoolyard. But this year, the Towne Meadow family would step in and direct the money raised to a “member of the family.”

Kids should have come to school with an extra dollar bill in their pocket to plop down for a red, blue or orange Popsicle. But instead, their pockets contained $5, $10 and $20 bills.

Principal Tim Phares witnessed the mini-miracle up close and said, “I am blown away by so many giving, giving families who were ecstatic to provide for one of their own.”

On May 28, Adam Kerschner, Olivia Goldblatt and Zach Ohrn represented the entire Towne Meadow family and presented a check to the mother in need. The money will ensure a place for her daughter to safely attend after-school daycare this summer and all of next year.

A sense of relief, tears of happiness and lessons in life were spontaneously shared among the greater family.

Phares said, “As a principal, my goal is to develop well-rounded students who are willing to help their fellow man. I saw it today.”

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