Road Trip Oklahoma: Moore Teachers Wear Jeans, Feed Hungry Kids
MOORE, Oklahoma - The students at Kelley Elementary in Moore work up an appetite after a long day at school. Some of them may only eat meals when they're at school.
"When the children would come on Monday mornings, they would be starving," Principal Dena Taylor said.
She understands the need for The Regional Food Bank's Food for Kids program. But to keep the backpacks stocked with food, the Food Bank relies on donations. Taylor came up with a way for her school to give back.
"The teachers asked if they could continue a fundraiser where they could wear jeans anytime they wanted," Taylor said. "So we came up with donating to the Food for Kids program."
Teachers at Kelley donate at least $5 a month all school year, which allows them to wear jeans to school. All the money raised goes to Food for Kids.
"The teachers are excited about it because this is their way to contribute to something that they've seen the results of," Taylor said.
"It kind of goes a long with our job," Kindergarten teacher Bambi Rogers said. "We're here to make them be successful. If they're not eating at home, they can't come to us and be successful because they're hungry."
Fifth grade teacher Rachel Whetstone agreed, "I wanted to help the kids in Oklahoma who are hungry, that need that food you know a lot of families nowadays, especially need help with groceries and things like that, so I wanted to do my part and help those families."
Taylor said parents and guardians are grateful too, as she recalled the story of a woman raising her three great grandchildren.
"She was crying to the counselor and myself because this was the only way she could feed her children on the weekends," Taylor said.
A small gesture making a huge difference.
Principal Taylor's idea has caught on across Moore. Other schools in the district and the even administration staff also collect a jeans donation and give every penny to Food for Kids.
$200 provides one backpack for an Oklahoma child for the entire school year. No donation is too small.