Fishers elementary partners with battered Houston-area school

Hoosier Road Elementary School students in Fishers, Indiana, collect items for a Houston-area school affected by Hurricane Harvey. (WISH Photo)

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — Hoosier Road Elementary School students are thinking outside their classroom this week and collecting items for a hurricane-hit school in Houston.

Braeburn Elementary in the Houston Independent School District educates about 850 students, according to Hoosier Road Elementary administrators. Due to intense flooding, they’ve had to leave their building behind and move into an abandoned high school far from where most of the students live.

“They lost everything in the flood. They are starting from scratch,” said Bridget Westerfield, who teachers first grade at Hoosier Road. “There’s no elementary supplies, they have no playground, all of things we take for granted around our elementary school, they don’t have. And that was a big thing for students to wrap their minds around.”

Westerfield said she assumed her students would ask lots of questions about hurricanes after Hurricane Harvey, but said instead they asked her about the kids in Texas.

“The kids were so interested in helping the other kids that were affected by the hurricane,” she said. “We had individual classes planning things but we thought ‘how can we help as an entire school?’ and the kids said they wanted to help an entire school.”

So after a few phone calls, Hoosier Road Elementary and Braeburn Elementary became sister schools, so to speak, and the 725 Fishers students started collecting items for their Houston classmates.

“We are donating to them so they can have a school and a home,” said Lukas Risser, a third-grader at Hoosier Road. “We have markers, crayons, scissors, books, and we have equipment for recess.”

With the help of FitzMark Inc. and with the support of the Fishers City Council, a semitractor-trailer full of collected supplies will leave for Houston on Monday morning, just in time for the first week of school at Braeburn.

“I feel good because we’re all donating and making a difference in the world and being world changers,” Risser said.

You can drop off your donation at Hoosier Road Elementary, 11300 E. 121st St.) during school hours through Friday. You can also donate at the Hoosier Road Elementary Carnival from 5-8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-noon Saturday.

Below is a list of needed supplies.

School Supplies

  • Outdoor Recess Equipment: Balls, hula-hoops, chalk, frisbees, bubbles, etc.(There is no playground.)
  • Folders
  • Copy Paper
  • Exercise Balls
  • Binders
  • Freezer/Sandwich baggies
  • Pencils/Pens
  • Staplers/Staples
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Blankets
  • Backpacks
  • Dry-erase markers
  • Stickers, Post-Its, Sharpies and other teacher supplies
  • Sponges (nurse uses for ice packs)
  • Any kind of “fun” seating for classroom libraries: bean bag chairs, small furniture, floor-pillows, etc. (Anything that was on the floor in classrooms was destroyed.)
  • Floor rugs
  • Markers/Crayons
  • Loose-leaf paper/Notebooks
  • Scissors
  • Board games
  • Classroom decor

Hygiene items

  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Other hygiene items
  • Undergarments for children
  • Socks and shoes for children
  • Navy “khaki-fabric” pants (school uniform bottoms)
  • Navy or white polo style shirts
  • School-appropriate jeans
  • Professional dress for impacted staff