Hats for Harvey a success | RecordCourier.com

Hats for Harvey a success

8th grader Emily Cook wears a funny hat during Pau-Wa-Lu's Harvey Hat Day Friday morning. Students were allowed to wear a hat if they donated $1 to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort.
Brad Coman |

Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School students wore hats to school on Friday as a fundraiser for Hurricane Harvey victims.

The Connections Mentor program at the school hosted the fundraiser, that gave students the choice to wear a hat to school or dress in cowboy get-up in honor of the hurricane victims in Texas.

By the time the bell rang ushering students to class, more than 50 students had donated to the cause.

“We didn’t set a goal, we just wanted to make sure we had enough money so everyone can have food and shelter,” said eighth-grader Mackenzie Compton. “It’s gone really good so far.”

The Connections Mentor Program is about making positive connections between students and staff, said art teacher and one of the directors of the program Cindy Schnaare.

She said the program offers academic guidance, leadership skills, team work and creates friendship and trust amongst the staff and students.

Former principal Keith Lewis started the program eight years ago, Schnaare said. Today, there are about 50 students in the program.

“It’s open to anyone in the school,” said Schnaare. “We feel the more students that are connected in school the better they will do.”

“Not just in the school though, but as citizens too,” added science teacher and program director Allison Avery. “It helps them academically, their attendance improves and their relationships with their peers as well.”

The program is open to both students and staff.

“It’s completely voluntary, anyone can join and staff is involved from teachers to secretaries and custodians,” said Schnaare. “It’s open to anyone who wants to help these kids have connections and be involved.”

Eighth-grader Audrey Owen said she joined to become more involved with the school and to gain a connection with the teachers and students.

“I love it,” she said.” Everyone is equal in the group. We all just get involved and help out.”

The program hosts fundraisers throughout the year, including the annual Valentine’s Day dance and more.

The students organized the Hurricane Harvey Hat day fundraiser as a fun opportunity to get involved and help out where help is needed.