COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Service above self. Teaching students that the important lesson of helping others in need lies at the heart of school leaders at Tussing Elementary in Pickerington.
Along with the help of former graduate and now NBA star, Jae’Sean Tate, students are donating quarters in a special campaign they are calling “Tussing for Texas.”
“Get your quarters in and get your sweet tooth ready, let’s help out those who need it the most,” said Tate in a video message to the students of Tussing Elementary.
“This quarter drive is going to help those who were impacted by the winter storm surge here down in Texas a few weeks ago,” added Tate.
Tate excelled on the hard-court in high school for Pickerington Central, and then later at Ohio State, and now, he plays for the Houston Rockets.
“We just that connection and reached out to see if he’d be willing and able and of course, he jumped on it right away, he’s being so supportive of our community,” said Matt Dansby, Principal of Tussing Elementary.
School leaders saw an educational opportunity to enlist the help of their students to support Tate’s community devasted by severe storms.
“One of the things that we do pride ourselves on here that when people are down, we definitely come together to try and pick them up,” said Damicka Bates, Assistant Principal at Tussing Elementary.
They also added a sweet incentive to encourage students to take part. For every quarter donated, students receive a small piece of candy.
“Most of them really don’t care about the prize, they are excited to report to me about how many quarters they are bringing in,” said Dansby.
Principal Dansby asked some of the students why they are donating.
“I’m holding these quarters because I’m happy to make Texas proud and I’m helping them,” said one Tussing Elementary student.
“I wanted to help them because they can’t flush their toilets without water or shower,” added another.
Tussing Elementary students are also making blankets and care kits to donate to the families with sick children staying at the Ronald McDonald House.
“It goes a long way to show that our youth are very instrumental in moving the needle and things going on, not only in our community but in other states and other areas,” said Bates.
All quarters collected in their drive will be donated to the America Red Cross relief efforts in Texas.
“We want our students to know that if you can help each other out that makes a better community, it makes everyone better,” said Dansby.