OMIS students donate to Safe Haven

Published 11:34 am Friday, December 16, 2016


NORTH SHELBY – Oak Mountain Intermediate School Gifted Resource Class students took on a challenge to help a local non-profit center—and exceeded their goal more than six times over.

The students, along with their teachers and administrators, presented donations to Safe Haven Project Manager Brandi Welton on Monday, Dec. 12.

“We work on awareness about their community,” OMIS Principal Pat LeQuier said. “They have a shared responsibility for supporting others, for showing care.”

The students, including fourth and fifth graders, started with a goal of collecting 100 new and gently used books to donate to Safe Haven.

About 640 were collected, along with bookmarks and cards made by the students.

Gifted education specialist Ashley Richardson said the large amount of books collected will allow the school to benefit more local non-profits.

“We’re going to be helping out not only one but three local services,” said Richardson, who is one of three gifted education specialists at the school, along with Michelle Dunning and P. Tolbert.

Dunning and Richardson said GRC students take on one such project a year.

This year’s project developed from the book, “I Wish You More.”

Students answered the question, “What would you wish your classmates more of?” with responses ranging from “more smooth roads than bumpy” and “more thins than blinks.”

Then, students read the book “Each Kindness,” and left with the thought that “each kindness makes the whole world a little bit better.”

The project for Safe Haven would be named after this book.

The idea to benefit Safe Haven was developed with School Resource Officer Mel Janousek.

Books collected were for children as young as 1 up to teenagers. Donations also include activity and coloring books, crayons, markers and more.

Safe Haven is a center that facilitates supervised visitations.

“When they come to the center, we don’t always have books to read,” Welton said.

Safe Haven has agreements with schools to receive “lost and found” items that are not claimed after a period of time.

Welton said the OMIS donation is the largest single gift the organization has received.

“It’s important for families to know that someone cares,” she said.