Classmates support Chelsea Park Elementary student injured in wreck

Published 2:57 pm Friday, January 24, 2020

CHELSEA – In their latest effort to lift the spirits of a classmate hospitalized with severe injuries, Chelsea Park Elementary School students held a fundraiser on Friday, Jan. 24.

The school’s 920 students had the opportunity to dress in their pajamas for the day and enjoy popcorn, for $1 each.

The funds, which were collected by the Chelsea Park Parent-Teacher Organization, will benefit the family of Jackson Toth, a third grader at the school who was hurt in a car wreck over the holidays.

Jackson remains hospitalized at Children’s of Alabama as he recovers, but he has been at the forefront of the minds of his peers at Chelsea Park.

Jackson’s teacher, Heather Russell, said she talked with Jackson’s mother after the incident about him missing school and what information could be shared with classmates.

Russell said the initial conversation with her class was difficult, especially for some of Jackson’s close friends, but the students turned their attention to ways they could help.

Students came up with ideas to let Jackson know they were thinking about him, such as video messages and cards.

They researched things Jackson liked, such as the color red and Penn State football—and incorporated them into their messages.

“They took the card-making very seriously,” Russell said.

On Jan. 24, students paid $1 for the privilege of wearing pajamas and/or enjoying popcorn during the school day. A previous pajamas and popcorn fundraiser for Eli Hairston, a Chelsea Middle School Student seriously injured in a golf cart incident, generated more than $2,000, CPES Principal Jennifer Galloway said.

Also, some girls from Jackson’s class who like to dance created a special dance for him, which was recorded and sent, and a bin was placed in the main office so other students from throughout the school could also send cards to Jackson.

Russell said she has received positive feedback from Jackson’s mother.

“He’s enjoyed hearing from us, and she sees smiles,” Russell said about Jackson’s reaction to the messages.