St. Charles Parish Schools Superintendent Dr. Ken Oertling traveled to Oberlin, LA on Oct. 2 to deliver a $7,109.19 check to the Allen Parish School Board.
Oertling said the money, raised entirely from student dress down days and district employee donations, was the first of many coming donations to the southwest LA school system.
“There are plans for additional assistance, including some schools and sites who were unable to get their fundraising in, a district-wide virtual race with entry fees being donated for relief efforts and a DHS student is also spearheading a collection of goods for Lake Charles area schools for hurricane relief for that area,” Oertling said.
The Allen Parish school system is located north east of Lake Charles and oversees 11 schools – many of which were severely impacted by Hurricane Laura in late August.
“It is very much appreciated,” Allen Parish Superintendent Kent Reed said of the donation. “We will use the funds at Fairview High School, which was hit the worst by Hurricane Laura. We’re going to use the money to replace some damaged technology and replenish some consumable curriculum.”
Oertling toured several schools and viewed the damage caused by the hurricane’s winds and rain.
“We have experienced what they are experiencing right now,” Oertling said. “We know that aside from the donation, this kind gesture and attention during a challenging time may be all that someone needs to do a little bit more or overcome one additional hurdle. It raises the human spirit as much as it raises an awareness of the fight many of those school systems are battling as they reopen schools for their children.”
Oertling said part of the SCPSS mission is to enable students to become responsible, productive citizens and enthusiastic lifelong learners.
“When tragedy or challenging events occur such as a hurricane, flood or other incident that adversely impacts others, there are always opportunities to teach and learn from,” he said. “By teaching students the value of giving rather than receiving, you’re instilling in them a sense of pride and self-esteem that will hopefully have a greater impact on their future giving and selfless habits. This shows our students that their contributions can make our community, state and world a slightly better place with the smallest gesture and giving should be a daily practice.”
SCPSS Superintendent Dr. Ken Oertling and Allen Parish Superintendent Kent Reed