When a killer F5 tornado ravaged through Moore, Oklahoma on Monday, May 20 taking the lives of so many including seven elementary school kids, Miami Springs Elementary School first grade teacher Nilda Serrano was faced with a major dilemma.
Her first grade class had been right in the middle of preparing to put on an original play, “The Road to Second Grade”, inspired by the novel, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum that they had been reading as part of their class curriculum.
“I was hesitant and wasn’t sure what to do,” said Serrano. “The play begins with a a tornado hitting Miami Springs Elementary. I felt terrible. Here we were about to act out something that had just happened in real life and caused so much devastation and loss of life.”
The students had spent weeks working on the production and Serrano admitted that cancelling it out of respect for the victims was considered but ultimately an even better idea was hatched.
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“What we decided to do was to go through with the play and actually turn it into a fundraiser for the victims,” said Serrano. “There will be no charge for the play but the school’s PTA will accept donations and all of the proceeds will go directly to the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Disaster Relief Fund.”
So what started as nothing more than an end-of-the-school-year play a few months ago has now morphed into a fundraiser for the Oklahoma tornado victims.
The event is scheduled for Wednesday, June 5 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the school auditorium of Miami Springs Elementary, 51 Park Street.
“It was so beautiful that I requested an evening performance in order to share it with more family members and the community,” said MSE principal Sally Hutchings. “And what a great idea it was to actually turn it into a fundraiser to help the Oklahoma tornado victims.”
In addition to the charity performance on June 5, the entire MSE student body will participate in a project they’ve called “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows for Oklahoma.” The kids are writing letters and poems decorated with bright suns, colorful rainbows and blue skies for students of Plaza Towers and Briarwood Elementary Schools in Moore. All of the letters and poems will be mailed to the Moore Council PTA along with approximately 1,200 lollipops to be distributed to the students when they are relocated in the fall.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my students and teachers for pulling this off,” said Hutchings.
For more information on the event or what you can do to help the Oklahoma tornado victims, contact the school office at 305-888-4558.