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students chip in to help tornado victims
|By JANIE SOUTHARD
The Daily Standard
Seven-year-old Keaton Mohler of Celina had a good idea Monday morning
as he was getting ready for school.
He thought of a way to help people in Van Wert who were hurt or lost
their homes in the storms that struck that town Sunday afternoon. Then he thought about
"I thought about the kids not having stuff to play with, and I
thought if every kid in our school would give a dollar, we could send money to the Van
Wert kids," said the Celina East Elementary School second-grader.
Keaton borrowed $2 from his mom (which he'll probably pay back from the
allowance he gets weekly for cleaning up his room) to get the ball rolling and, when he
got to school, he told his teacher his idea.
Teacher Deb Lehman was touched by Keaton's concern for other people,
and Principal Matt Miller also was impressed with the plan and gave it the go-ahead.
Monday night Keaton got a box from his dad's office and created a big
collection box covered in brown paper with newspaper photos of Van Wert glued on the
"I think we might get $55," said the brown-eyed Keaton when
asked how much he thinks the fund will raise. A quick glance in the collection box, which
is kept in the school's office, showed at least 55 greenbacks already collected on the
"The fund will run through Friday for the whole school. We'll
count our class money every day, which is also a good math lesson," Lehman said.
After The Daily Standard talked with Keaton in his classroom Tuesday
morning, his classmates raced in from recess and offered their thoughts on the recent
storms and the consequences as well as the importance of giving to others.
What should people do when a tornado is coming?
One young fellow in bright red pants said everybody should go to their
basement and wait 'til it's over.
"What if you don't have a basement?" asked a nearby
"But I do have a basement," said the first student.
"Or you could just go to a room with no windows," said a
diplomatic youngster from across the room.
A young lady in a dark red velvet shirt shifted the conversation by
telling what to do if a tornado comes during school hours.
"Go out in the hall. Sit on the floor and put your arms behind
your neck," she said.
What other things can people do to help the Van Wert storm victims?
"We can put them in our prayers," said a little girl in pink.
"I think we should have a field trip and just go over there and
help," announced a forthright 7- year-old.
Van Wert firefighter Jon Jones, Lehman's brother-in-law, will act as
contact in Van Wert and will accept the money next week from East school's ambassador,
Keaton Mohler, who started it all with a good idea.
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