ECU graduate students collect sunshine baskets for Pender County students
Ten East Carolina University graduate students have helped Pender County elementary and middle school students start the new year with much needed school supplies.
Lauren Patterson, a special education teacher in Wake County and graduate student in the ECU College of Education, coordinated a supply drive this fall for children in schools devastated by Hurricane Florence.
Patterson and nine others from the Wake County Public School System enrolled in ECU’s Master of School Administration program collected items from across the Raleigh area for “sunshine baskets.” Donors included school service clubs, fitness groups and PEAK Civitan Club, which sponsored 25 baskets. The group also received monetary donations from across the United States and abroad for the project.
On Jan. 2, Patterson and another teacher and friend Sarah Bankert delivered 175 baskets filled with school supplies to Cape Fear elementary and middle schools and Rocky Point Elementary in Pender County.
Patterson said the experience of delivering the baskets is something she will never forget.
“There are students and teachers still across the county that are in need of support,” Patterson said. “To quote my idol Ellen DeGeneres, ‘be kind to one another.’ It’s literally one of the easiest things to do. Continue to reach out to the local school system or other organizations across Pender County to see how you can help.”
-by Crystal Baity, ECU News Services