Shive students raise money for family of firefighter who lost home

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ethan H. Shive Elementary School was challenged at the beginning of the school year to “bee” real … to “bee” who you are and to “bee” the best we can be every day. With that challenge came the opportunity to “bee” the best we can, not only here at school, but also outside our school walls.
We were compelled to select a family in need in our community to help in some way. Immediately after this desire in our heart became clear, the tragic story of Larry Keith’s house fire crossed our paths. We know this is who we were meant to help. The story was shared with Shive Elementary’s fifth-grade students and without skipping a beat, the students began to brainstorm of all the possible ways they could help this family.
True character and compassion beamed through the hearts and thoughts of these children as they decided to participate in a math-a-thon. During the math-a-thon, the students worked hours to complete math computation problems to raise money for the Keith family. The fifth-grade students also facilitated a coin toss in which all Shive students contributed their coins in exchange for a special treat. These endeavors lasted for a total of one week. These students truly amazed the entire staff and administration at the desire and dedication they demonstrated throughout the entire course of this mission.
After the final day of collecting sponsorship funds, fifth-grade teachers contacted Larry Keith and his family to schedule a time for the children to meet them face to face. When the students learned of this day, they were ecstatic. They could not wait to see how their hard work and compassion would effect this family.
The students and teachers prepared for this day by creating banners and making cards to present to the family. Upon the Keith family’s arrival to Shive Elementary School on Thursday, Oct. 3, the students cheered and held banners which read, “Everyday heroes, always there for us!” and “Now it is our turn to be heroes for others!” Alongside of the students were fifth-grade teachers and assistants, Zebbie Bondurant, Shive’s principal, and Dr. Lynn Moody, Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ new superintendent.
As the Keith family approached the students, Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell introduced the family and gave a quick overview of the tragedy the Keiths experienced. Parnell also thanked the students for their kindness and applauded them for their hard work and compassion. Following this introduction, four fifth-grade students made a heartfelt speech before announcing and presenting a check for $2,200 to the family. When the students holding the check turned it over for the family to see, it was evident that the family was overwhelmed at what these children were able to accomplish for them. Keith told several teachers that this amount was enough to pay off his land for their home.
The Keiths and their two children were able to stay and visit with the students for a while and accept the cards the children had written to them. This experience bonded the hearts of Shive’s student with the Keith family. Shive students truly wish the best for this family and hope to see them around our community.
Ethan H. Shive Elementary class would like to thank the entire school, their families, friends and the community for their support with this mission. Students learned that no matter how small, they can make a positive difference in the life of those around us. They plan to keep doing small acts of kindness in hopes to make our world a little bit better of a place, one child at a time, one person at a time, and one day at a time.