Pattonville students raise funds to purchase school boats for Philippines
Pattonville students raise funds to purchase school boats for Philippines
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Students and staff in the Pattonville School District raised approximately $4,000 to help school children in the Philippines as part of a district-wide fund-raiser organized by the Pattonville United student group. The Pattonville High School leadership group chose to raise funds for the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, an organization which purchases yellow boats to help students get to school. The foundation originated as a way to help children who used to swim to school by providing safe and dry boats for transportation between islands. The organization has since expanded to provide school supplies, medical/dental missions, scholarships and school structures.

Pattonville United students called their campaign "Pirates Keeping Hope Afloat in the Philippines." In their request for help from schools in the district, the students wrote, "Unlike in America, students in the Philippines cannot walk to school as an alternative to a bus ride because the paths to school are dangerous and require students to walk through rivers, lakes and more."

At a cost of $212 per self-paddle boat, the students set a goal of raising enough money to purchase at least one boat per school in Pattonville (including the Pattonville Learning Center), for a total of 10 boats. The students surpassed their goal by raising enough to purchase 18 boats. This is the group's first district-wide fund-raiser, and seven schools participated, along with the Learning Center and high school (Holman Middle School, Parkwood Elementary School, Pattonville Heights Middle School, Remington Traditional School, Rose Acres Elementary School and Willow Brook Elementary School).

Pattonville United was initiated by high school students in the 2015-2016 school year as a way to make Pattonville a more cohesive school community and help better prepare younger students for success in high school and beyond. The Pattonville United movement originated as part of a discussion by students in the Board Student Administration Action Committee (BSAAC) at the high school. For the past two years, Pattonville United student leaders have ventured to the middle schools to speak face-to-face with eighth-graders to share their experiences in high school and help them transition more smoothly into ninth grade.

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Members of Pattonville United and BSAAC provide an update to the school board on the Yellow Boat of Hope fund-raiser project.