Eighth-graders at City Springs Elementary Middle School in Baltimore are an example of what happens when people come together to help others.
Shortly after their school year started and they learned more about the crisis unfolding in the gulf state in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Wyatt Oroke’s humanities class decided they wanted to do something to help. Initially, their goal was to raise $500 for victims. By the end of the week, the students had doubled their original target.
It’s a positive story coming out of a city better known for negative headlines. One student told local news station WBALTV 11 that the money raised came from “good people in Baltimore, ones that are not all about killings, and not about everything they say it is."
In 2015 the community was rocked by the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man who died in police custody. This summer, the Maryland municipality witnessed historic gun violence. The students at the East Baltimore school deal with the fallout from these events everyday. Yet, their concern for others led them to make a difference.
"Us, as people from Baltimore, we're not in the best predicament. We don't got money like that to be giving away, but I see all these little kids giving away a whole bunch of money, whole bunch of supplies and I'm like, 'That's kind of great,'" a student told the WBALTV 11.
Oroke shared the pupil’s sentiment and expressed how proud he was that his students are donating $1,000 to the Red Cross. "It was one of the greatest things I've ever seen. That's why I'm a teacher, you know, to have student-led activities, student-led opportunities, and so seeing that was like everything that I wanted to see in a classroom.”