Viera Charter students help with clothing, assistance


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Endeavour Elementary School Principal Christopher Reed, left, and Terri Bagby of Endeavour, VCS Student Council faculty advisor Mary Rabun, Student Council members Kyra Lee, Vincenzo Sciortino, Allison Otero, William VanGenechten and Briegan Novak, and Kathy Harrington-Brown, a dean at Endeavour, bonded over a shared mission May 20. Not pictured is VCS Student Council member Celeste Sapp.

Linda Wiggns

Viera Charter School students are helping students less fortunate, sharing clothing they’ve grown out of as they would share with their own little brothers and sisters.

In addition to recent donations of like-new clothing, the students presented a check for $1,000 on May 20 so students at Endeavour Elementary School in Cocoa can get emergency needs met and receive food for their families from a new pantry set up at the school.

“We are so fortunate at this school to have what we have,” said Student Council President Allison Otero, a graduating eighth grader. “We love the thought of helping students who don’t have what we have, by giving them a little bit more.”

Endeavour is located in the middle of the most economically challenged residential community in Brevard County.

“We are gifted with what we have, blessed, fortunate,” said Mary Rabun, a VCS World Geography teacher and faculty advisor for the Student Council. “We have an abundance of resources, both as a school and for many of the families here. Many families may not think of how they can volunteer at their school, or what they can send in as a donation. They are trying to survive day to day. It’s great that the students here are thrilled to share what they have.”

The first part of the project was the clothing collection. Students reached out to their peers for like-new clothing. Rabun reached out to all other teachers in the school that has students ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade. Emails were sent to the students’ parents for clothing that no longer fits their children.

The clothing, which recently was delivered, filled more than 20 large bags.

“When we brought the clothes, the response was immediate. The students went right into the bathrooms and changed into their new clothes,” Rabun said.

For the funds, which will be used to meet emergency needs of students and their families, the Student Council hosted a middle school “Spring Fling” dance, charged admission, and asked for donations.

“I love that they chose to help other children just like themselves right here in our Brevard family,” VCS Principal Dr. Julie Cady said. “It really shows good character — caring, helping others. At Viera Charter School, character education is a key focus of student success.”

The Viera Voice responded with action to match the students’ efforts. Students collected plenty of uniform bottoms, but Endeavour students had no uniform shirts to go with them with their school name.

The Viera Voice and its networking group, Viera Means Business, pledged to purchase two uniform tops for any student whose family cannot afford it. They also will do a drive for brand-new shoes for each Endeavour student in need, so that every student will get to experience that good self-esteem that comes from going to school on the first day in brand new shoes.

In terms of food, the Viera Voice pledged $500 to provide the 100 students in the after-school/summer program a “Super Snack” each day before going home. It is a full meal because they likely will not get a meal at home or any food until they come back to school the next day for a free breakfast and lunch. The match more than doubled the dollar value of the VCS students’ efforts.

For more information about Viera Charter School, call 321-541-1434 or go to vieracharterschool.com.