The Woodward News

Local News

December 15, 2013

Students change lives through giving

Woodward, Okla. — Learning the culture of giving is as much a lesson in life as any type of learning, said Horace Mann Elementary School Counselor Jill Rogers.

For that reason, students at the school were given the opportunity to practice the art of giving with the "Change a Life at Christmas" program.

"The kids are just so excited about this," Rogers said. "It's been so good for them and for us too."

The concept of the giving program isn't difficult. Children wander by the money containers and drop change in the container that represents their grade, Rogers said.

The money will be turned over to Merciful Angel Outreach directors Tom Brown and his wife Gale Brown.

"Merciful Angels is a local program created to help those in need regardless of race, creed, color, or even religious beliefs," reads its mission statement on its webpage. "For these are the loving ways of Christ. We take most anything and turn it into something useful for those in desperate need."

The impact to a child's sense of community when they become a part of one of these programs is notable, Rogers said.

"I have seen the kids who really don't have anything giving. Sometimes it is just a penny, but it all matters and it all counts," Rogers said.

Perhaps the best way to measure the experience, though, is through the voice of some of the children who chose to make it their mission this year to donate.

Consider 9-year-old Lily Nippert who has challenged herself, and by proxy her parents, to give and give some more and then when it really hurts, try once more.

"I first gave $20 and then I had another $20, so I gave that one too," Nippert said. "Then I went home and asked my father if I could just have the change he had and he gave me a $50 for it."

For Nippert, who readily admits she is lucky to have never lived through a lean Christmas, the program was a chance for her to include others in one of her favorite times of year.

"It makes me feel good because they are going to get stuff for Christmas," she said.

Typical all boy fifth-grader Andrew Fargo was more pragmatic about the act of giving. Yet, his own last minute decision surprised even himself at little.

"Well, it was my dad's money but what happened was my brother was asking for money for Smencils and stuff (popular scented pencils sold at school) and so I asked for $10 for this (the change program) and also some Smencils too," Fargo said. "But then, instead of buying the Smencils, I just donated all the money."

When he tells the story, his face still holds a look of puzzlement when he gets to the end of it - that while there were things he wanted for himself, he still gave it up for someone else.

"Well, I guess I'd be upset if I didn't get to have a Christmas and I bet the other kids would be too. So that's why I did it," he said.

According to Rogers, when school staff heard about his act of selflessness, they presented him with a Smencil.

"He had no idea we were going to do that and you should have seen his face when he realized his act of giving found its way all the way back to him," Rogers said.

Second grader Baylee Goree is no talker.

The serious minded, all business 8-year-old didn't have much to say about why he donated money, other than he just wanted to, mainly on his mother's suggestion.

"My mom gave me the money and I just put it in there," he said.

Third grader Kelton Smith dug around in his wallet and then, when that wasn't enough, decided it was time to shake down the piggy bank.

In all, Smith rounded up about $5 of money, long stored and saved from various chores such as mopping, he said. Some of the money also were gifts from family throughout the year.

"I just thought it would be nice to give this money so parents could get their kids something for Christmas," he said.

According to Rogers, any parents or community members need only drop by the school and drop in some change. The containers are in the front lobby, Rogers said.

Text Only
Local News
  • House sends income tax cut to governor

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Legislation that would trim Oklahoma's personal income tax rate when state revenue improves was approved by the House on Wednesday in spite of objections that it's irresponsible in the face of critical education, health care and transportation needs.

    April 24, 2014

  • FOP to host debate for candidates

    Woodward's Fraternal Order of Police chapter is sponsoring a debate on May 20 between the two candidates hoping to become the next District 26 District Attorney.

    April 24, 2014

  • Movie premiere Thursday

    A film company interested in continuing a trend of production in the area will screen their latest full length film "Wichita" Thursday (April 24) at the Woodward Arts Theatre at 7 p.m.

    April 24, 2014

  • Personal security focus of weekend class for women

    Self-defense and personal security does not always include a physical altercation.
    The mind can often help you prevail in a potentially dangerous situation.

    April 23, 2014

  • Testing woes frustrating for students

    On Monday, Woodward 7th grader Taylor Harrison sat straight and tense in front of the computer, but she felt prepared.

    April 23, 2014

  • DSC_5249.JPG Fire units on scene of tank battery fire

    A tank battery fire that started at an oilfield disposal site northwest of Woodward early Wednesday morning continues to burn.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • City, county commissions meet

    Roundup of Monday's Woodward city and county commission meetings.

    April 22, 2014

  • Boomers win 2 in Alva festival

    The Boomer baseball team had its most successful day of the season  since March with a pair of wins in the Alva Festival on Saturday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Glitches prompt suspension of testing

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's public schools superintendent suspended online testing across the state on Monday after middle and high school students systemwide experienced disruptions during high-stakes standardized tests for the second consecutive year.

    April 22, 2014

  • Mooreland Art Show Saturday

    MOORELAND--There will be a lot of talent on display at the 28th annual Mooreland Spring Arts and Crafts Show.

    April 22, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.