Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

West Hernando Middle special needs students collect more than 800 toiletries for the needy

West Hernando Middle School exceptional student education teachers Shilah Anderson and Karen Shaffer and their classes collected toiletries for the needy.

PAULETTE LASH RITCHIE | Special to the Times

West Hernando Middle School exceptional student education teachers Shilah Anderson and Karen Shaffer and their classes collected toiletries for the needy.

BROOKSVILLE — As Gulf Coast Academy seventh-grader Anthony Crooks, 12, prepared for his required "pay it forward" project, he approached his mother for a venue.

Lisa Crooks is a West Hernando Middle School teacher; Tina Tauriello is the school's PTA president.

Tauriello also runs Kids Closet from her home, providing clothes and other items to Hernando County youth. Anthony wanted to do a clothing drive for Kids Closet, but Tauriello had another idea. What she needed, she said, was toiletries.

Dubbing his project "Toiletries Thursday," Anthony came to the school each week for three weeks to coordinate the collection.

When he finished, his mother kept it up, collecting even more. The class that collected the most items won a pizza party, paid for by Tauriello.

The winners were a combination of the school's two self-contained varying exceptionalities classes.

"This is a special needs class, and they actually collected over 800 items and they won first place," said exceptional student education teacher Shilah Anderson, who teamed with ESE teacher Karen Shaffer in the collection effort.

"It was a really good learning experience," Anderson said. "They now know what toiletries are."

Barbara Agresto, a paraprofessional in Anderson's classroom, described another lesson: helping others.

"We do have a wonderful class," she said. "I'd say a good 99 percent brought stuff in. We just tried every day to instill how others are important."

Seventh-grader Alexis McElhaney, 13, apparently absorbed the lesson.

"We already have a lot, so we need to give people more stuff that they need," she said.

Sixth-grader Trinity Deleon, 13, said she felt really happy about her donations, "because the people need it."

"We all worked together," Anderson said, "and we thought it was important for them to help each other out."

The other paraprofessionals in the ESE department are Lynn Morano, Chris Theiss and Diane Hosman.

The pizza party-winning children were sixth-graders Brian Beatty, Trinity Deleon, Michal Nonnenmaker and Mychael Ramsey; seventh-graders Rebecca Hemmelgarn, Harlee Klauka, Alexis McElhaney, Jacob Norcia, Chris Rae, Aeron Smith, Jaylen Williams and Katelyn Ysbrand; and eighth-graders Charles Frantz, William Turner, Loren Romine, Ollivia Wernert and Kross Shaw.

West Hernando Middle special needs students collect more than 800 toiletries for the needy 12/12/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. NATO rolls out the red carpet, buffs its image for Trump

    World

    BRUSSELS — NATO is not only rolling out the red carpet for U.S. President Donald Trump in Brussels Thursday, the military alliance — which Trump once declared obsolete — has been busy repackaging its image and is ready to unveil a new headquarters worth more than 1 billion euros.

  2. Taiwan becomes first in Asia to recognize same-sex marriage

    World

    TAIPEI, Taiwan — In a first for Asia, Taiwan's Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, punctuating a yearslong campaign by advocates for gay rights in one of the continent's most liberal democracies.

    Same-sex marriage supporters wave rainbow Taiwan flags after the Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Taiwan's Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, making the island the first place in Asia to recognize gay unions. [Associated Press]
  3. 'Top Gun' sequel? Tom Cruise says it starts filming soon

    Blogs

    Tom Cruise is once again feeling the need for speed.

    Tom Cruise starred in "Top Gun" in 1986, and said he'll begin work on a sequel within the next year.
  4. Trump presents Pope Francis with sculpture made by Florida artist

    Blogs

    An artist from Stuart, Florida, made a bronze sculpture that President Trump presented today to Pope Francis.

  5. What could have been the game-winning blast turned into a long single for Colby Rasmus.