West Plains Elementary students organize colorful fundraiser to help fight hunger

WEST PLAINS, Mo. --For some children in school, the only meal they get during the day is at lunch. As Michael Deere reports, students in two classes at West Plains Elementary thought of a colorful fundraiser to help feed kids over the summer.

For several hundred kids in the West Plains School District once the school year ends they have a tougher time finding meals. The purpose of this race is to raise money to make sure those kids don't go hungry.

The West Plains School District has over 2,600 kids and around 60 percent are on the free or reduced lunch program through the district.

Wednesday night's Running For Hunger Color Blaze all started with a story in two fourth grade classes.

"We read the book 'Maddi's Fridge' in class. It was about a little girl who didn't have enough food in her fridge. She made her best friend promise not to tell and she struggled with that and she finally told her mom and they helped her get food," Fourth grade teacher Leigh Spencer said.

They asked their students, what would you do?

"So we discussed what could you do, even as a child, do to help people who were hungry. They came up with lots of ideas and we were kind of going to end it there. Students came in the next day and said we have this idea, we have sponsors and we are ready to go," Spencer added.

The students took the time to visit local businesses, typed up their own emails for potential donors and chose to donate the money to the Bridges Program, which is a community-based organization designed to help meet students' needs in the West Plains School District and the surrounding rural schools, leading to children being able to focus on their education.

Making their teacher's proud.

"We're so excited. As a teacher, that's what we do it for. Just to see them get in to it. That's how they learn," fellow teacher Rebena Sigman told KY3.

Students Audrey Brotherton and Camille Coleman just want to help classmates in need.

"It's really important because like me, I have food in my fridge and some people don't and I feel really sorry for them," Brotherton exclaimed.

"I thought it was actually pretty fantastic and it's for a great cause and I'm glad I did it," Coleman said.

After Wednesday's great turnout, both teachers say they will let the students 'run' with any ideas they have in the future, to help out other causes.