CA Kids Fire Relief launched to support rural schools devastated by wildfires
Wildfires are ravaging California’s rural communities, displacing countless families and affecting dozens of small schools and school districts. The fires have destroyed schools, forced campuses to close and rendered many families homeless — just as students were returning for in-person learning.
On Aug. 25 education leaders announced the launch of CA Kids Fire Relief. The two-week, statewide effort is encouraging students and school communities across California to provide financial and emotional support to students, families and schools impacted by the catastrophic wildfires across the greater Sacramento region.
“Our school communities throughout the El Dorado County are experiencing intense and extreme challenges,” said El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala at the press conference. “This outpouring of coordinated support will provide a sense of care and hope for many.”
In El Dorado County, six schools districts have been evacuated, displacing many students and educators from their school sites.
“The Pioneer community is devastated by this fire,” shared Annette Lane, Pioneer Union School District superintendent/principal. “As you all know by now our elementary school in Grizzly Flat, Walt Tyler Elementary, was destroyed in the fire along with many of our students’ and staff’s homes.”
The effort is urging the education community to contribute gift cards for food, clothing, gasoline, as well as credit card-style gift cards (Visa, Mastercard, AmEx). Online donations are also being accepted via PayPal. (Cash, checks, clothing and household items are not being collected.)
Students are also encouraged to make cards and write positive letters of support, which will be hand-delivered to students and schools in the fire regions. After she spoke, Superintendent Lane was presented with a box of gift cards and support letters that will benefit her families and community.
Gift cards and letters should be mailed to:
CA Kids Fire Relief
C/O Sacramento County Office of Education
P.O. Box 269003
CA Kids Fire Relief is a collaboration between the Small School Districts Association, the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association and the Sacramento County Office of Education.
SCOE will receive the donated gift cards and distribute them to the affected school districts. Districts, in turn, will distribute cards to students and families as soon as possible.
“So many students throughout our state are displaced, devastated, and traumatized,” said Tim Taylor, SSDA executive director. “We are calling on students and families who have not been affected by these tragic wildfires to help the kids and families who are just reeling right now.”
“Connecting children with other children is very powerful,” said David W. Gordon, Sacramento County superintendent of schools. “Young people throughout our state have urgent needs and we know there are other compassionate young people who are looking for ways to help.”
Additional information is available at ssda.org.
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