Frisco ISD’s Cobb Middle School has found a sister campus in Cobb Elementary School in Channelview, Texas.
In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, school administrators across the state reached out to their counterparts in the affected areas. Kecia Theodore, principal of Cobb Middle School, sent an email offering support to Dr. Chad Nuetzmann, principal at Cobb Elementary.
She says when she sent her first email, she wasn’t even sure Dr. Nuetzmann would have email access, but he responded the very next day. He was excited and thankful to hear that the Cobb Cyclones were willing to reach out to the Cobb Cougars. As Theodore explained it, together they would be Cobb Strong. Theodore offered to begin a campus-wide drive to meet any needs of their sister school.
Cobb Elementary School serves about 500 children grades K-5, in an area that experienced severe flooding. Nuetzmann began his career in Texas just after Hurricane Rita – so now he has been through the aftermath of three major hurricanes, including Ike and Harvey. He reports that the school did not suffer a great deal of damage, but teachers and students are still dealing with the impact of the storm.
“While the campus did not sustain much damage, there was flooding the in area around the school. Many of the teachers lost everything and are/were living in shelters and hotels. Some have found apartments and are trying to rebuild their lives. A number of families are 'doubled up' as they are taking in relatives that lost everything,” Theodore explained.
Cobb Middle School collected close to $4,000 in gift cards from various stores. The gift cards were delivered on Monday, October 16, along with Cobb Middle School pencils for all students, spirit wear for administrative and office staff and various items with the school logo. Theodore and her husband traveled to the school to make delivery of the items. She also plans to take a group of volunteers to Channelview in the spring.
“We also created (pay it forward) cards for the elementary students as we wanted to inspire them give to others without expecting anything in return,” Theodore said.
Cobb Middle School is donating a portion of the proceeds from its book fair to the Channelview Cobb’s library and FISD’s Cobb may also take part in a beautification project at Cobb Elementary. The Channelview campus had donated a camellia plant to Cobb Middle School to be planted in the school atrium. There it will grow to remind students, parents and staff of the continuing partnership with their sister school.
Teachers in Frisco ISD will continue to offer support to the Channelview teachers. The award-winning Cobb Middle School PTA, recognized nationally for its success with involving parents in education, is also planning to visit with stakeholders from the elementary campus to help increase parental involvement.
Though Harvey caused much devastation, these two campuses are building a strong partnership out of the wreckage. Like the camellia donated to the Cobb campus, this partnership will continue to grow and strengthen over the years.