A special thank you message from the Aldine ISD

A special thank you message from the Aldine ISD
The students remembered what they went through with Hurricane Katrina and decided to pay it forward.


It’s been a month since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas. The Houston area received unprecedented rainfall. Today, there are still families working on recovery efforts.

As the storm hovered over the Houston area, journalism students at West Harrison High School in Gulfport, Miss., watched the images playing on news stations. These young men and women were small children when Hurricane Katrina hit their area. But the memories of that event linger. They decided they wanted to do something to help their western neighbors.

West-Harrison-High-School-Aid-Aldine-ISD-Image-12When something happens, my students immediately want to help,” said Tiffani Pollard, broadcast journalism teacher at West Harrison HS. “I encourage students to reach out to help. That is the true meaning of journalism. Its about the facts and the truth. Journalism is also about being loyal to citizens.

“It involves ones moral compass. The stories involve people. That means bringing a sense of humanity and personal responsibility. That includes lending a helping hand to those in need.”

According to Trang Pham-Bui, the students chose to adopt Aldine. Pham-Bui is the public relations specialist at Harrison County School District.

West-Harrison-County-Public-Schools-Adopt-Aldine-ISD-Aid-Drive-Image-4Pham-Bui added that the students learned about a connection to Aldine. Former Harrison employee Tammany Ryals currently works as an Aldine ISD teacher.

Once the West Harrison HS students’ mission became clearm everyone was on board to help. Superintendent Roy Gill immediately supported adopting Aldine ISD. This became a districtwide effort. He reached out to business partners like Keesler Federal Credit Union. Thanks to their partnership, the union provided a $1,000 donation.

The West Harrison HS students spearheaded the drive. They even created a video and reached out to their community to help them raise donations. And help they did! The broadcast journalism group encouraged students throughout the district. They also encouraged parents, staff and community members to donate. Items collected included school supplies, bottled water, baby supplies and toiletries. Students also collected cleaning supplies, food items, gift cards and monetary donations.

Claudia Tisdale, Jacob Beech and Sara Cueva are a few of the West Harrison HS students that took part in the effort.

West-Harrison-High-School-Aid-Aldine-ISD-Image-11We understand what they (Aldine/Houston area families) have been through,” said Claudia. “We wanted to help.”

Sara and Jacob remember Hurricane Katrina. With local media, they shared their experiences when Katrina impacted their area. “It’s devastating,” said Sara. “No one wants to go through something like this.”

It broke my heart to see what was happening in the Houston area,” said Jacob. “We thought long and hard about what we could do to help kids in Aldine. We brainstormed. We realized the kids would need school supplies and other essentials. The supplies needed to be things that would help students and their families recover. That is how we came up with a list of items to collect.”

West-Harrison-County-School-District-Adopts-Aldine-ISD-Aid-Drive-Image-5Students took the goal to heart. One young man, Ziekheaston Taylor, purchased more than $200 worth of hurricane relief supplies for the Aldine ISD with his own money. He and so many others who took part are great examples of the spirit of giving.

Pham-Bui added that local volunteers delivered the donations to Aldine. One of those groups was the Krewe of Neptune from Biloxi, MS. They had an 18-wheeler filled with donations from areas in southern Mississippi. This included the items from Harrison County Public Schools.

Aldine ISD picked up the donations at a warehouse in Houston. AISD staff boxed the items into family care packages and issued as needed. The school supplies were also sorted and distributed to parents and counselors.

Everyone in Aldine ISD is grateful to Harrison County Public Schools, West Harrison HS and the community.

West-Harrison-HS-Journalism-Students-and-Staff-Image-1


Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our students and families!