Mark Twain Elementary sends supplies and cash donation to La Plata Elementary, recently affected by a fire


Tomi Lowes, principal of Mark Twain Elementary, stands with Bridgit Brooks in front of the boxes of school supplies gathered by the school to donate to La Plata Elementary which is displaced due to a fire on Dec. 1. Megan Duncan

HANNIBAL, Mo. – A third-grade student from Mark Twain Elementary started her Christmas break by delivering school supplies and other items to another school in need.

Bridgit Brooks and her parents Sara and Tim Brooks traveled on Wednesday to La Plata Elementary school in La Plata, Mo. to take boxes filled with items, along with a cash donation, gathered by students and staff at  Mark Twain Elementary.

On Dec 1, La Plata Elementary in La Plata, Mo. was ravaged by a fire. Since then, the 148 students enrolled at the school have been attending school at First Baptist Church. 

The idea to donate supplies to the school came from a teacher at Mark Twain Elementary who sent information to the school’s principal Tomi Lowes. Lowes let students and families know what items the school had posted they were in need of. They also donated duplicate copies of books at the school.

“We want them to know that other elementary schools see them and we hurt for them, because I can only imagine what it would be like to uproot and move. We are just trying to help them out as much as we can,” Lowes said.

The Brooks, who have family ties to the area, offered to drive more than 80 miles one way to take the boxes and cash collected for the school. 

Sara Brooks said some of her family members who grew up in the town with a population less than 2,000, attended the school including her late grandfather, grandma and uncle. For them, there is sentimental value attached to the building.

“My grandfather back in the day went to La Plata Elementary. My grandmother, uncle and brother all live there,” she said. “My heart just hurts for them.”

Bridgit, 9, said it feels good to help start her Christmas break helping students and staff at La Plata Elementary. 

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