Fifth-grade students are holding a sock drive, and are asking our readers to make donations.

Dear Beaverton Valley Times Editor,

Hello! We are fifth graders at Bethany Elementary School and recently our whole grade has been learning about human rights and homelessness. It's a huge lesson for us and it's very inspiring.

When our class was reading about homelessness, we came across one of your newspaper articles, 'School district has highest homeless population in state'. We read that our school district, the Beaverton School District, has the highest number of homeless kids in Oregon. As we learned and read more articles about this new project, our class realized that we felt really guilty about the homeless crisis in Portland, Oregon. We noticed that we didn't help people who need it as much as we could have, or should have. Our guilt quickly turned to being remorseful and we wanted to make something good happen out of this rising problem.

"Well," we thought, "what can we do, as fifth graders to help fix this growing difficulty?" Our knowledgeable fifth grade teachers suggested that we look up ways to help the people in shelters and people on the streets. After brainstorming ideas on a sheet of paper about how to help them, fifth grade chose to host a sock drive at our school. We watched a few more documentaries on homelessness, learned from a few more lessons, and we discovered that socks were actually the least donated but one of the most needed articles of clothing in shelters.

For the next few weeks, we learned more and more about the homeless and their lives but we were also organizing a system to advertise our sock drive. Our teacher, Mrs. Hoppenrath, made a signup sheet that all classes in fifth grade participated in by writing down their top three jobs they would like to do to take care of a task. We ended up with flyers, posters, a display case, announcements to the whole school over the loudspeaker, and even skits in the gym before students go to their classes each morning! The jobs started out as suggestions from students but it eventually all came together and made a big difference. This accomplishment was amazing but our teachers knew that just one elementary school wasn't going to help the millions of homeless people on the streets of Portland.

We are writing to politely ask if you could tell the public about our sock drive in your newspaper, The Beaverton Valley Times. All of us fifth graders are hoping that you will accept this offer and help us get more and more new socks to donate to people who need them.

Our sock drive started on Monday, Dec. 11, and ends Tuesday, Dec. 19. We are hosting it at Bethany Elementary, 3305 N.W. 174th Ave., and the public can drop new socks off at the front office. We hope you will accept our request, and thank you for considering.

With sincere appreciation,

Ariana Hamilton, Eva Gladney, Grace Franey, and all of Fifth-grade at Bethany Elementary School.

Contract Publishing

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