Dayton 3rd graders read to raise money for Harvey victims

A check for close to $400 presented to the American Red Cross by World of Wonder 3rd graders September 1st, 2017.

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton Public Schools third graders here showed the power of reading Friday. Students at World of Wonder used their reading skills to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The school’s two third grade teachers explained the devastation in Texas and Louisiana to their students.

Jess Pierce, a third grader in W.O.W., said he felt upset seeing families trapped in the floodwaters.

“We saw people getting trapped in cars and some kids had to sit in a satellite dish on top of the roof,” Pierce said. “It made me feel sad because of the videos we watched.

Another third grader, Ja’mya Stewart McCray said she compelled to help the kids her own age.

“It makes me feel sad how the other little kids, they probably go to school, but they probably can’t come to school.”

As part of their “Reading to Respond” initiative, the students asked family, friends and teachers to pledge money per word they could read in one minute. The kids practiced their reading at home, aiming to improve comprehension and fluency.

Friday, they presented a giant $200 check to American Red Cross Dayton chapter executive director Cory Paul, before receiving some last minute donations from students, parents and principals from other DPS schools.

After adding the contributions as a group, the total nearly reached $400.

Paul said the check presentation was one his most memorable donations to the organization’s Hurricane Harvey relief effort.

“You can really tell that they have a lot of concern and compassion for the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana,” Paul said. “And you can can tell that they want to learn more.”

Paul was also impressed by World of Wonder’s idea to add community service to the third graders’ reading practice.

“Knowing that each word you’re reading is going towards that common goal, it’s just a really nice pairing of education plus philanthropy,” Paul said.

The funds will go toward American Red Cross relief efforts in Texas and Louisiana.

If you’d like to contribute to the mission, you can find more information here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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