What is your superpower?

Kelly hands Lysol wipes to one of the Coon Valley Elementary students.Mathematics Professor Susan Kelly helps unload donated school supplies with students at Coon Valley Elementary School.

UWL makes school supply drop-off to Coon Valley Elementary School, students see the ‘superpower’ of community

Coon Valley Elementary School’s theme for the year is “What is your superpower?”

“It’s one of those moments where it’s tragic, but in tragedy you see peoples’ true hearts,” says Berg. “Whatever they can do, they show up and help.”

The theme has taken on new meaning with devastating flooding in the area that has caused students to think of all of the ways people can demonstrate a superpower, explains UWL alumnus Mike Berg, ’87 & ’90, Coon Valley Elementary School principal.

Superpowers ranged from the firefighters who showed up to save Coon Valley lives the night of the flood to the many volunteers and community donors who have shown gratitude and compassion in the wake of the flood.

“That’s how we would characterize you,” added Berg.

He referred to UWL faculty, staff and students who donated a few vehicle loads of school supplies to the school Tuesday, Sept. 11, and again on Wednesday, Sept. 19. The donation drop-off became a part of the fourth-grade students’ TV news cast both days, which is shared live, school-wide.

UWL Chancellor Joe Gow meets students at his vehicle to unload supplies.

UWL Chancellor Joe Gow meets students at his vehicle to unload supplies.

“A lot of people are thinking about you at UWL … I’m privileged to be here this morning to deliver these items to you,” explained UWL Chancellor Joe Gow during the students’ news cast on Wednesday.

UWL Professor of Mathematics Susan Kelly explained how the drive took off at UWL, with many wanting to get involved as word spread.

“I think it can be a comfort to know that in hard times one can lean on others for help,” says Kelly, who helped organize the collection. “Community can represent people across nations or just down the road. If we all work together, we can help each other when some of us are in need.”

During the visit, Gow also encouraged the students to consider college, and in particular, the one that many of their teachers attended. Ten of the 15 teachers at Coon Valley Elementary School are UWL alums.

Berg says community support for the school and community has come from all around. It started when the school became an overnight shelter for those evacuated from the engulfing flood waters, which started the evening of Monday, Aug. 27. The following day, businesses, community volunteers and others

Students at Coon Valley Elementary School pose with UWL faculty and staff.

Students at Coon Valley Elementary School pose with UWL faculty and staff.

came together to provide lunch and dinner to those who stayed the night at the school.

“It’s one of those moments where it’s tragic, but in tragedy you see peoples’ true hearts,” says Berg. “Whatever they can do, they show up and help.”

One of the best ways to give, says Berg, is through monetary donations, gas cards and gift cards. Also, Coulee Region Flooding Clean-up 2018 Facebook page has become a resource for those who want to help in a variety of ways.

“This is awesome,” said Berg, walking into the gym where students were unloading the UWL donations Tuesday.

Coon Valley Population Sign

Coon Valley was one of the areas in the Coulee Region hardest hit by the flooding that began Monday, Aug. 27.

“There are always families in need of school supplies — certainly those families who lost everything.”

Any extra supplies will be passed on to other schools in the area affected by the flooding.

Items donated included supplies such as notebooks, rulers, color markers, colored pencils, crayons, pens, folders, Expo markers, calculators, Kleenex boxes, backpacks and more, as well as cash donations.

Collections continue

A UWL team is collecting donations includes:

Natalie Eschenbaum (433A Wimberley Hall)
Chris Helixon (153 Mitchell Hall)
Susan Kelly (1029 Cowley Hall)
Ronda Leahy (4212 Centennial Hall)
Sara Olson (133 Main Hall)
Mary Rathgaber (4034 Health Science Center)