"Immediately following Katrina, we were getting calls from schools wanting to help the teachers and students in Louisiana and Mississippi," said Dr. Rick Melmer, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education. "After talking with our counterparts in the affected areas, we created Kids for Katrina Relief, so that our schools could be certain their dollars would go directly to Louisiana's schools, teachers and students."
The money raised through Kids for Katrina Relief will go to a fund set up by Louisiana's Superintendent of Education Cecil J. Picard. The fund matches monetary donations with the needs of school systems affected by the storm.
Launched in mid-September, Kids for Katrina Relief ran throughout October. Participating schools used a variety of activities, ranging from bake sales to penny drives, to raise funds.
A number of schools also ran their own fund-raising efforts and sent the dollars to a charitable organization or directly to a particular school.
"We want to congratulate all of the schools out there that raised funds or collected supplies for the schools affected by Katrina and Rita," Melmer said. "We know that there were many efforts, beyond our initiative, going on. All of these students and teachers should be extremely proud of their efforts.