By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
ROCKLEDGE -- After Mother Nature unleashed her fury in Moore, Okla. on May 20, a group of local students heard the victims' cries for help.
The Beta Club at Ronald McNair Magnet Middle School in Rockledge donated $400, which the club had raised throughout the year, to the American Red Cross, to benefit those who were left reeling after the destruction.
The national Beta Club website describes the organization as one that is "committed to recognizing and promoting high academic achievement, rewarding and nurturing worthy character, fostering leadership skills and encouraging service to others."
McNair's Beta Club sponsor, Alexis Poole, said that the club is a combination of an honor society and service club.
"The students are invited to the club based on their high grade point average," Mrs. Poole added. "[The students] vote for their officers, choose the projects they work on, and I just guide them through the processes."
Because McNair is a middle school, the club is considered a Junior Beta Club, as its members are in seventh and eighth grade.
In her three and a half years as the Beta Club sponsor at McNair, Mrs. Poole's students have volunteered their time through various activities, such as sponsoring teacher and staff appreciation events, working on anti-bullying campaigns and raising money for natural disaster relief.
"Our group raised money throughout the year by selling refreshments at school dances and through money collected for teacher appreciation projects from this school year and the last," Mrs. Poole said. "We also received money from faculty and parent donations."
The Beta Club students have also committed to meeting up over the summer, so they can brainstorm different ways to help the students of Moore, Okla., this fall.
"Students are concerned with how those students from the destroyed schools will feel when the new school year starts and they are in new schools," Mrs. Poole said. "They will be making cards and posters to send to the new schools to pass out. Some have mentioned making a movie or an electronic presentation to send up."
Mrs. Poole added that she is unaware of what the final projects will be, as her students have decided not to tell or show her until they go back to school.
"These students are amazing," Mrs. Poole said. "I am so proud of them, their commitment and their big hearts."
To help the Ronald McNair Magnet Middle School Beta Club students, contact Alexis Poole at Poole.Alexis@BrevardSchools.org.