The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

December 10, 2009

29th Street Elementary school year like no other

Students unite in first, only year

ANDERSON­ — Everyone at 29th Street Elementary School was someplace else last year. And they probably will all be elsewhere next school year.

But that has not mattered to the 30 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders who stayed after school for a student council meeting on Tuesday. There was little time to waste, and so much to do:

Wrapping books for tonight’s Title I literacy night at the school. Trimming a tree and decorating the gym for the event. Boxing up the 1,800 cans of food they had collected for Salvation Army’s food drive. Tallying money collected from selling candy canes. Making cards for the adopted nursing home next door, Countryside Manor.

And then there was next week’s trip to the statehouse to plan for.

“I think it’s very important to be in student council to represent the school, and if we’re good at the statehouse, they’ll probably think that 29th Street school is good,” said fourth-grader Kameron Coffin. He and his student council classmates also spent part of the after-school session designing ornaments they will hang on a tree in the Capitol Rotunda on Dec. 16 during the 2009 Statehouse Tree Trim, a literacy event hosted by Indiana first lady Cheri Daniels.

“We’re the only school in Anderson to get that privilege,” boasted student council President Jake Drechsler.

But 29th Street has an even rarer distinction. It will probably be a one-year school. It opened at the beginning of this school year, and according to either cost-cutting option before the school board, it will close at the end of the school year.

Edgewood, Forest Hills and Killbuck elementary schools also are proposed to close under either school-consolidation plan before the school board.

”We’re not going to let them think that just because we might be closing, we can’t make a difference for this one year,” teacher Julie Chelli said of the students who formed the student council.

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