Missouri Tornado: Schools Statewide Get Creative In Helping Joplin

Schools throughout Missouri are going beyond traditional fundraisers to help victims of the E-F5 tornado in Joplin that took the lives of 125 at last count.

Seventy miles east of Joplin, about half of the Springfield School District announced plans to offer aid, according to the News-Leader. Third-graders at the district's Roundtree Elementary turned their photography exhibition, "Visual Media Promotes Social Change," into an auction to raise money for tornado victims.

At Springfield's Field Elementary, fifth-graders were already studying a unit called "Help is on the Way," which looks at how relief organizations support needy areas. They've now challenged every classroom to raise $200.

Teacher Nicki Foltz tells the News-Leader it's been a learning experience:

"Even though they're kids, even though they're little, they can make a difference," she said. "They can make a change in the world."

A number of Springfield schools are also organizing opt-in donation activities, KSPR reports. Cherokee Middle School, for example, will allow kids to use iPods during lunch if they donate $1 to the school's fundraiser Jammin' For Joplin.

In Carthage, Mo., the high school voted to donate more than $12,000 of the funds they had raised for their graduation party, according to the school website.

Missouri's Willard School District has called on the 4,200-student district to fill a truck with donations. Superintendent Kent Medlin tells the the News-Leader they're gathering blankets, clothing, baby supplies, food and water.

"A plea for assistance and supplies has went out from the Joplin community and the Willard Chamber of Commerce is organizing a very quick response drive for donations...This is one small way that we can help this effort."

See HuffPost's list of ways you can help Joplin. Aid can also be sent through the links below.