When the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through central Ohio on Sept. 14, residents in the Buckeye State experienced only a glimpse of the devastation that ravaged the Gulf Coast.

When the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through central Ohio on Sept. 14, residents in the Buckeye State experienced only a glimpse of the devastation that ravaged the Gulf Coast.

The fourth-grade class at St. Andrew School, 4081 Reed Road, decided to take an active role in raising money for hurricane relief. Working together, the students raised $1,100 to donate to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief in the Gulf Coast.

St. Andrew fourth-grader Anna Hartman took the lead in the fundraising efforts, working with classmate Marley Bauer to develop a proposal to deliver to their teacher, Cassie Kelsey, and principal Joel Wichtman.

"I heard about Hurricane Ike and I wanted to do something to help," Hartman said.

She and her classmates arranged to raffle off a Wii game system. Kelsey and another fourth-grade teacher, Mike Nemeth, assigned tasks to their students to ensure that the whole school could participate in the raffle.

One group of fourth-graders made posters to advertise the raffle, another group visited every homeroom and sold tickets, while yet another group tallied the money from raffle ticket sales.

While the students raised money, Kelsey and Nemeth incorporated lessons about charitable giving and the weather conditions that lead to hurricanes into the classroom. The students went online and studied pictures of the destruction wrought by Hurricane Ike.

"We saw satellite pictures of the hurricane, so they could see the before and after," Kelsey said.

Many of the students were out of school for several days and suffered power outages following the Sept. 14 windstorm, which literally brought home the lessons they learned about hurricanes.

"We learned a lot about how hurricanes formed out in the sea," said fourth-grader Olivia Van Arsdale.

"It fit into religion (class)," said Patrick Sprigler. "We learned about helping other people."

The students also practiced arithmetic skills by selling raffle tickets.

"We got to add up all the numbers and count the money," said Amanda Quick.

The St. Andrew students are challenging other fourth-grade classes around central Ohio to match or exceed the money they raised for hurricane relief.

"We wanted to get other fourth-grade classes to get involved," Kelsey said. "Hopefully we can inspire other people."

A closer look