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Second Grader Gives Savings To Save Teachers

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – A Fort Worth girl has cleaned out her piggy bank to try to help save the jobs of her school teachers and principals.

Maria Meneses is a second-grader at Fort Worth’s Diamond Hill Elementary School. Principal Ellen Verreault says she came to her Tuesday, handed her a sack of small change the size of a softball and said, “Here, this is for you.”

“Maria walked in the office and asked for me,” said Ellen Verreault, the principal of the school. “And I walked out of my office. She just held out her arm with a bag of money and said I have some money for you.”

“Someone in my class, they saw the news and they said that some of the teachers might be fired because there wasn’t enough money for every teacher,” Meneses said. “So I thought I would bring this to my school.”

Meneses pointed at a wrinkled, brown, plastic shopping bag. Inside was a small pile of nickles and pennies. Maria bagged up the money from her college savings change jar.

“About four dollars and somewhere in the nineties,” Meneses said.

Verreault says Maria told her that she heard that teachers might lose their jobs because of a budget crunch afflicting the Fort Worth school district and public school systems across Texas. According to Verreault, Maria said she didn’t want that to happen, “and then she started to cry and, of course, I cried too.”

“And I said, ‘I didn’t want any of the teachers or you to leave’,” said Meneses. “I want to give it to my school for, so all my teachers can stay. It would be really nice if all the kids could bring their money. Because its gonna be nice for everyone when nobody has to go and everybody could stay here peacefully.”

Verreault said she cried when she realized what Meneses was offering. It was Meneses’s four dollars and somewhere in the nineties that reminded her and Meneses’s teachers about the value of what they do.  “The children are the ones that kind of bring us back to our knees in situations like this, you know?” Verreault said. “(It) brings us back to reality.”

“I’m so positive I’m helping my school,” Meneses said. “I don’t want anyone to go.”

Verreault politely returned Meneses’s money. But the value of the offer was a gift for Diamond Hill Elementary staff to cherish.

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