By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
Thanks to the efforts of one local Boy Scout, students at Grant Bowler Elementary will be well supplied should a natural disaster occur during school hours. Wyatt Clove, 14, recently assembled 38 emergency buckets for the school, enough to place one in every classroom. The buckets include items to make things more pleasant and safe for students should they have to be kept in classrooms for safety reasons.
The idea for the buckets was originally raised at a Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO)meeting. School administrators had heard of similar buckets being placed at other schools. But upon doing more research, they found that the school was unable to provide them.
“After the last major flooding incident we tried to think about what we would need in our classrooms if we ever had another emergency,” said Bowler Assistant Principal Venessa Moreno-Solis. “We had seen information on buckets like this being discussed and passed around. But when we looked into it, we found it was cost-prohibitive and we were unable to proceed.”
Bowler parent volunteer Tami Clove was sitting in the PTO meeting when the subject of the buckets was raised. She immediately thought of her son, Wyatt, who was preparing for an Eagle Scout project. Wyatt agreed and set up an appointment with Solis and school principal Shawna Jessen. Together they poured over a list of possible items to include. Then Wyatt was off and running.
Wyatt set up collection boxes in the community. He made fliers and personal appearances before church and community groups asking for donations.
The project had an original target completion date of December 17. But donations were slow in coming and the date got pushed back a month.
“It turned out to be a lot more work than we thought,” said Tami Clove. “I thought from listening in the meeting that this is what parents wanted and that everyone would just jump in and we’d get donations really fast, but it didn’t happen that way.”
But slowly, through Wyatt’s continued efforts, word did eventually get around.
“I loved running into random people and having them know about my project,” Wyatt said. “It made me happy that news of (the project)was spreading and that people were so kind and generous.”
In the end, Wyatt was able to collect all that he needed through local donations of supplies and cash.
The hardest part of the project then was assembling the buckets. Each bucket contained 36 dust masks, name tags and a marker, 1 coloring book, 1 set of crayons, 1 blanket, 2 toilet paper rolls, 6 white trash bags, 2 black trash bags, 1 bandana for signaling, 1 inflatable beach ball, 1 roll of masking tape, 1 card game, 1 pair of work gloves, and baby wipes.
Wyatt is very pleased with how the project turned out. “In the rare occasion of aflood, or something like that, these buckets have things that can help the kids survive,” he said.
The buckets were finished in late January and were donated to the school on Wed., January 31.
The school staff was thrilled to receive them. “These buckets have loads of stuff we wouldn’t normally be able to buy, so we are so grateful to Wyatt,” Moreno-Solis said. “It was something we wanted done and we are so excited that he was able to do this project.”
Wyatt’s mom, Tami, was thankful to everyone who helped. She said they had friends who spent hours helping to wash buckets and assemble and count items.
“I’m grateful for all those who donated either time, money, or items for the buckets,” Tami said.