As part of the Coulee Region’s ongoing flood relief efforts staff and students at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse joined the crusade by collecting school supplies for neighboring communities ravaged by flash flooding Aug. 27 and 28, and again on Sept. 3 and 4.

On Sept. 11, a group of employees of UW-L traveled to Coon Valley to delivers hundreds of school supply items donated by students and staff at the university over the past week. While at Coon Valley Elementary School representatives from UW-L participated in the school’s morning “Kid’s Zone” television show. The show is hosted by a group of fourth graders in a make-shift television studio located in the library of the building. Guests included: UW-L Susan Kelly (Professor of Mathematics and Statistics), Kelsey Foss (Alumni Outreach), Jason Steiner (Budget Office), Kjerstin Lang (Writer/Editor News and Marketing), and Sara Olson (Chancellor’s Office). The group was introduced to viewers by Lisa Olson, the Coon Valley Elementary School secretary.

Kelly was the spokesperson for UW-L. She said the university was overjoyed to be able to reach out and help and added that the school drive is still ongoing for another week. She also thanked Coon Valley for inviting them to be “Kid’s Zone” guests. When the show ended the group gathered outside to unload the donated school supplies, which were carried into the school gymnasium by third and fourth graders. Donations included notebooks, pencils, binders, folders, backpacks and more.

Ten of Coon Valley Elementary School’s educators are graduates of UW-L, which prompted the initial concept of collecting school supplies that students and staff might have lost during the floods. Lisa Olson said the generous donation was far more than one school needs and will be shared with other school districts also adversely effected by the floods.

“This was such a wonderful surprise and we plan to share the gift with others by passing some of the school supplies down the river to other schools in need of supplies,” Lisa said.

Reach Dorothy Robson at or (608) 606-0811.

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Westby Times editor

Dorothy Robson is editor of the Westby Times. Contact her at 608-637-5625.

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