Laverna Evans students raise money for Special Olympics

(Submitted Photo)

O’FALLON – Students at Laverna Evans Elementary raised money for Special Olympics on Friday, Feb. 8 by donating $1 to wear pajamas for the day. 

Evans students raised over $330 and presented a check to O’Fallon Police Department as a joint effort to raise awareness and funds for the Special Olympics. 

(Submitted Photo)

“This was a fun event for the students and staff as everyone had the opportunity to dress in PJ’s and donate to a great cause,” Evans principal Ryan Keller said.

(Submitted Photo)

“Our students, parents and staff are very gracious with donations and supporting the many great causes in our community,” he said. “It is rewarding to see everyone in our school community pulling together for the common good.”(

Laverna Evans garden gets revamped thanks to service project


O’FALLON – Two area companies, Lowe’s and Kid Friendly Network, collaborated to upgrade the garden at Laverna Evans Elementary School. Principal Ryan Keller had appealed to Lowe’s for assistance in revamping the overgrown area and got more than he expected in return.

“Fifteen years ago, we started a garden project with the idea to partner with the community to essentially make it an outdoor classroom. They went out there and studied plants, put their hands in the soil. They did the planting and the weeding, and then in the fall, would complete the harvesting process. We were sending produce to the O’Fallon Food Pantry weekly. Over time, organization, the amount of work for upkeep, and the fact that some of the people running the project moved on led to the flower beds just growing up in weeds,” Keller explained.

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Two local schools open to a different style of learning

O’Fallon District 90’s Laverna Evans and J. Emmett Hinchcliffe Sr. Elementary schools both have open concept floor plans, something many local parents had questions and concerns about during the recent discussions about redrawing District 90 boundaries. Parents expressed during Board of Education meetings whether an open concept environment could be truly beneficial to the students.

Laverna Evans’ Principal Ryan Keller saw both the good and bad reactions from the community.

“You don’t know what you don’t know, and the unknown is kind of scary. Let’s say that you’re car shopping, and someone tries to sell you a car, but you want a different one. You’re going to say all of the things that you don’t like about the car because you don’t want it. Part of the issue is misconceptions, but the other part is making a case for why I don’t want that, as opposed to why I want this instead. You end up with negative connotations. Instead of saying ‘This is why I want to go to this school, it was ‘I don’t want to go to that one’,” Keller said.

To read the full article, pick up a copy of this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition.