Every child in Sistersville Elementary and A. I. Boreman Elementary recently received a plastic piggy bank. They will be challenged to feed their pig for two weeks, and on March 14 bring the money to school to donate to the restoration of the county home.
Boreman Elementary student Layla Williamson came up with the feed the piggy bank idea.
During the Jan. 11 Tyler County Commission meeting, Williamson gave a short presentation about why the home should be restored. Her project about the 100-year-old county home won first place at the county-wide Social Studies Fair. She will be presenting at the Regional Social Studies Fair in Parkersburg on March 18.
Williamson said her wish was to create awareness and spur extra funding to restore the county home.
She requested that the commissioners provide the funding to purchase enough banks for both elementary schools in the county.
Though the commission politely turned down Williamson's request, she did not give up.
" I wanted to get my generation involved in a fundraiser to help the county home, and I wasn't taking no for an answer," said the sassy fifth grader.
Williamson's idea may succeed. A long time ago when the World War II battleship USS North Carolina was decomissioned, Tarheels near and far wanted to save the ship from almost certain ruin.
Through the Save Our Ship campaign, children gave their dimes, and more than a million people gave something in between.
Of the 1.1 million North Carolina schoolchildren, 700,000 gave at least a dime.
President John F. Kennedy was among those who contributed to that noble cause.
Today, the battleship is a very cool museum that is harbored in Wilmington, NC.
Today, the 100-year-old county home is a target for vandals and the elements. The Tyler County Fair Association's electric plant is located on the county home site, so steps have been taken to shore up the home.
However, preservationists like Peggy George contend that if more isn't done, the home's future may be in jeopardy.
"It is inspirational to see young people involved in their community and to make a difference," she said. "Sometimes when you are small or even such as our organization small in numbers, you think , just how much difference can I make? The County Home may just be a building, but at one time it was hope to many, dreams of the community to grow and take care of their own. It was a step into the future for Tyler County, now left to die and crumble 100 years later. I praise Layla and any other that wants to see life breathed back into the County Home, a structure that embodies hope for the future."