Richmond 5th Graders Share the Love

Megan Alberse and Harely Justus with 5th Grade Richmond Elementary Students

Story and photo provided by CASA for Kids of Payne and and Logan Counties

Each year the Richmond Elementary fifth grade students and teachers find a community service project to do for Valentine’s Day.  This year, Megan Alberse happened to be doing her internship within the 5th grade classrooms and suggested a project for CASA for Kids.  Ms. Alberse is an OSU college student and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.  “CASA is my sorority’s national and local philanthropy,” said Ms. Alberse.  “This is a natural fit.  I’m so excited that it worked out.”

Fifth grade teacher, Harely Justus, made contact with CASA for Kids and then coordinated with the other fifth grade teachers.  A call to action went out to the students and parents who responded in a big way. The fifth grade students put together 75 care packages decorated with inspirational messages and filled with items including playdough, bubbles, coloring books, and treats.  These items will be used by CASA volunteers when they visit with their CASA children.

CASA for Kids Executive Director Ruth Cavins, and CASA volunteer Heather Houle were invited to speak to the fifth grade classes on Valentine’s Day.  Friendship was the school-wide word of the day.  “This is such a beautiful expression of kindness. The compassion of children never ceases to amaze me,” said Cavins. The fifth grade students listened intently and then asked thoughtful questions for over half an hour.

“These students really seem to understand that there are children in their very own community who are hurting, and they are compelled to do something about it,” said Cavins.  “I commend the Richmond Elementary faculty and staff for prioritizing community involvement and for fostering citizenship among the student body.”

CASA for Kids is a nonprofit organization that recruits, screens, trains and supports community volunteers who advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children in juvenile deprived court.

For more information about CASA for Kids, Inc., contact Ruth Cavins, Executive Director, at 405-624-2242 or email, or visit  

For more information about CASA programs in general visit the state CASA website at or the national website