Landon Students Show Support for Local Child

Today's kids don’t always get shown in the best  light, but here at Topeka Public Schools, we know that our students are every bit as giving and compassionate as those in the generations that went before them.

Case in point: the students at Landon Middle School have rallied together in support of a complete stranger- a young child they’ve never met- who is battling leukemia.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when 8th grade science teacher Stacy Schreiner wore a bright orange shirt adorned with the words “Team Blake” to school. The inquiring students wanted to know who Blake was, and why he had a team. Schreiner told her class about the little boy, her cousin’s child, who had burned his hands by climbing over a railing in his home and touching a hot wood-burning stove. When Blake’s hands failed to heal normally, his doctor ordered tests that determined he was suffering from acute monoblastic leukemia. The family’s friends and loved ones came together to offer support, and a family friend who owns T-Shirts Etc., a local screen printing shop, offered to print shirts with proceeds benefiting the family.

It was one of those t-shirts that sparked the interest of the Landon Middle School community. Since the students heard about Blake’s struggle, they have been working together to show support and raise funds to help the family. Schreiner said kids have been emptying their pockets to give money, often giving all the change they have-- no small sacrifice for a middle school student. Many of them have purchased t-shirts, which they now wear on Wednesdays in support of the tiny stranger. Numerous staff members have also joined Team Blake. “I didn’t ask them for any of it,” Schreiner said. “They just wanted to help, to try to make things better for Blake and his family.”

Schreiner, who has worked at Topeka Public Schools since 1993, has been “overwhelmed” by the compassion the students have shown. “I have been teaching here at Landon for a couple of years after being out of the classroom for three years (as an instructional coach), and the way these kids have rallied in support of Blake has reaffirmed that I’m in the right place and doing the right thing.”

Landon principal David Boggs attributes part of the students’ involvement to the relationship they have with Schreiner. “She’s really built relationships with them,” he said.

One-year-old Blake is pictured here with his parents, Jaclyn and Chris Cazier.

Landon Middle School students have proven themselves to be concerned young citizens, eager to help a fellow child who is struggling through a difficult time. We are so proud of the Landon Lancers for stepping up to make a difference!

If you would like to send a card or donation to the family, they can be sent to:
Landon Middle School
Attn: Stacy Schreiner
731 SW Fairlawn
Topeka, KS 66606-2336

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