TULSA (AP) Classmates of two elementary school girls who drowned after falling through ice on a frozen lake are pitching in dimes, quarters and jars of pennies to buy flowers for the girls' funerals, officials say.
"This is a very genuine effort and it's a time for them to show their support," said Duane Wilson, principal of Jackson Elementary.
Naomi Smith, 9, and Jennifer Heal, 12, died after they fell through the ice on a small lake behind the school Sunday night. Fire officials said they believe the girls were sliding near the ice-covered lake on a plastic bread tray.
The girls died hours later at separate hospitals after unsuccessful attempts to revive them.
The school's Parent-Teacher Association and a Girl Scout troop are collecting donations, students are bringing cans of food, and an anonymous donor has bought a burial plot for one of the girls, school officials and employees of Stanleys Funeral Home said.
Students also dedicated the school Christmas pageant Tuesday night to the girls, who had been scheduled to sing with their classmates.
Wilson said students "were really coming in with the dimes, quarters and jars of pennies."
Wilson said the children also brought in food because of the "extra expense they (the families) are experiencing right now, especially at Christmas time."
He said donations being accepted by the PTA will be divided between the two families and used for "whatever their greatest need is."
Services for Jennifer were held Wednesday morning, and services for Naomi will be 1 p.m. today at Parkland Baptist Church.
Wilson said counselors are available to students to help them cope with the deaths, and Stanleys Funeral Home donated books to students titled "Answers to Child's Questions About Death." BIOG: NAME:Archive ID: 410953