Cleburne Girl, 13, Collects 40K Pencils for Teachers

A middle school in Cleburne will rally around one of its students Friday.

The cause for celebration was featured in NBC 5 Today's Tell Me Something Good.

Paige Cook, 13, is a seventh grader at Wheat Middle School in the Cleburne Independent School District.

Four months ago she launched a campaign to collect pencils. She then expanded her goal to get seven pencils for every student in the district — all 6,700 students in the Cleburne ISD.

As of this writing, Cook has more than 40,000.

Friday, the school will celebrate Cook's success at special pep rally. She will be presented with a volunteer spirit award from Prudential.

Principal Suzanne Keesee says Cook is "one of the kindest young ladies I've ever had the opportunity to work with."

Even after the celebration, the pencil donation drive will continue until Jan. 8, 2019.

"She chose Jan. 8 because that's the day they all return from Christmas break, and she wanted the teachers to know they didn't have to use their Christmas money to buy supplies for students," said Angie Cook, Paige's mom.

Her fondness for her teacher is apparent on the Facebook page she set up.

"My disabilities do not define me, love does," Cook wrote. "So, I want to give back to the teachers who love me for me and help me be the best of me at Wheat M.S., and I want to spread kindness in my community."

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