Rockingham County students look for community support to attend national competition

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — A number of fourth and fifth grade students from River Bend Elementary School are preparing to go to Houston, Texas, to participate in the National Kid Wind Competition, and are hoping for help from the community.

The students have a goal of raising $5,000 for their trip.

Three groups of students from River Bend Elementary School participated in the regional competition in April that took place in Charlottesville. Students made their own wind turbines, which they have been working on since October.

Students learn engineering skills and about renewable energy through the wind club, which meets once a week.

Linda Doherty, the supervisor of the Wind Club, said the "Kids who Harnessed the Wind" group placed second, which means they will go to the national competition.

"It's going to be so fun, this is a great group of kids and they've worked so hard, so I'm really excited to go with them," said Doherty.

The group went up against other students, who are fourth through sixth graders.

"We're an elementary team, and basically when we won, we won against a whole bunch of middle school teams which was pretty amazing and mind blowing," said Kelsey Kriel, a fifth grade student.

The children made their final preparations on Thursday, and are ready to go to Texas. However, parents have to pay out of pocket for the trip and they are hoping that the community can offer support to get the children to the big competition.

"It's a hardship for a family to pay that much to go across the country to Houston Texas," said Doherty.

Parents made a GoFundMe page to help get donations for the trip.

The group has a goal of $5,000 to pay for the expenses. So far, they have raised over $700. Donations can be made to the River Bend PTA, or on the group's GoFundMe page.