Educating children is more than just reading and arithmetic. 

On Wednesday, a month-long community service project at Henderson Junior high added up to needed relief for area fire departments.

More than 500 students toting cases of bottled water and sports drinks greeted city and county personnel who responded to the campus to receive the donation.

"This morning, students at Henderson Junior High distributed 5,168 bottles of water, 80 bottles of Gatorade and enough concentrate to make 240 gallons of Gatorade to Stephenville Fire Department and Erath County Volunteer Fire Rescue," HJH Principal Renee Goodwin said.

The service project began in early September - in the wake of the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks.

"The water and Gatorade collection was in remembrance of the fallen heroes of September 11, 2001 and gave the HJH students a way to honor and thank our own hometown heroes who sacrifice so much to keep our community and surrounding areas safe," Goodwin said. "I am extremely proud of our students, faculty, staff and community members for the generous donations." 

The donation was made at the perfect time, according to Chris Gable, ECVFR fire coordinator. He said prior to the donation, supplies at the department had dwindled due to the amount of work crews have put into battling blazes this year.

"This donation - 105 cases of bottled water and a good supply of Gatorade - is enough to sustain us for a while," Gable said, adding weather officials are predicting fire dangers will continue through the fall and into winter.

Gable also said he and other fighters received much more than bottled beverages.

"A lot of the kids made sure to give us a high five or shake our hands," he said. "We also received a stack of thank you notes - some a simple note and others that were computer generated. It really touches us to know the students recognize the effort we put forth."