It goes without saying that the economic, physical, and psychological toll of a natural disaster can be devastating to any region. The 2017 hurricane season left an enormous impact on communities across the country. We’ve heard the heartwarming stories of the countless volunteers who rushed to lend a hand where they could. Others donated to emergency organizations to help the community heal and rebuild. We can’t help but wonder how our fellow educators, students, and their families recover from the devastating effects of these events?
Humble, TX, experienced the brunt of Hurricane Harvey’s force. In some areas of the city, schools will be closed from one to two years for repairs. As a result, students are relocated to schools in other areas. To account for this influx, districts cut their schooldays in half. This means teaching their curriculum in half the time of the normal school year to support the added students. While the strain of being over-capacity may not be ideal, getting students back into routine is crucial to their success.
However, teachers are resilient! They are finding creative ways to dive back into their lessons without the resources they once had to support them. In Katy, TX, one teacher collected hundreds of videos of people reading their favorite books. This way, teachers could play them aloud for students who had lost their collections.
In the Houston Independent School District, a group of 1,700 teachers volunteered to help students in 200 shelters. The “Teachers Volunteering in Shelters” Project was organized by Special-Education teacher, Kristin McClinton, in an effort to bring the classroom to the relocated families. For the students, seeing their teachers’ badges and familiar faces helped make the situation a little more comforting.
Another teacher in Florida started her very own “Adopt a Classroom” project where donors can “adopt” a classroom in need of supplies. Since beginning the project, Briana Beverly has used her blog, “Sun, Sand, & Second Grade” to support 2,728 teachers with donations from over 15,000 people.
Do your research and partner with charitable organizations to help replace the supplies they urgently need. Charities like DonorsChoose.org provide a means for rebuilding these impacted classrooms. Through partnerships with major retailers, they are able to acquire and distribute classroom resources to teachers without placing the additional burden of travel.
Other well-known sites, like AdoptAClassroom.org, have raised considerable amounts of money in order to rebuild Classrooms for affected communities.
Local charities are also helping teachers get back in the saddle! Many districts have set up relief funds. These types of organizations are extremely important because of their connection to those affected and will continue to support their cities and towns for years to come.
While the road to recovery can be a long one, there is no doubt that the overwhelming support from our communities will uplift our educators.
To find out how Classworks works with DonorsChoose.org to provide tech resources to teachers-in-need, click here.
If you’d like to donate to support our fellow teachers, here are some great links!
Glatter, Hayley. “How Schoolchildren Will Cope With Hurricane Harvey.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 30 Aug. 2017, www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/08/how-schoolchildren-will-cope-with-hurricane-harvey/538395/.
Davis, Amy. “How to Help Students, Teachers and Schools after Harvey.” KSAT, 20 Sept. 2017, www.ksat.com/weather/hurricane/how-to-help-students-teachers-and-schools-after-harvey.
Gilmore, Courtney. “Teachers Help Students in Shelters After Hurricane Harvey.” NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth, 17 Oct. 2017, www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Teachers-Helping-Students-in-Shelters-442981923.html.
Webb Elementary achieved the most gains in their district during the 2014 - 2015 school year. A remarkable achievement for a school that was named an Alabama Focus School just one year prior! WES was also awarded the CLAS Banner School Award for growth in academic performance! Find out how.