By Holley Nees - email
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Because a tornado damaged their old school, Hackney Primary students have started their first day at a new campus.
"My other school is broke.," student Kiara Rodgers said.
"I like it," student Keyla Coleman said.
"I like my new classroom," student Joshua Smith said.
"The kids are big and the school is big," Coleman said.
The kids at Slack Elementary may be bigger, but they're not afraid to help.
"This morning, safety patrol got to go out and help the little Hackney students come in and make it safely to their class," said Rachel March, Slack Elementary fifth grader. "It was amazing just getting to work with littler students."
"I'm pretty proud of our school because we could help," said Evelyn Castro, Slack Elementary fifth grader.
"Even though they're displaced, we've had a lot of help," said Jan Morgan, Slack Elementary music teacher.
Before Christmas, Slack started with nearly 900 students. Then Burley students moved out, leaving Slack with 430 children. With this merger, the campus now holds close to 700 students.
"I was very proud of our staff and their staff," said Robin Stowe, Slack Elementary principal. "They just worked together. They just meshed like they had been working together for years.'
For Hackney students, it's a preview of what's to come. In only a few short years, they will be here again.
"Since they already know what the school is going to look like and be like, it will make it a little bit easier for them," March said.
The tornado may have taken away their school, but it gave them a new family.
"It's great, it means the world to us, because we don't know where we would have been if this hadn't been here, Slack hadn't been here," said Fannie Neveu, Hackney Primary paraprofessional.
"It's going to be fun. It's going to be a new family to get used to, but it's going to be great," March said.