BURKEVILLE, Texas (KTRE) - The effects of Hurricane Laura are still being felt in Deep East Texas. At Burkeville ISD in Newton County, the elementary school was severely damaged. A group of East Texas teachers decided to help in the best way they felt they could with a special delivery today.
The roof to the Burkeville Elementary School was twisted and torn off completely by Hurricane Laura.
“We lost a library, computer lab, classrooms, teaching materials and teaching equipment that we have in our rooms: laptops, screens, things like that,” said Burkeville ISD Superintendent Ann Gardner. “It also took off the north part of the roof on our other elementary school. So now, we have damage to two rooms in there now.”
The district has called in crews to help repair the parts of the building that can be fixed, and many in surrounding areas have stepped in to help get the school supplies they need to return.
“Whenever I saw a town close by that had damage to their elementary school, I thought it was an opportunity from those close by to get involved,” said Hudson ISD teacher Devin McBryde.
McBryde said she got the idea from when she raised funds for Deweyville ISD after Hurricane Harvey damaged their school in 2017. After Hurricane Laura, McBryde made a Facebook post to challenge 100 people to donate $5 or more to help get school supplies for Burkeville ISD.
“Way more than 100 people gave, and we raised over $2,400, but it wasn’t just because of me,” McBryde said. “I just kind of headed it up, and everybody else gave from their heart.”
Area school districts pitched in to help as well.
“Deweyville Elementary posted where if they gave, they had an incentive, so a lot of money came from them,” McBryde said. “At Peavy Primary in Hudson, they sent out a message to their parents and teachers. Supplies were brought in, used books were brought in, and things like that.”
“There are stacks and stacks of notebooks and crayons, tablets, and teacher supportive-type materials where the teacher can go up in front of their class and teach,” said Burkeville principal Kevin Day said.
Day said the outpouring of support the district has received is overwhelming.
“It’s just amazing because it’s teachers who are building this, so they know what we need, and they are supporting us 100 percent,” he said.
“I think it’s really cool everyone stepped up and gave, and we were able to provide so much for them,” McBryde said.
“Our community has had a lot of destruction,” Day said. “We have students with houses completely demolished, and I feel giving them an opportunity to come back and feel safe is something that everyone needs in this community.”
Burkeville ISD hopes to have students back in the classroom on September 21st. They have portable buildings coming into the district house students.
To learn more about how you can help Burkeville ISD, click here.