Blue Springs Elementary School teachers have been given supplies by the Museum Center at Five Points to help make the transition to their new schools a little easier.
Education curator for the museum Jennifer White said Thursday the museum began taking donations the week after the April 27 tornadoes ripped through Bradley County. She posted a request for help on Facebook, and donations poured in, some from as far away as Ohio and New York. Donations were also received from other schools, including Blythe-Bower Elementary School and Cleveland Middle School.
Teachers chose from tables full of binders, folders, glue, books, Crayons and other supplies. White encouraged the teachers to take enough supplies for all their students.
“This is really helpful,” kindergarten teacher Jenny Cole said. “I can’t believe they did this. This is amazing.”
Cole said much of the money she will receive for supplies will go toward replacing the educational posters and decorations destroyed in the storm. Cole will be teaching at Taylor Elementary School in the fall. A kindergarten teacher for 10 years, Cole said she’s happy she will be teaching the same grade level.
“The community has been so good. ... We’ve been very blessed with lots of school supplies,” kindergarten teacher Tammy Fields said.
Fields will be teaching at Park View in August. Fields said her classroom was not heavily damaged, and many items from her room had been salvaged.
All the teachers of Blue Springs will be reassigned.
“It’s a loss of a sense of family for us,” Cole said.
Most already know where they will be teaching in August. According to Cole, many of the teachers will be teaching the same grade as before.
Coming to receive the donations also served as a time for the teachers to see each other again. Former Blue Springs Principal Angela Lawson, who is working to make the transition smoother, said it gave the teachers something to look forward to. Teachers found out about the donations early in June. Lawson was told what the museum was planning soon after the storms.
The timing of making the supplies available was also good, according to Lawson, because many of the teachers know where they will be teaching and what they will need.
White said the museum is working with Lawson to make sure all the Blue Springs teachers have what they need. Any remaining donations will be distributed to meet other needs at schools in the area, according to White.
Blue Springs was too damaged by the April storms for students to finish out the school year. Students have since been rezoned to different schools for the immediate future. A location for a new Blue Springs Elementary is already being discussed by the Bradley County Board of Education. The location is being changed to construct a larger school, so students will no longer have to use portable classrooms.