Beauregard Parish responding to needs of evacuees
DERIDDER Beauregard Superintendent Myrna Cooley said Thursday that she cant begin to list the many ways school employees and children are helping families affected by Hurricane Katrina.
I cant even begin to tell you what is going on in the schools and what school employees and children have done to help these families, Cooley said.
Every school is doing unbelievable things.
Cooley said donations from businesses and individuals made it possible for school personnel to distribute more than 1,200 uniforms, an average of four per child.
Supplies have also been donated and drives have been organized by several schools, she said.
Cooley said at a football game last week, South Beauregard High School and Merryville High School partnered to collect donations at the admission gate.
They filled up a 16-foot trailer with supplies, Cooley said, adding that a school in Virginia Beach, Va., has partnered with East Beauregard High School to help provide needed items to evacuee students.
No telling the friendships that are going to be made, she said.
And during the evacuation of the New Orleans Superdome, two parish bus drivers volunteered to transport evacuees to Houston.
They came back with some touching stories, Cooley said.
Parish schools have seen an influx of 299 new students displaced by Katrina.
At Thursdays Beauregard Parish School Board meeting, Cooley said this years student count is 6,458, up 391 from last years total.
She said the numbers are expected to fluctuate by Oct. 3, the last day for parish schools to count students.
The parish has hired one displaced teacher who will begin in the classroom on Monday, and Cooley said schools are looking to hire more.
A number of others have inquired and plan to come in, she said.