In the three weeks since an EF-5 tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma, we at DonorsChoose.org have worked to meet the critical needs of the schools impacted by this natural disaster. Our generous community of individual donors and corporate partners— Burlington Coat Factory, State Farm Insurance, Build-A-Bear Workshop, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Kia Motors, Sooner Mall and Quail Springs Mall—gave over $700,000 directly to public schools in the Moore school district.We are working closely with Moore Public Schools and the Moore Association of Classroom Teachers to connect with Moore teachers, like Mrs. McCurtain, and others who shared their stories:
“I teach about a mile from ground zero. The devastation is completely unbelievable. It is truly like a war zone. Hundreds of our kids are without homes and even more are without power and water. My site doesn't have power or water and they are deciding what to do with the remainder of our school year because two of our buildings were demolished and some of our students didn't make it.”
“The community has been incredibly devastated but we will rebuild! Every school was affected – teachers have lost everything, students have lost everything and as all of you know, we lost two schools, 7 students, and a gym from a junior high, and the administration building was affected as well.”
It’s clear that the whole district has been affected by the tornado—students and teachers across the district lost their homes, and many will be temporarily relocated. In July, our Teacher Outreach Manager, Andy Wright, and DonorsChoose.org teacher Debby Guardino will travel to Moore and host teacher training sessions to get these teachers set up on our site.We trust that the teachers and administrators in Moore, OK know exactly what is needed to rebuild their classrooms. To date, we’ve funded over 20 projects in the district, including three projects at Plaza Towers Elementary school, which was directly hit by the tornado. Projects included requests for dry erase boards to use in lieu of notebooks lost in the storm and classroom emergency kits.In the wake of this natural disaster, our thoughts remain with all those affected. We will continue to provide updates on our progress rebuilding and restarting Moore, OK schools.