Thursday, December 8, 2005

Schools send supplies to Waveland

Staff Writer

Holly Springs Intermediate School families and the Rust College library were on the giving end for a shipment of classroom supplies and books to Waveland School District two weeks ago.

The initiative for the project was spearheaded by Americorps volunteers working with the intermediate school, according to Charlene Anderson with the school.

“It was part of the annual Make A Difference Day project, she said. “We saw it on a website and saw that school was in need of supplies and books.”

Each grade level led a drive to collect certain items. The third grade chose scissors, the fourth gave glue, the fifth provided pencils and markers and the sixth grade bought crayon boxes, crayons and pens.

Rust College provided 100 books and more books were contributed by parents, Anderson said.

Donna Torres, program director at Waveland School District, said the school has received a lot of supplies from school systems and cities across the country.

“It looks like a lot, but when you’ve lost everything, anything helps,” she said.

Waveland school district reopened its doors four weeks ago and as of last week had 42 percent of its students back in school. The district is hoping to get 80 percent of its students back after the Christmas Holidays, she said.

The district has reclaimed roughly 1,100 of its 2,387 enrollment prior to Hurricane Katrina, Torres said. Now the school district needs cash donations, computers and other equipment.

The buildings on one campus were repaired and put back into service while the district is making do with portable classrooms provided by FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) and partial buildings, Torres said.

Distribution centers set up on Dunbar Avenue and at K-Mart on Highway 90 and at several churches are collecting bedding and blankets and Mississippi State University has several coat drives for coastal residents, she said. Most families are in FEMA trailers and no longer are in tents, she said.

“We are just thankful for all the support. Most of our kids are in FEMA trailers,” Torres said.

A list of needs on Waveland School District’s website,, includes losses and what the district needs to replace losses. Loss of contents and buildings have been estimated at $41 million. After insurance, FEMA and MEMA (Mississippi Emergency Management Agency) provide what they can, the district expects to need $14 million to cover the shortfall.

The district needs $1 million to re-equip laboratories and classrooms, $500,000 to replace libraries, $40,000 to restore Broadcast Journalism, $10,000 to replace keyboards for the music departments, $75,000 to replace band instruments and uniforms and $55,000 to rebuild playgrounds.

Anyone interested in helping rebuild the district may call 228-467-4439 and leave a message with the webmaster at, or write the district at 201 Carroll Ave., Bay St. Louis, MS 39520.

Holly Springs Fire Chief Kenny Holbrook and county Emergency Management Director Hugh Hollowell transported the donations to Waveland and brought back video and photos taken from the Gulf Coast Highway.

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