If there's anything that Arlington residents have in common, it's that we love our libraries. From Robbins to Fox to our school libraries, it's hard to imagine our town without books.
That's why when Hurricane Harvey drenched Texas with over 50 inches of rain and caused up to $180 billion in damage, we thought it would be fitting to take action on behalf of all those families who could really use the comfort of a book and a dry place to read it. Through the Texas Library Association, we were connected with the Hull-Daisetta Elementary School in Texas. Here's what you need to know about why this school needs our help, in the words of school administrator Teresa Camp:
We are a public pre-K through 12th grade school system serving the rural communities of Hull, Daisetta, and Raywood (total population of 1500 residents). We are a low socio-economic area with 100% of our student body receiving free breakfasts and lunches. Due to the impact of flooding from Hurricane Harvey, our elementary campus was a complete loss. All contents of the buildings were deemed contaminated and were destroyed. The walls were taken down and the floor tiles removed as well so that the buildings are only shells. Many teachers lost not only the school-purchased supplies and teaching materials but the materials and "personal touches" that made their classrooms special. Some of these teachers had 10-25 years worth of teaching materials that had been gathered through the years. Our library lost 12,899 books along with the teachers' classroom collections, many of which were well over 1200 books.
In addition to the loss of our school and our materials, many of our students and several of our teachers have lost their homes. They have lost not only their furniture and clothing that can be replaced but also the pictures, mementos, and toys that were sentimental and reminders of happy memories that cannot be replaced.
As we begin our road to recovery and return to our classrooms, we return with chalkboards, student desks, and positive attitudes and the faith that we will come out of this tragedy stronger, braver, and wiser than we ever thought that we could be!
Together we can help! Please join with us to show some Arlington kindness for this school that has lost everything. If you are like us and see a library as a refuge, you know we will put smiles back on the faces of these kids when we give the gift of reading. Your tax-deductible donation will go directly to the Hull-Daisetta Independent School District (74-6000655) earmarked for Library Relief.
Thank you for your consideration, and please share this with friends from Arlington and beyond!
Karin Turer and Nick Pavey, Peirce parents and bookworms