Monday, July 1, 2019

Moffett Teacher Reaches Out to Community for Help

As employees and teachers of Moffett school work to clean up, repair and replace items destroyed from the recent flood the cost of replacing items lost is beginning to add up. It's no secret that each year dedicated teachers spend a large amount of their own money helping to stock their classrooms and cover expenses for their students. In October 2018 the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shared that public school teachers spend an average of $479 a year on their classroom.  After the devastation of June's historic flood, most of Moffett's teacher are starting from scratch and looking for creative means of funding.

One such teacher, Stacey Beam, decided to reach out to the community by posting on a Facebook site named Fort Smith Flood of 2019  which states its purpose is "to share photos, tell stories, and promote the good of the community during crisis." 

Beam, a 5th-8th grade reading and English teacher at Moffett for 15 years, shares her story with the community and also shares heartbreaking photos of her water damaged classroom.

In anticipation of the flood, Beam and other Moffett teachers moved as many classroom items as possible as high as they could but never dreamed that the area would soon be devastated by a historic 500 year flood. According to Beam her classroom had 5-8 feet of water in it for almost two weeks. Although insurance and FEMA will replace some items such as student and teacher desks, dry erase boards, textbooks, and Chrome books, that is only a small percentage of what makes up a classroom. And many of those additional items had been purchased by Beam and accumulated over her 15 years of teaching at Moffett. And now they are all gone.

"At this point we aren't for sure what insurance will cover but it will probably be the big items like desks. The entire building was devastated. We don't have a single desk left," Beam stated. "We are just trying to get the building ready to have kids in it again."

So how do you replace all of those lost items? Hopefully with the help of a generous community. Beam's post on the Facebook page includes links to Amazon and Wal-mart wish lists that are needed to help restock Beam's Moffett classroom and help her be ready for students when they return in August.

Beam also estimated that she had collected close to 2,000 books in her classroom that she allowed students from all grades to borrow. These were all destroyed by the standing water. "I had books from the 2nd grade reading level all of the way up through the 12th grade reading level," Beam said. "I've been collecting books for years."

Another Facebook page, Moore Books for Moore Kids, has joined Moffett teachers in an effort to collect books for the school. The page was originally created to help collect books after a tornado ravaged two Moore elementary schools in 2013. Page administrators and volunteers, mainly Oklahoma City area teachers, are now working to collect books for Moffett School. The page lists numerous drop off locations as well as fundraising and book collection events that are being held.

Beam has also been active in helping the citizens of Moffett, not just in school clean-up efforts. "These are our families," she said. "They need to be taken care of just as much as the school."

Beam added that several area schools have also donated surplus items and individuals from all over have joined together with the clean-up and rebuilding process.

"I'm just so thankful for how the whole community is stepping up and helping out this small town that many people had forgotten was even here. It's amazing to see the things that are taking place here," Beam added.

To donate to Beam's classroom or to donate books to the school, please click on one of the links above.

KXMX News Staff

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