school bus among the debris of the tornado

Henryville, IN,
24
April
2014
|
03:00 PM
America/Chicago

Community Helps Students Get Back To Class

A Tornado Destroyed School In Henryville, IN

When a devastating tornado struck Henryville, Indiana the town’s only school Henryville was destroyed along with many other homes and businesses. While many community members were unsure about what to do next, the children, teachers and parents were asking when they could return to school.

Two second grade girls listening to an audio book with headphones on.

“I made contact with parents and within a week had made it to every house to personally see each student and give them a hug,” said now 2nd grade teacher, Dawn Daniel. “It took some time for it to set in, and then I realized I had lost 10 years of classroom material.”

Daniel knew she had to stay strong during this devastating time, not only for her 25 students, but also her two young daughters who were present in the school at the time of the tornado.

“I was at the school in a closet. I was there with my 2 daughters,” said Daniel. “I had 2 pillows over them and I was laying over that. My heart was racing, but I wasn’t really scared. All I can remember is knowing I needed to stay calm for them.”

With emotions running high and debris from the storm all around, getting everything under control and back in order can be a daunting task. Daniel, along with several teachers, lost years’ worth of school supplies and had the challenge of rebuilding with limited resources. Thankfully Daniel and other Henryville teachers were able to turn to DonorsChoose.org for assistance.

DonorsChoose.org is an organization which helps schools and classrooms get the materials they need. State Farm partners to help schools, impacted by storms and catastrophes, recover from these, often devastating, events.

It is a simple process for public school teachers to post classroom project requests. Once live on the site, anyone can donate to help fund the project. After a project is completely funded, the materials are shipped to the school directly. Since the impact of the tornado, State Farm and DonorsChoose.org have had the opportunity to support 34 teachers and classrooms in Henryville, including Daniel.

Large group of 2nd graders in school bleachers holding thank you sign

“I have a personal connection with State Farm. My dad, Don Compton, has been a State Farm agent for 30 years,” said Daniel. “Dad held a session to help teachers get started on creating projects that would be funded through DonorsChoose.org. He worked many hours to help the teachers of Henryville.”

Along with supporting 34 teachers, State Farm and DonorsChoose.org have donated over $40,000 to the school to help fund 71 projects and impact the lives of 1,295 students in Henryville combined elementary, junior, and senior high schools. About a month after the tornado, all students were able to return to school in a temporary location. The projects have been a great learning experience for the children and the teachers were able to capture these memories for parents and community members to see.

Through these donations, the community of Henryville has been able to come together and rebuild their community. The teachers were able to give back to the children the learning resources that were suddenly taken away from them and parents are relieved that their children are able to continue with their education. Recovering from the unexpected can take time and patience, but the relationships built throughout the process will never be forgotten.

Click here to learn more about Henryville’s recovery.

infographic State Farm and Donors Choose.org teaming up to hlep Henryville recover. $67,914 donated, 63% from State Farm, 34 teachers funded, 71 projects funded, 1295 students impacted.