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Reading council reaching out to Katrina victims

November 18, 2005|by JANET HEIM

janeth@herald-mail.com

With the roof destroyed, windows blown out and considerable water damage, there's not much left of Terrytown Elementary School in Terrytown, La., following Hurricane Katrina. FEMA condemned the school that was built in the 1950s.

The remaining students at Terrytown Elementary - 65 percent of the population fled before or after Hurricane Katrina and have not returned - are now attending Boudreaux Elementary in Jefferson Parish until they can return to their own school, probably sometime next year.

Terrytown is about five miles outside of southcentral New Orleans, two miles from Boudreaux. Boudreaux's school had only minimal damage because its building is newer and is at a higher elevation.

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When Luanne Murphy, a sixth-grade English and Language Arts teacher at Smithsburg Middle School, heard fellow Washington County Reading Council member Lucy Austin of Paramount Elementary describe the devastation to Terrytown Elementary, she was moved to action. Austin's sister is a K-3 reading specialist in Jefferson Parish.

Murphy said tax dollars will pay to replace destroyed textbooks, but it's usually the PTA, through book fairs, that raises money for library books.

As a teacher, Murphy said she earns point to purchase books for her school's library with each Scholastic book order she places. She has opted to donate her points to the Boudreaux/Terrytown Elementary School library.

The Washington County Reading Council is asking members for monetary donations through Friday, Dec. 2 so paperback books can be purchased through Scholastic Book Club for Terrytown Elementary's library.

To date, they have raised $200. They have collected four boxes of books, but found it too expensive to ship them to Louisiana.

The public may send donations to Luanne Murphy, Smithsburg Middle School, 68 N. Main St., Smithsburg, MD 21783 or Linda Schelling, Eastern Elementary School, 1320 Yale Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21740.

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