Teachers Help Students in Shelters After Hurricane Harvey

The start of the school year is an important time for children, but imagine moving your child to a different campus right before school started or your home environment suddenly changed.

For thousands of children in Houston, that is their new reality after Hurricane Harvey forced their families into a shelter. According to the Houston Independent School District superintendent, nearly 12,000 students have been displaced and will have to go to different schools.

The start of the 2017-2018 school year was pushed back after high water seeped into several campuses, causing major damage to 53 schools. 

Kristen McClinton, who is a special education teacher at Westfield High School, made the decision with the help of her friend to bring the classroom to the shelters. Together they formed "Teachers Volunteering in Shelters," a group that now has nearly 1,700 members. Each volunteer is an accredited teacher that has undergone a background check.

"I'm never surprised when teachers step up to do something," McClinton said. "We do that every day. We do what needs to be done. What was surprising to me was the cross-district effort."

For the past week and a half, teachers have volunteered at 200 shelters across Houston.

"Kids will see our badge and their faces will light up and they are just so excited to see something that is normal to them," McClinton said.

McClinton has received encouragement and support from educators across the country, including from North Carolina and Washington D.C.

For more about Teachers Volunteering in Shelters visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/583126502077063/.

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