Volunteers Help Prepare Temporary Classes for Shields Elementary Students

Officials in the Red Oak Independent School District are busy preparing a new home for students who attend Shields Elementary School, which was heavily damaged by a tornado last Saturday.

The damage made it impossible for students to return to classes at the school, so the students will instead report to what was formerly Red Oak Junior High School. The campus has been vacant for four years.

Volunteer Jade Clark wanted to help when she learned the elementary school's library took a direct hit.

"Their library was wiped out, their classrooms were destroyed. As you can see from their footage, that the library just completely destroyed. I was like, that school is going to need children's books," said Clark.

She then started an online campaign to help raise funds to replace the school's library books.

And Clark is not alone. Dozens of volunteers have come to help staff prepare the junior high campus for students to arrive on Tuesday.

"We're trying to do about a year's worth of work in one week. We're trying to get the classrooms ready," said Red Oak ISD spokeswoman Adi Bryant.

And it's an emotional process.

Second grade teacher Gina Henderson said the storm had a major impact on her classroom.

"Ten days later our hall looked like a bomb went off on it, stuff hanging off the roof," Henderson said.

Five-hundred students will walk through the halls of the former Red Oak Junior High School on Tuesday morning and school officials say, thanks to the help of volunteers, they'll be ready.

School administrators invite students students and their parents to join them for an open house on Monday at 6 p.m. at the school's new location, at 200 Live Oak Road in Red Oak.

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