LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - It's been a very long road to recovery for schools in Livingston Parish as many school teachers lost everything in the flood. That includes desks, pencils, binders and everything that makes a classroom come together. It's why a local university is now reaching out to help.
"Our school system suffered in excess of $1 million worth of damage," said Ed Foster, a supervisor with the Livingston Parish Public Schools. "That's life changing damage for all of us."
At this time, five schools are still sharing sites, and students won't return to their original campuses until January. Even then, most of them will have to use temporary buildings, but that road is a little easier now.
Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) donated dozens of school supplies to teachers in Livingston and Ascension Parishes, including desks, filing cabinets, and chairs.
"We looked at it as these schools that are impacted, they're area schools," said Richard Himber, Director of Purchase and Property Control for SLU. "They're part of the university. We look at them as an extension of the university."
The folks at Southeastern said they usually have too many supplies and end up auctioning it off. One of Southeastern's administrative assistants, Heather Collins, took the lead after finding the need on Facebook.
"Being raised by a school teacher, I knew that the majority of what goes into your classroom actually comes out of your personal finances," Collins said. "So as teachers flooded, they didn't have the finances to put their classrooms back together."
"Some of our teachers had been teaching for thirty plus years, and had accumulated a wealth of teaching materials," Foster said. "And those
were all destroyed in one fell swoop. And that's almost like a personal attack on those teachers."
The supplies are now in a storage facility in Livingston and will be distributed to the teachers with the most needs over the course of the next week.