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Vigo County Sends Busloads Of Supplies To Henryville Schools

Notebooks and paper will come in handy when Henryville elementary, junior high, and high school students finally go back to class in early April.

Henryville tornado

Photo: Dan Goldblatt/Indiana Public Media News

Henryville High School was badly damaged by the storms.

This week Henryville schools received a welcome gift from the Vigo County School Corporation –several busloads of supplies that are intended to get a school badly damaged by the March 2 tornadoes back up and running.

Books, pencils, pens, paper, and notebooks. Assistant Superintendent of West Clark Community School District John Reed says his Henryville schools have been overwhelmed with donations from all over the state.

“There has been…I don’t know, maybe a dozen buses,” he says.

Those busloads and even semi-trucks full of donations have come from school districts around Indiana holding school supply drives for Henryville students. The most recent shipment came from Vigo County Schools in Terre Haute. Superintendent Danny Tanoos coordinated that drive.

“We took with us about $1,700 in cash and checks that were collected from the students, and students from schools also donate new backpacks with supplies in them and other types of items,” he says. “Teachers likewise cleaned out their classrooms of new or slightly used items that we could donate.”

Notebooks and paper will come in handy when Henryville elementary, junior high, and high school students finally go back to class in early April, this time in temporary locations away from their old school.

Elementary students will go to Graceland Christian Academy in Floyd County, and grades 7-12 will have class at the Mid-America Science Park in Scottsburg.

Reed says starting a school from scratch isn’t easy on budgets or on students but that the many donations will help.

“They’ve lost a lot of things materially—you know, their home, their car,” he says. “When they see this kind of generosity, I think it does a lot to restore their faith in people, but most importantly it helps them restore hope.”

Julie Rawe

Julie is Assistant Producer of Noon Edition. In addition to reporting for WFIU, she also works as an intern for NPR's State of the Re:Union. She is a graduate of Indiana University where she studied French, anthropology, and African studies.

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