Thursday, September 08, 2005

Help for Katrina Teachers

As some of you know, besides being an author I've been teaching at the high school and college level for about 12 years. I'm cutting and pasting info forwarded to me at school in case any of you are interested in how we can support the teachers who are going through this terrible time. Let's remember that by supporting a teacher, you are likely touching the lives of unnumbered children as well.

Helping Other Teachers after Katrina

The devestation and after-affects of Katrina are spreading far and wide. There are teachers who no longer have a teaching position and have no idea whether there will be a teaching position waiting for them later. At this point the Orleans Parish is not even sure whether they will open again for the 2006-2007 school year. This means that many teachers are now without a job, a home, and supplies to begin teaching in a new location (if possible). There are schools in Texas, Alabama, Missippi, and Florida that are taking in new students who have been temporarily relocated. For some of these districts, they are also looking for more teachers to accomodate the increased student populations. There are many different organizations already dedicated to helping the victims of Katrina. We want to encourage you to support the teachers and students displaced by this devestating storm. Below are a list of links to learn more about what has happened in the hardest hit school districts and ways you can help.National Education Association - has pledged 1 million dollars to the relief effort. They also have some excellent resources for addressing this devestation with students and for working with students and teachers displaced by the storm. They also have a place where you can make a donation towards the relief fund.Louisiana Department of Education provides updates on the districts hardest hit by the hurricane and offers a variety of resources for displaced teachers, students, and parents. They have home study options for students as well as a Frequently Asked Questions page. If you are a displaced teacher, administrator, or staff member from Louisiana, this is an excellent site to get reconnected. If you are interested in what is happening and ways you can help, this site is an excellent source of information.Alabama Department of Education is offering help for displaced teachers and students.Mississippi Department of Education site is also offering updates for displaced teachers and students as well as information on what is happening with those districts hardest hit.Hurricane Help for Schools is a site from the US Department of Education designed to help get supplies to those schools and teachers who are taking in new students from the devastated areas. You can view what different schools need and let them know what you are able to provide. If you are a school in an area taking on new students, you can list the items needed.As teachers we all know how difficult it is to get started from scratch. Many teachers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida are now without a classroom, without necessary supplies, and many have lost everything. By joining forces we can try to help them recover and move forward. As the relief efforts continue, we will keep you updated with new resources available.Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this storm.If you have any questions, comments, or supplies you would like to share, please let us know and we will try to gather the information and get it where it is needed.Sincerely,Emma S. McDonald, M.Ed.Inspiring Teachershttp://www.inspiring


Cable in the Classroom ( said...

vSKOOL ( is a consortium of organizations and institutions - including education associations, virtual schools, technology, media, and instructional software companies, for-profits, non-profits and foundations - all working together to provide education-related relief to K-12 students, educators, and families displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

vSKOOL was launched September 7, 2005 by Cable in the Classroom, the cable industry's education foundation, and the North American Council for Online Learning.

Other initiative organizers include the Consortium for School Networking, the Education Industry Association, the International Society for Technology in Education, Elliott Masie's Learning Consortium, the Software & Information Industry Association, and the State Educational Technology Directors Association.

In offering help for schools and students affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, vSKOOL also is working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education.

Specifically, vSKOOL is:

* Finding traditional and virtual school programs to offer course enrollments and tutoring to affected students;

* Locating highly-qualified teachers to volunteer to teach or tutor affected students in face-to-face and online settings;

* Soliciting and identifying corporate and foundation support (e.g., through scholarships) to help provide students access to valuable educational products and services;

* Organizing computer hardware, software, and infrastructure providers to provide computers and broadband internet connectivity to create learning centers to provide access to online courses and other educational technology products and services; and

* Coordinating with providers of other, related educational products and services to offer schools serving displaced students a variety of choices to tailor instruction to their unique needs and circumstances.

For general information and news about education-related hurricane relief and vSKOOL consortium activities, please visit