Local News

Cumberland County teachers, students collect supplies for schools affected by Guilford tornado

Posted May 7, 2018 6:18 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 11:13 a.m. EDT

— As recovery continues in Guilford County three weeks after an EF-2 tornado ripped apart three schools, students and teachers in Cumberland County collected school supplies on Monday to help those in need.

Jane Fields was principal at Fayetteville's Pine Forest High School on April 16, 2011, when a tornado hit her school. It was the night they were supposed to have the prom.

"Thank God no lives were lost in our community. We can reschedule prom. We will make sure it was better than it was ever going to be before, and we were able to do that thanks to the community," she said.

The same storm cell produced a tornado that flattened Ben Martin Elementary School in Fayetteville.

"Thank God my room wasn't too messed up, but everything around it was," said Debbie Soto, a second-grade teacher at Ben Martin Elementary. "You walk in and everything that a child owned in that classroom was gone – everything. Windows gone, all the supplies were ruined."

It was a similar story when a tornado ripped through Guilford County on April 15. It severely damaged three schools.

Now, students and teachers in Cumberland County are stuffing a truck full of school supplies to send to Guilford County.

"That's what the school really is, it's not the bricks and mortar, it's the people," said Pine Forest High Principal David Culbreth. "So, once the people started pulling together and getting back into classes, that's when the healing process started."

Cumberland County stuffed 100 boxes of school supplies to send to Guilford County.