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Schools Help Schools Recover From Flooding

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RALEIGH — It is hard to study when you are missing books and supplies. That is the problem facing many students down east, but students in North Carolina and across the United States are adopting schools hit hard by flooding.

There are dozens ofAdopt-a-Schoolpartnerships under way. Wake County's three alternative schools have adopted one of the hardest hit schools in Rocky Mount, and it is a school similar to their own.

Mary Phillips High Schoolstudents dug into their pockets and pooled their change to help someone else.

Phillips is one of three Wake County alternative schools working together to help the Tar River Learning Center, a Rocky Mount alternative school.

The center lost everything when the Tar River pumped five feet of water into the school building. Mary Phillips' principal says the money will help replace dictionaries and other books.

"It is more important to help them out and get them through this struggle," said student Danielle Smith.

Phillips High students are also stockpiling supplies for eight families affected by flood waters. The faculty helped identify those in need.

"If we don't get to help everybody, we can, at least, help some of the people that need it," explained student Keekey Thompson.

That is the spirit behind theNorth Carolina Department of Public Instruction's Adopt-A-School project. Schools needing help list their needs on theDPI Web site. Other schools respond directly.

The assistant state school superintendent says 20 to 30 percent of the schools helping out are out of state, including Canada. Supplies and cash are already heading east.

Phillips High students are especially proud to be partners with an alternative school.

"Normally, people think that alternative schools have kids that get in trouble and don't seem to care, but I think we should let them know that some of us do care," said student Ebony Bridges.

So far, they have collected $124.97, and the collection continues this week.

Mount Vernon Redirection school and Longview School are partners with Mary Phillips as they become partners withTar River Learning Center.

Schools in western North Carolina are adopting schools in the east. There is also a school in Pennsylvania that is planning a major fund-raising campaign as a school-wide project, and an Ohio middle school is trying a similar project.

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Yvonne Simons, Reporter
John Cox, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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