An Up Close and Personal Remembrance of Katrina and Rita for Louisiana Students Part 2
The cost of a digital camcorder from Highsmith Inc. is $1192, including shipping and <a target="new" href="http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm" onclick="g_openWindow('http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.
After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast, students in the affected areas moved to a variety of areas in and around Louisiana. Our school, a small rural high school with limited resources, is located about 80 miles NW of New Orleans and about 30 miles SE of Baton Rouge. Although we did sustain some wind damage and lost electricity for a while, we were fortunate that our damages were small in comparison to the New Orleans area. As a result of our convenient location between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, many people relocated to this area, and we took in a number of the displaced students and have made them a part of our community and family.
These students have been under tremendous amounts of stress; some have lost their lifetime homes, possessions, clothing, pets, and, unfortunately, some have even lost family members.
Expressing themselves in words and pictures has been a marvelous way of helping students put things into perspective. Putting their worries into words and pictures can help the students see that they don't really have that much to worry about, or it may help them get organized and manage their stress, rather than letting it manage them. Regardless, keeping a digital journal should help them identify their concerns and establish a plan for moving forward.
Through this "photo documentary" and in the process of preparing this digital journal, students will identify the situations that produce stress in their life (i.e., moving to a new location, school demands, balancing priorities, making new friends) and will explain how they coped with each experience.
In order to help them deal with the hurricane and its aftermath and to move forward, I would like to request a digital camcorder so that students can document their experiences prior to, during, and after Hurricanes Katrina/Rita through digital journals. As students share their experiences, their spirits are strengthened as they receive encouragement and praise from their teachers and peers for their endeavors.
As a result of preparing and presenting these digital journals, I am hoping that all students will realize that life presents many kinds of challenges. Although Hurricanes Rita and Katrina were certainly life-changing events for us, all of us can benefit by observing how our students who were direct victims of Hurricanes Katrina and/or Rita managed to survive and cope with the various difficult situations they've endured. I'm sure that this will be a very rewarding experience and one that which offers endless opportunities for personal and academic growth.
The digital camcorder will be housed in the library and available for use through the library.
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