The destruction of Plaza Towers and Briarwood Elementary schools in Moore is hard to wrap your head around. It's heartbreaking, and for some of the families of those inside the schools, the heartbreak is driving them to give back.
We know those teachers in Moore did everything they could to protect their students Monday. Briarwood 1st grade teacher Leesa Kniffen is one of those heroes. Shawna Bostick can only begin to imagine the terrifying moments her sister, Leesa, went through Monday.
"She says she can't get the sounds out of her head, the sounds of her kids screaming, the kids on the other side of the wall in the other classroom screaming," Bostick said.
You can still see her name, "Ms. Kniffen" on the door of her 1st grade classroom in the rubble of Briarwood Elementary. She and her 17 students pushed their desks together, and the tornado blew a cinder block wall on top of them. Miraculously, they survived.
"News crews and weather service and everything said no one should have made it out. No one should be alive, and she kept 17 kids alive. She's a hero. I'm very proud to say she's my sister," Bostick said.
Like most teachers, Leesa spent a lot of time making her classroom just right, and Shawna is determined to make that happen again. On Friday she launched a book drive for both elementary schools in Moore.
She's collecting new and used books, school supplies, and gift cards for the teachers, who all deserve our thanks.
"Seventeen parents got to come home and see their kids again because of her, so I'm proud," Bostick said.
They'll be taking donations Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. at an office building by Tinker Federal Credit Union off Interstate 40 and Meridian. It's located at 715 Metropolitan in Oklahoma City.
They're asking for new and used books, school supplies, bookshelves and gift cards to stores where the teachers can buy classroom materials.