Oklahomans Help Southgate Elementary Students Get New Backpacks

Friday, May 1st 2015, 6:31 pm
By: News 9

Southgate Elementary students in Moore, who were displaced by a tornado in March, got a surprise this week.

Their school building was so badly damaged, they have been at temporary site since the twister hit.

A move like that can be disruptive for kids, so a few donors wanted to help out. The students thought they were at a regular morning assembly on Friday, but all 600 of them were there to get brand new backpacks filled with 20 essential school supplies.

“I'm getting new supplies, it's going to be cool,” said 9-year-old student Xavier Terrell.

The non-profit organization Kids In Need Foundation, along with other donors, gave out more than 600 backpacks.

“It's cool because my old supplies are old,” Terrell explained.

Terrell needed the backpack because his current one is falling apart.

“It feels wonderful,” said Southgate Principal Neal Johnson. “Our kids have felt this ever since the tornado on March 25th when everybody came to help us,” he added.

Kids In Need Foundation leaders said they wanted to make things a little easier for the displaced students.

“Best part of the job, when you hand a kid a backpack with some school supplies in it,” said Kids In Need Foundation Executive Director Dave Smith. “One little girl came up and said, ‘You know, this helps make my life normal again,'” he added.

Another donor, Voyager Sopris Learning, is supplying the kids with a reading program to use next year.

“We've just seen generosity from everyone and so the thing they found out is there are people that are good people out there,” Johnson told News 9.

The students will finish out the school year at the temporary site, Emmaus Baptist Church in Moore. They should be back in the Southgate Elementary building when school starts again in the fall.

3/26/15 Related Story: Moore Educators Band Together To Help Cleanup At Southgate Elementary