TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Temporary schools greet survivors of Oklahoma twister

AP
First-grade student Austin Kinder, left, poses for a photo for his teacher, Becky Evans, right, on the first day of school at Plaza Towers Elementary school in their temporary location in Central Jr. High school in Moore, Okla., Friday, Aug. 16, 2013. The Briarwood and Plaza Towers elementary schools were destroyed when an EF5 twister hit Moore on May 20, killing seven students. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Daily Photo Galleries

By USA Today
Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 8:39 p.m.
 

MOORE, Okla. — Banners, balloons, cheerleaders and therapy dogs welcomed Moore students back on Friday for their first day of school since the deadly tornado in May.

Students of Plaza Tower Elementary and Briarwood Elementary commuted to temporary schools where they will attend classes while their buildings are rebuilt. The EF-5 tornado that ripped through town on May 20 destroyed both schools and killed 25 people, including seven third-grade students at Plaza Tower. No one was seriously hurt at Briarwood.

A mix of nerves and excitement accompanied Plaza Tower students as they streamed into their remodeled wing at Central Junior High School. A large banner welcomed the students, along with balloons and five dogs from Therapy Dogs International, a New Jersey group that dispatches passive dogs to nursing homes, hospitals and disaster sites.

Amber Cain escorted her daughter, Olivia, 11, holding her tightly by an arm. “It's just hard,” she said. “I just feel for the parents whose kids can't go to school today.”

Four miles away, Briarwood Elementary students showed up to their temporary classrooms at Emmaus Baptist Church, which opened its large educational building to the students. They were greeted by thumping pop music from a parked van, Rumble the Bison, the furry mascot of the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team, and the team's cheerleaders.

Heather Fawcett said her daughter, Kylie, a fourth-grader, was eager to reunite with friends but was still asking questions, such as, “Does the school have a tornado shelter?” Fawcett and her daughter rode out the storm at the school.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Obama avoids calling terrorist attacks ‘Islamice_SSRq
  2. Mideast-North Africa category considered for 2020 Census
  3. Day, night 4-digit drawings match
  4. Executive order directs standards to reflect climate change projections
  5. Tickets let players bring home bacon — scent
  6. Teen girl Hernandez killed by Denver police once cited for resisting arrest
  7. Alpha to idle two West Virginia coal mines
  8. Treasure hunter accused of swindling investors captured
  9. Judge orders nonprofit tax form release in case against IRS
  10. Blizzard-stricken East digs out amid forecast 2nd-guessing
  11. Nuclear scientist gets 5-year prison term in plot to build bombs for Venezuela