MCCLURE, Ill. (KFVS) - A Heartland school is ready to help incoming students who are dealing with the flooding crisis
Leaders from the Shawnee Community Unit School District were continuing to help pack food and other essentials for Alexander and Union County families who are still dealing with flooding and the aftereffects.
Principals from both the Shawnee Elementary School and Shawnee Junior-Senior High Schools were both in McClure, Illinois on Saturday, July 27 along with students helping to fill food, sort cleaning supplies and help to deliver those items to those in need in the community.
"Shawnee is a family," Shawnee Junior/Senior High Principal Karen Schaefer said. "Whenever one group is hurting, the rest come in and help. So when East Cape needed sandbagging, then the school was there. When McClure needs help, the school is going to be there because we know whenever Wolf Lake or Grand Tower need help, they're going to be there too."
Schaefer said this flooding event has taken a major emotional toll on some of the kids over the summer break.
"There are some of them that are still on roads that are flooded out, there are some of them that they're homes are just completely unlivable and so they've had to move elsewhere," Schaefer informed.
School starts at Shawnee CUSD on August 16. School officials tell us they are wanting to make sure to help every student with any help they can before walking into their classrooms.
"As far as school goes, we told the kids don't worry about school supplies," Shawnee Elementary Principal Amy Reynolds said. "We've been so blessed with donations that are coming in. And also, if we need to go down to East Cape and register kids, that's what we'll do. Whatever's needed, we got it."
The school leaders also stated they will help with the emotional toll whenever a child needs someone to talk to as well throughout the school year.
"We work through Union County Counseling," Reynolds added. "They come in a couple times a week and are well aware of our need as far as that goes."
Reynolds also said she was proud of all the students that stepped up to help out their peers and neighbors through this time.
"It breaks your heart but these high school students, junior high students and elementary students, when we take boxes around, they are right there to help," Reynolds said. "They're packing, they are boxing, they are going through the water. Whatever you need them to do, they're doing. So it's really made an even stronger community I think."
Both Reynolds and Schaefer said they want the students to know that they will help them, both in school and out of school.
“They are important to us,” Schaefer said. “Not just their education but their well being. They’re general welfare is important to us and I think that is a major thing for them to understand.”