Today I had the privilege of delivering the teaching materials to Moore. I met my friend and Moore assistant principal, Amy Braun, who will distribute the materials to the teachers from the two destroyed schools. She drove me around to see the two school sites, which by now are fenced off and have been cleared to their slabs.
Plaza Towers Elementary was the school where lives were lost. Its fence has become a shrine with t-shirts and safety vests worn by volunteers from all over the United States who came and helped. Stuffed animals still dot the fence. Broken bricks from the building have names, pictures, and encouraging words painted on them. It was difficult to view it without crying. Note the first date on the sign. May 20 was the date of the tornado.
Thankfully, no lives were lost at Briarwood Elementary. The display created on their fence says, "Hope." The words on the handmade plaques staked to the ground echo the theme of hope.
The Administrative Service Center used to be Moore Municipal Hospital, where my daughter was born four decades ago. Its boarded up windows and parking lot full of construction workers' cars indicated the reason all personnel had to be relocated to other buildings within the district.
Workers are also busily finishing repairs on Highland East Jr. High, so it will be ready next Friday for the first day of the school year.Emmaus Baptist Church stepped up and offered space for Briarwood. A wing at Central Jr. High was remodeled to accommodate the Plaza Towers family.
Students and staff will continue to need your prayers as they begin school on Friday. It's sure to stir up some feelings of anxiety, as will rainy, thundery days. Please put a Post-It note on your mirror to help you remember to lift them up.