Schools Open Doors to Evacuees

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School districts in east Mississippi have opened their doors to children who had to evacuate their homes due to Hurricane Katrina. In fact, Meridian registered more than 80 students Wednesday at shelters. Since MPS now has a uniform policy for all grades except the high school, the children were provided them.

"We are giving the kids uniforms so they won't feel like they stick out like a sore thumb and they will feel like they fit in on their first day of school in Meridian," said Doyle Pierce of Liberty Uniform Shop.

Reading, writing and arithmetic are the same everywhere, but there are still some adjustments these new students will have to make.

"I will have to learn how they talk with the accents so I can talk with them," said Benny Joseph.

Regardless of the differences, these children are anxious about their new beginning, but some parents say they are worried about the change.

"The kids right now, they are running around happy because they don't really know what's going on, but when they get to school, they will be traumatized because they will be adapting to a new community and a new school and coming from a shelter into a new school," said evacuee parent Shalica Lyons. "They aren't going to cope very well."

Although this new beginning is a start to rebuilding a life they left behind, students say the past will still stay with them through memories.

The Meridian public school system is also asking for monetary donations to buy supplies and uniforms for these children. For more information, call Deputy Superintendent Robert Markham at 601-484-4910.