Children First: Making Room

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School is back in session at Northwest Junior High School and now they have a few new faces. Seven new students have enrolled at Northwest. Registration is expected to increase.

The Meridian Public School System has already enrolled as many as 135 new students. The local community is showing its support.

"We've had an overwhelming amount of community support, from supplies to uniforms to cash to buy uniforms," said Principal Pat Ross.

Kimberly Coleman is one of these new students. She says she feels welcomed by her new classmates, but it was an offer by one of the coaches that really made her feel at home.

"One of the coaches asked me if I played any sports because I was trying to figure out how I was going to get on the basketball team," said Coleman, who is in eighth grade. "And she asked me if I played any sports and she's going to get me on the basketball team.

Students enrolling at Southeast Lauderdale High School have the benefit of attending a Level 5 school. The distinction has just been awarded by the Mississippi Department of Education, symbolizing the highest grade a school can make.

So far, three new students are attending Southeast. Principal Billy Burnham says the students and faculty are making them feel welcome.

"We're here to serve them in any capacity. If they need any help feel free to call on us," Burnham said. "We've already secured a vendor, or some donations for school uniforms. We'll be getting those to them in the next day or two. And the counselor has rounded up some school supplies for them and we're here to make this time for them as easy as it can be."

Alexis Bush is from the Gulf of Mississippi. Keri Gautro and her cousin, Will Butterly, are from New Orleans. All three say they're so glad to be here, but they still miss home.

Going to a new school is never easy, but administrators in both districts say they are doing everything in their power to make it a smooth transition for everyone.