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Here’s How You Can Help Libraries and Schools Affected by Hurricane Harvey

By Alina O'Donnell
 | Aug 28, 2017

Book DriveILA extends its deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones, livelihoods, homes, and stability to the destruction of Hurricane Harvey.

Each year, natural disasters create devastating, long-term impacts on education. Here are several ways you can help rebuild schools, restore educational services, and revive hope and empowerment to generations of children and their communities.

Help for libraries: 

  • The Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund awards grants to libraries to help in recovery efforts. Donate directly online or purchase a TLA Coloring Book ($10 for a set of two). All proceeds go directly to the fund.
  • Dollar General, in collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA), the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), and the National Education Association (NEA), sponsors Beyond Words, a school library disaster relief fund for public school libraries affected by a disaster. Grants are to replace or supplement books, media, or library equipment in the school library setting.
  • Scholastic will be accepting requests from schools and making donations to help rebuild library collections via their Possible Fund. Teachers in the affected areas will also receive 500 bonus points to help them rebuild their classroom libraries.
  • Simon & Schuster will be donating 250 “Best of Titles” to public or school libraries damaged by the storm or the related flooding.

Help for schools:

  • School systems in need of instructional materials—either because of enrollment of students displaced by Hurricane Harvey or from property damage caused by the hurricane—can create an online list for donors to access through the Texas Education Agency’s Instructional Materials Assistance web page.
  • Teacher and education writer Larry Ferlazzo wrote a blog post that compiled the “Best Resources for Learning About Hurricane Harvey.”
  • Microsoft is providing data/application recovery assistance to school districts and institutions experiencing outages caused by Hurricane Harvey.
  • The American School Counselor Association published a list of resources that parents and educators can use to help children cope with natural disasters.
  • The Texas Computer Education Agency (TCEA) encourages affected educators, librarians, and administrators to create projects in Donors Choose to replace critical learning resources. Add the hashtag #TCEA to each project and TCEA will help to promote the need using their network of members, exhibitors, sponsors, partners, and contacts.
  • New York City-based nonprofit Where To Turn, which provides services to victims of tragedy, is looking to get in touch with schools in Texas to ask what supplies they may need for the upcoming school year.
  • The Texas American Federation of Teachers (Texas AFT) and the National Education Alliance (NEA), have started relief funds to support members who are educators. 
  • Students who want to raise money to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey can sign up in groups through the WE Schools programs and have their fundraising matched dollar-for-dollar by the Allstate Foundation up to $250,000. 
  • Adopt a classroom project impacted by Hurricane Harvey through friEdTechnology's Hurricane Harvey Adopt a Classroom Project.

Check out Charity Navigator’s Hurricane Harvey page for a list of more general relief efforts.

Alina O’Donnell is the editor of Literacy Daily.

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