The images out of Moore, Okla., are heart wrenching: city block after city block of eviscerated houses and businesses. And schools.
The city that had endured a very powerful tornado only 14 years ago is again recovering from more devastation, this time from a category EF4 tornado that was reportedly 1 mile wide with winds up to 200 mph. First responders, the Oklahoma National Guard and volunteers are doing everything they can to care for the survivors and move rubble in search of others.
Among the downed buildings are two schools – Plaza Towers Elementary School and Briarwood Elementary School. And amid the horrific news of the dozens who have been lost – including schoolchildren – are reports of selfless teachers who held students under them as the tornado came through, protecting them and shielding them from debris.
We have a history with both of these schools, as well as with Highland East Junior High School and Moore Public School District, and we have employees in this region. We are thankful that our employees are safe and accounted for, and our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted by this tragedy.
Edmentum will be in touch with this school district and the Oklahoma State Department of Education to see if and how we can help to ensure teachers, administrators and students have what they need to support education in this area as it recovers and rebuilds. We also have a policy allowing employees to take time off for volunteer efforts, and we will be encouraging our employees – in Oklahoma or elsewhere – to take advantage of this policy as they see fit.
Lastly, we will be making a donation to the American Red Cross to support this community’s recovery. If you are interested, donations can be made through www.redcross.org or 1-800-REDCROSS, as well as by texting REDCROSS to 90999 ($10 donation).
Chief Executive Officer, Edmentum, Inc.