Schools in Magofffin and Morgan counties were heavily damaged by the Mar. 2 tornadoes. Students are now back in class at other locations. One civic organization is trying to help the school districts recover.
The Kiwanis club of Salyersville celebrated three quarters of a century by giving to the future generations of eastern Kentucky.
“Anytime we can help with schools or any other community organization that is here that is very important to us,” said Alan Penn, President of Kiwanis International.
Penn traveled from Ohio for the 75th anniversary of the Salyersville Chapter. He said the local chapter contacted them in regards to the damaged schools and requested a grant which they happily gave.
Three schools in Morgan and Magoffin counties that were hit the hardest by this month's tornadoes were given $5,000 divided amongst themselves. Officials said they are just glad to help.
“We saw the devastation, but we saw something else,” said Penn.
“We saw a lot of local people out here fixing things and I think that shows the resiliency of this community.”
Penn said he had been to other locations where devastation had hit before and had not seen the same response.
“They just have an attitude that we are going to do what it takes and that is what we have done, it has just been very successful for us,” said Vickie Oldfield, Morgan County Elementary Principal.
Morgan County officials said that they have already started the rebuilding process but those at Magoffin said they are not sure if they are going to rebuild or repair. They said they are happy to get the money and they know it will be put to good use.
“Reading rugs, for the students to sit on,” said Oldfield.
“They were all damaged when the storm hit and they needed to be replaced and that is what we plan to do with the money.”
“We have a tremendous outpouring of support from across the nation and to have a civic organization like the Kiwanis to come in and help with the schools' needs, some of our students' needs, it is just spectacular,” said Joe Hunley, Magoffin County Schools Superintendent.
The three schools that got checks were Salyersville Grade School, Morgan County Elementary and Harold Whitaker Middle. The Kiwanis club said they saw no better way to celebrate an achievement than by looking toward the future.