Paradise Teachers Help Students Left Without a School After the Camp Fire

There are 32,ooo students in Butte County who are not in class right now.

Many of them don’t have a school, a lot of them lost their homes.

Elementary age children from Paradise escape their painful reality by listening to the story of Thanksgiving.

Annie Finney, a second-grade teacher in Paradise said, “It is therapeutic, and it’s good for the kids. It gives them a sense of life again.”

Her classroom burned in the Camp Fire.

But she’s helping to bring the children together—to read, to play, to see familiar faces in a familiar setting because many of these children are hurting.

Penny Kennedy’s home burned and she said, “It hurts a lot in my heart to see that I actually have no house anymore.” And she continued, “It’s hard to take all in.”

Her friend Georgia is in the same situation. Georgia shared, “It’s not ok. It’s burned.”

There are 32,000 students out of class in Butte County. The support is pouring in, but there’s one thing they need the most, said Superintendent of Schools Tim Taylor.

Taylor said: “I’ve had so many people give me thoughts and prayers. You know what I need first, what we all need—here’s what we all need—we need 100 portables here in this county right away to get these kids in a safe class.”

The superintendent choked up while making a plea for help, “We need your help—one second.”

It’ll be more than two weeks until students return to class, and in the meantime—teachers like Finney will do what they can to provide some stability and comfort. “We’re taking it one day at a time, and we’re doing what we need to do in the moment,” she said.

And the superintendent said Dec. 3—that is the date that he’s aiming for all of the students to be back in class.

But what they really need are those portables—whether they come from the government or whether they are donated.