WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — Lexington School District Two is stepping up to the plate to help teachers who were affected by the tornado that heavily damaged North Central High School.
On Saturday night, a tornado stormed through Kershaw County and tore up North Central High School.
The high-end EF-2 tornado had estimated winds of 130 mph and was only on the ground for about half a mile.
The tornado caused extensive damage to the school's facility. According to the National Weather Service, the tornado snapped numerous pine trees at the beginning of the storm track.
It also partially collapsed the concrete stadium bleachers and the press box. The tornado traveled across the gym, lifting large heating and air conditioning units off the roof. The roof of the main office was destroyed, and exterior wall along the west side of the building collapsed.
The tornado moved four school buses. It also damaged another 25-30 school buses. The storm also did damage to the stands near the baseball field.
Luckily, there have been no injuries reported from the tornado.
Kathy Seibert, teacher of gifted and talented students at Riverbank Elementary, says it's heartbreaking to see what the teachers are going through.
"We've all tried to empathize with these teachers from Kershaw realizing what it must be like to walk into your own classroom and see that just everything is torn up and here they are starting a new day today with nothing," said Seibert.
The district says they wanted to do what they could to help as soon as possible and try to fill some of their immediate needs now.
"We started this drive through our Teachers Who Pray program who meets every Wednesday to pray for the needs of our community and we thought this was one way we could share God's love with them with doing something right now," explained Seibert.
So far, the teachers at Riverbank Elementary have collected some pencils, calendars, and other items to help with the immediate need. Soon the students will be able to help out as well.
The district says each of their 15 schools will be adopting a teacher from North Central High School. They'll be able to help find things each teacher needs for their classroom.
The Kershaw County School District is making a list of things each teacher needs for their classroom and forwarding it to Lexington School District Two. At that time, Lexington Two will be able to fill the needs for each teacher because every teacher may need something different for each classroom.
"We want our children to learn that they are part of the greater good and that it's important for all of us to be contributors to our society and to empathize with others and help them in any way that we can. It just seems like the school is a natural place to start that with a giving effort."
Seibert says the community has helped the school so much in the past, they need to return the favor and help our neighbors.
"I hope that it encourages them and helps them to see that they may feel very alone right now, that there are plenty of people holding them up, helping to carry them as they go through this tough time."