Bill Capo / Action Reporter
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GARYVILLE, La. -- It looks like a normal day at school for sixth through eighth graders at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary in St. John Parish, who were badly shaken by Hurricane Isaac.

'They were very excited about coming back on Monday, some of them a few tears, you know,' said Lake Pontchartrain Elementary Principal Sylvia Bailey.

But it's a new normal, because their campus flooded and remains shut down. St. John school leaders scrambled to re-open Garyville Grammar for these students, and five other sites for the rest. But only 500 of the 700 students have been able to return so far.

'The good part about it is we was able to put them in a setting, not in trailers, but to put them in a good classroom setting,' said St. John Schools Superintendent Herbert Smith.

How many of you had your homes flood during Isaac? Most hands in the class went up at that question. How many of you lost everything? There was the same response of many hands waving in the air.

'We've got to do something,' said Pastor David Lauricella of Harahan Christian Church. 'The devastation that those kids suffered was more than they could handle, and families as well.'

So Lauricella started collecting donations of school supplies for the Lake Pontchartrain Elementary students.

Lauricella knows this is a good start, but in a school where the kids lost everything, they're hoping to get donations from across the area, a lot more donations. The school nurse told me she had to borrow Band-Aids from another school, so they need a lot of help here.

'Well really it's just the basics, as far as notebooks, rulers, crayons, pens, pencils things like that, you know just the essentials,' said Lauricella.

'We lost a lot of supplies in our schools, so it is very, very important, and I appreciate him for that,' Smith said.

To donate, call Harahan Christian Church at 737-4154, or visit the church website at

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