East Park Elementary Re-Opens

The holidays are over, but these East Park sixth graders are still smiling.

"I'm happy," Ashley Davis says.

Davis and her classmates say they are glad to be back to their own school.

"I've been going to Kreole Elementary," Davis says.

"I didn't feel right at the other school because I didn't know anybody there," student Kadijah Creer says.

East Park Elementary Principal Marie Henderson agrees.

"It was stressful there for awhile," Henderson says.

First the school was damaged by Katrina, then during the Thanksgiving break someone set fire to several classrooms.

"It's just a building, but this is the children's school. It's a neighborhood school. This is their home school. So the children have a stake in this building," Henderson says.

Children, like Marchionda Johnson.

"I think they should be ashamed for doing what they did and I hope they don't do it to any other schools," Johnson says.

Although East Park is open, the school isn't completely back to normal. Only the damages made by Katrina have been repaired. The teachers are still making adjustments to fit in everyone.

"We had a P.E. room we're using, a choir room we're using. So we've been able to accommodate all of the students," Henderson says.

The school put up a wooden wall near the main entrance to East Park Elementary to keep the students out of the rooms that were damaged by the fire. The area is still under construction and will not be finished until the fall.

Henderson says one bright spot in all this upheaval is that the students and teachers have learned how to overcome challenges.

"It's made us stronger. It's made us closer. We are indeed East Park family," Henderson says.