Ohio Students Visit Their Adopted Biloxi School - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ohio Students Visit Their Adopted Biloxi School

Words and songs of praise, mixed with hugs and tears of thanksgiving.

"It's has just been awesome," says North Bay School Nurse Rhonda Major. "They treated us like queens when some of us didn't even have brooms."

Students and faculty from North Bay Elementary School in Biloxi finally met their hurricane recovery benefactors from Springdale Elementary School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"It meant so much for all of us to do this and our whole school, our community," says Springdale Nurse Jody Roberts.

"It was just overwhelming how the community, when the word got out, just gave and gave and gave so we could do this."

What these two school nurses did was form a bond through e-mails and phone calls that brought the healing power of compassion to North Bay, along with a flood of household and school supplies, gifts, and money.

"It brought tears to our eyes, the kind of commitment they made to our school," says North Bay Principal Dr. Laurie Pitre. "And then not only are they coming today to meet us, they're bringing more things with them."

A long distance commitment that's taught these students a lesson in civic responsibility no text book could.

"It's really great but it's also kind of sad, talking to the people who lost their homes," says fifth grader Abby Miller.

A bus tour of the Biloxi area was another eye opening lesson for the kids and grown ups alike.

"I can't believe people even survived this, and came back and peoples spirits here are so high," says Springdale parent Holly Emerson.

Spirits bolstered by acts of kindness just like those shown by North Bay's new best friends.

Emerson says she's now more certain than ever that this was one extracurricular activity worth the extra homework.

"Without a doubt, and we'd do it again," says Holly.

by Don Culpepper

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