Cordova teacher preps students for severe weather with helmets

(Kaitlin McCulley, WIAT-TV CBS 42 News)
(Kaitlin McCulley, WIAT-TV CBS 42 News)

[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16×9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1369184919&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&pl_id=21958&show_title=1&va_id=4066889&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1369184919 type=script]CORDOVA, Ala. (WIAT) — Sabra Brown has been teaching kindergarten for more than 30 years. She’s there for her students through laughter and through tears.

And after a massive tornado tore Cordova apart two years ago, Brown saw a lot of tears.

“Our biggest part was just listening,” Brown says, “Just listening. They all had a story to tell.”

Cordova Elementary sent children home early on April 27th, 2011. And while home, two students were killed. Sabra wanted to make sure that if, for some reason, students are not sent home in time, they will be safe.

“My daughters both played softball, and so I had access to a lot of helmets anyway,” Brown says, “I talked to Mrs. Williams, and we just took it from there.”

Brown and her daughters have collected more than 200 helmets for Cordova students in case severe weather rolls through her town again. Helmets are now a central part of tornado safety.

“They put a helmet on their heads if they have a helmet,” Principal Dianne Williams says, “And the ones that do not have helmets put books over their heads. They sit down, they are very quiet.”

Then they’re directed to designated safe zones in the hallway, away from windows and doors. Students at an elementary school in Moore, Oklahoma, were away from windows and doors when the tornado came through, but it wasn’t enough for some.

“You relate from being in that classroom all day with that group of kids all day,” Brown says, “And then to think some didn’t make it home…”

Cordova Elementary needs about 200 more helmets for the students. If severe weather comes to Cordova again, Brown and other teachers will help protect children one helmet at a time.

To donate helmets to the students of Cordova Elementary, call the school office at 205-483-7666

 

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