Sugarcane Academy Showcases Attempts to Teach Evacuated Children Following Hurricane Katrina

31HZSQIeQpL._BO1,204,203,200_[1]As empathetic Americans continue to look for ways to help fellow citizens forced to rebuild their lives following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the New York Times today reported that 5,400 New York City students have now returned to their storm-ravaged schools in Brooklyn and Queens.

As I usually do during times such as these, I ask myself questions about what the teachers are doing during these times of upheaval. In this instance, I am reminded of a book I read recently which described a remarkable teacher who opened a school for New Orleans evacuees following Hurricane Katrina.

When surging flood waters from Hurricane Katrina forced thousands of families to flee from their homes, New Orleans residents had their minds more on survival than on whether their children would be missing school. But when a group of evacuee parents who landed in New Iberia, Louisiana, realized they would not be returning to their homes any time soon, they realized they had to find a strategy to help their children cope with their enforced and unexpected exile. They pooled their financial resources and hired a fellow refugee, teacher Paul Reynaud, to establish a one-room school for their children in an abandoned office building. The story furnishes valuable lessons for dealing with this latest example of nature’s fury.

The book is entitled Sugarcane Academy: How a New Orleans Teacher and His Storm-Struck Students Created a School to Remember.The author of this intriguing true story is journalist Michael Tisserand, and the volume was published in 2007 by Harcourt. You can find the book on at the following link:

For other intriguing stories about remarkable teachers in America’s sometimes turbulent history, check out my book Chalkboard Champions. You will find it on the web site for Amazon or Barnes and Noble.