TFAE Aims to Help Education Post Hurricane Ida

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The Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) has made strides over the past 30 years to better Terrebonne’s education experience and Hurricane Ida through a new challenge to not only the schools but the community as a whole.

Executive Director Ashlee Barahona announced TFAE has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the Bayou Community Foundation to help adopt classrooms. TFAE is working closely with the school board to help identify teachers who have been affected the most and will award according to a priority list. Barahona said the initiative will launch soon.

United Way and Synergy Bank’s ‘Pack the Bus’ school supply drive broke records this year. The issue is, most of that is unaccounted for, whether it was damaged because of the storm, they just know they need to start helping the teachers. Some teachers have not been able to step foot in the school much less their classrooms to access the damage. For the adopt a class program, teachers will need to access their classrooms to see exactly what is needed. She said it’s not only the school supplies that are needed. Hurricane Ida damaged technology, furniture, and bulletins.” Anything that makes the environment clean, safe, and inspiring for the kids to learn,” she said, ”We’re going to have to replace all of that.”

Barahona said she is hoping to work with community partners such as United Way. United Way Executive Director said, “I know education is the key to everything. It’s not that some parents are negligent, they simply just can’t afford school supplies. Then Pack the Bus came along and the kids were so excited. Just crayons, made kids excited.” Their goal is to get 150 classrooms adopted and they are inching closer to that. Once the funds are available, they are going to go to the teachers to help replenish and replace.

They are working with United Way to host another massive school supply drive to get those supplies to the students. If you give them a call, they are buying, replacing, and replenishing as the teachers need it. Not only have they participated in these partnerships, But Barahona has worked closely with the EOC, United Way, and Terrebonne Churches United Food Bank getting supplies to those who need them. She has been the main contact number since Ida passed, and her heart shows in her work.  Barahona said is the partnerships that have been making recovery efforts possible, “Partnerships turn into friendships turn into family; and I think that’s where we’re at in the community right now.”