Monday, March 11, 2013

East MIddle School story told in Scars from the Tornado

The story of East Middle School, from the tornado on May 22, 2011, through the end of our first year in our warehouse school is told in the new book, Scars from the Tornado: One Year at Joplin East Middle School. The first print copies arrived at East Friday, with another shipment coming in today.

From now through Wednesday evening, Scars from the Tornado will be available as a free e-book download from Amazon Kindle. For those who do not have Kindle readers, there are free Kindle apps for PCs, Macs, IPhones, IPads, and other devices that connect to the internet.

Following is a breakdown of what is included in Scars from the Tornado:

Foreword- This features a story that a former East student, Joplin High School sophomore Rylee Hartwell, wrote about the school shortly after the tornado.

A Teacher's Story- Over several chapters, Mr. Randy Turner, eighth grade communication arts teacher, writes about the last day at East before the tornado hit, the tornado and his first trip back to the school, the meeting at Missouri Southern where Principal Bud Sexson outlined what the warehouse school was going to be like, the return to school, the first day and much more.

Tornado Stories- This section features the students recounting their tornado stories. Some were right in the middle of it. Others feared for their friends. It affected all of them. Students with stories in this section include Jennifer Nguyen, Nick Shellenbarger, Abi Killinger, Alexandra Stelts, Donna Tomlinson, Maggie Baker, Cami Sanders, Kaley Moser, Amber Fleming, Desirae Orlaski, Taylor Robinson, Keisha Grunden, Courtney Hunt, Victoria Stehm, Garrett Severs,  and Ryan Ball.

The School Year- This section features stories from the students about our year in the warehouse, with some commenting about the school. Those contributing stories include Sarah Peterson, Megan Hickey, Amy Koch, Jennifer Nguyen, Annie Strickling, Stella Ndauwa, and Melinda Adams. Megan, Amy, and Jennifer contributed multiple stories in this section.

Parting Shots- This section includes a longer story Mr. Turner wrote about the people from around the world who let us know that we were not alone in our battle. My story centers around our 86-year-old penpal from Santa Barbara who has come to mean a lot to Mr. Turner's students both last year and this year. The section also has shorter comments from Cara Marshall, Jimmie Willerton, Audrey Kanan, Taelor Stone, Logan Whitehead, Amelia Street, and Madison Meinhardt.

Tornado Poems- Among those contributing to this section are students Mykah Campbell, Michaela West, Sean Harrison, Ashton McGehee, Karly Weber, Jacy Welch, Mackenzie Gunderson, Bridget Ingham, Jerry Bland, Joseph Fry, Beth Dulinsky, and teacher Kathy Weaver.

The book also includes a photo section.

Three copies of the book are available in the East Middle School Library.

(Photo: Eighth grader Melinda Adams, who wrote one of the stories in Scars from the Tornado, examines her copy.

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