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As Many As 47 Mannford Students Lost Their Homes To Wildfires

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Mannford Superintendent Steve Waldvogel Mannford Superintendent Steve Waldvogel
School leaders hope it will be a good way for those children who've lost everything to get their minds off the destruction. School leaders hope it will be a good way for those children who've lost everything to get their minds off the destruction.
Tabitha Fowler is a teacher who grew up in Mannford, and is getting her classroom ready for the upcoming school year. Tabitha Fowler is a teacher who grew up in Mannford, and is getting her classroom ready for the upcoming school year.
MANNFORD, Oklahoma -

Despite the devastation of the wildfires in Creek County, school will start on time in Mannford on August 16.

School leaders hope it will be a good way for those children who've lost everything to get their minds off the destruction.

After more than 90 square miles scorched the earth and destroyed houses, just about everyone in town knows someone who lost their home.

"It does break your heart, and we're trying to group together and trying to overcome the initial shock of it," said Mannford Superintendent Steve Waldvogel.

Tabitha Fowler is a teacher who grew up in Mannford, and is getting her classroom ready for the upcoming school year, knowing some of her students likely lost their homes.

"It's just so sad. I know they're going to be coming to school and talking about how they don't have a house and don't have anything. It just breaks my heart," Fowler said.

8/4/2012 Related Story: State Forestry Officials: Roughly 70 Structures Destroyed In Creek County

As many as four Mannford schools staff members and 47 students lost their homes.

School leaders are working to figure out how best to address any emotional needs students may have when school starts as scheduled August 16.

"Especially knowing that first couple of days when they get here, where are they going to ride the bus home to? Their house isn't there anymore," Waldvogel said.

School leaders hope starting school on schedule will be good for those students.

"They'll be around their friends, they won't be sitting around thinking about how they've lost everything, how they have no place to go. It will get their mind off of everything that's going on," Fowler said.

"If we could start school tomorrow, that would be a great thing, just because of the fact that they would have some normalcy," Waldvogel said.

The district is collecting money to buy school supplies, so those students who lost everything have what they need when classes begin.

It will be one less thing those families will have to worry about, where worry goes on for mile after mile.

Donations can be dropped off at the school administration building in Mannford, or mailed to the district at 136 Evans Avenue, Mannford, OK 74044.

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