Watson Chronicle


Programs for P-12 Students

CMC Staff, Early College High Schools “Adopt” Lumberton Schools

Monday, March 06, 2017

UNCW Curriculum Materials Center staff and the Isaac Bear and Wilmington Early College High Schools have been collecting donations, cards and notes of support for students at West Lumberton Elementary School and Lumberton Junior High School since Hurricane Matthew struck in October 2016. Organizers say the efforts will continue through the end of the academic year.

“We knew we couldn’t help everyone, so we focused in K-12 students living in storm-damaged homes or shelters in Lumberton,” said Kathryn Batten, Curriculum Materials Center and Education coordinator at Randall Library.

The hurricane destroyed about 1,000 homes and left around 1,500 people stranded. In February, more than 350 families were still living in temporary housing, and thousands were still reliant on FEMA assistance, according to news reports.

On Feb. 16, Good Morning America traveled to Lumberton Junior High School for a live show focused on recovery efforts in Robeson County. The live broadcast honored the people who worked to help and support hurricane victims after Hurricane Matthew. During the broadcast, Disney, the parent company of ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” donated a playground for Lumberton’s local recreational center and Lowes Home Improvement donated $50,000 to help rebuild the recreational center that was damaged in the flooding.

Batten was at the junior high school during the live filming. “It’s great that ‘Good Morning America’ came to Lumberton,” she said. “These people still need so much help. Often, relief efforts dwindle when news stories fade away. I hope GMA succeeds in raising awareness that there’s still a lot of work to do to rebuild in Robeson County.”

Organizations and individuals interested in helping CMC staff and local early college high school students’ efforts to support Lumberton students can email Batten at battenk@uncw.edu for information.

Media Coverage of the GMA Segment

WTVD-TV, Feb. 16 “Lumberton Educators Help Rebuild Community Devastated by Hurricane Matthew

Fayetteville Observer, Feb. 16 “‘Good Morning America’ spotlights Lumberton’s hurricane recovery