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Susquehanna Continues Relief Efforts in Gulf Coast

August 1, 2006

SELINSGROVE, (Pa.) – Susquehanna University continues to support the recovery efforts in the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast. To date, three teams of students, faculty and staff, totaling more than 60 in all, have traveled to Louisiana – one in January, one in March over spring break and one at the end of May.

The mission trips have been funded in part by Susquehanna University in partnership with alumni and other donors to the Susquehanna University Fund (SUF). Following the devastating hurricane season of 2005, SUF donors were given the opportunity to designate a portion of or their entire gift to Susquehanna to help fund the university’s service work in the Gulf Coast.

An integral member of the initial trip, Lauren Bush, a 2006 graduate from Leechburg, Pa., has implemented a related relief program called “Adopt-A-Teacher.” As an aspiring elementary education teacher herself, the project is one that grew out of Bush’s volunteerism in the Gulf Coast and the resulting senior capstone project she undertook upon her return to campus in January.

Funds donated to the “Adopt-A-Teacher” program will be used to help teachers in Brock Elementary School, part of the St. Tammany Parish School System, recover some of the teaching materials they lost when Hurricane Katrina ripped through their school. Since the disaster, teachers from this school have been housed in a sister elementary school in Slidell, La., where they have to share classrooms with other teachers or teach in the hallways. Sixteen of these teachers have provided Susquehanna University with a wish list of teaching materials they still need to replace.

“The goal is to raise enough money to cover the needs of each of these teachers. The money will then be converted into gift cards for each teacher to utilize for replacing materials according to their individual needs,” said Bush, noting that she hopes to raise at least $250 for each teacher.

Towards that end, individuals may make a monetary donation of their choosing to the project or they may choose to adopt an individual teacher for $250. Those that adopt an individual teacher will receive a photo of the teacher along with his/or her wish list.

Donations to the program can be made payable to Susquehanna University with “Adopt-A-Teacher Project” noted on the memo line and sent to: Lauren Bush, 779 Schenley Road, Leechburg, PA 15656.

When asked why she was compelled to do this, even now that she has graduated and is looking for a teaching job of her own, Bush said, “Once you start helping, you can’t stop. After meeting them and seeing how much they need, you can’t just walk away.”

Contact: Victoria Kidd
570-372-4119

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