California Educator

December 2018 / January 2019

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CTA's Disaster Relief Fund CTA's Disaster Relief Fund provides financial assistance grants for CTA members who have suffered significant losses from fires and other disasters. The filing deadline is 12 months from the date of the incident. The DRF is an endowed, special fund just for members. It is funded by voluntary contributions from CTA mem- bers, and through CTA fundraising drives throughout the year. A variety of grants are available: Standard Up to $1,500 for signifi- cant economic hardship related to damage to primary residence, dis- placement or disruption in required utilities. Catastrophic Damage Recipients of the Stan- dard Grant may be eligible for up to another $1,500 if damages exceed $50,000. Temporary Displacement Up to $500 may be avail- able for members who are displaced from their primary residence as the result of a disaster, but do not meet requirements for a Standard Grant. School Site Receive up to $500 for classroom damage. For details and to apply, see drf What's left of Vicki Steindorf and Sabine Coffee's joined portable classrooms; Steindorf and Coffee. Another stor y, " Thanksgiving in Paradise," tells of teachers Vicki Steindorf and Sabine Coffee's quick thinking and devotion to their students during their terrifying escape from the Camp Fire: It wasn't only teachers, of course, who were coming to students' aid. From another story: They didn't get on the road until late because 18 students hadn't been picked up. When a sheriff's deputy arrived not realizing anyone was left at the school, he told them to leave — now! "I told Sabine, 'We are not separat- ing. You're my best friend, and if I'm dying today, I'm not dying without you.'" Steindorf jumped into Coffee's car with her dog, a second-grader, a third-grader and two fourth-graders. "We were the last ones to leave school. We broke all the laws, driving on the left side of the road," Steindorf said. "Thank goodness we had the emergency binder with us. While Sabine was driving, I was texting parents, letting them know we had the kids" — and arranging for a place to meet. Flames were all around, houses were exploding, and it was so smoky and dark that Steindorf would watch for the white line on one side of the car and Coffee would watch for the yellow line on the other side so that they'd stay on the road. The teachers talked with students about the plucky pioneers who had to travel in the olden days. "The kids said, 'Isn't it great we're in metal cars. Being in those wooden covered wagons would be a bummer,'" Steindorf said. It took the better part of the day, but they made it safely and were able to unite students with their parents. "Bus drivers were dropping off students that morn- ing, and when they saw what was happening, they immediately turned around and picked up students," said Teachers Association of Paradise (TAP) President David Smith. 62 CTA & You

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