California Educator

December / January 2017

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heir acts of kindness and solidarity will be helping to heal their students, families and communities for months and years to come. In the aftermath of the horrific North Bay wildfires in October, second-grade teacher Paul Drake launched a donation center run by teachers and parents for families of his hard-hit Hidden Valley Elementary School in an empty storefront in downtown Santa Rosa. e center's mission quickly expanded to help scores of families at many Santa Rosa schools. Educators and other volunteers worked countless hours, handing out free clothing, bicycles, canned food, blankets, bedding, plush toy animals, books, coffee makers and much more. Truck- loads of donations arrived from the Bay Area, Santa Cruz, Eureka, Reno and Southern California. Drake and many other CTA members went to extraordinary lengths to help and comfort students and families. is doesn't surprise Santa Rosa Teachers Association (SRTA) President Will Lyon, whose district, Santa Rosa City Schools, suffered severely. "Teachers get into the profession because they like to help people. ey're problem-solvers, and they're results-oriented. ey couldn't help but shine," says Lyon, an English teacher at Santa Rosa High School. "ey stood up and helped because they had a need in their souls to help their kids and their community." In the aftermath of North Bay wildfires, CTA educators step up to lead and help Photos, text and video by Mike Myslinski Hope and Healing T Santa Rosa Teachers Association President Will Lyon, right, and SRTA activist Paul Drake in the donation center Drake started to help fire victims recover from devastating damage, like that in the city's decimated Coffey Park neighborhood, above. 64 CTA & You

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