Flood damage has strong impact on kids

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) – The end of school is just two weeks away for many Region 8 kids.  Students are still hitting the books and taking tests.  While most kids can focus on the work in front of them, some have other things on their minds.  10-year-old Dawn Crawford is just one of many children who have been forced out of their homes by recent flooding.  While they're lucky enough to have a relative to stay with almost everything that was normal is gone.

Crawford is like any other fourth grader at Pocahontas Intermediate School.  She likes to play and have fun with her friends but at the end of the day she likes to go home.  Right now that isn't an option.

"I'm not really ever there and I don't have to look at it," said Crawford.

Her mom Kathy White said when Dawn first saw the house it was upsetting.  She and her husband have removed all of Dawn's belongings and thrown away what was damaged.

"All we really have left is our clothes and some of our shoes," said White.

White said Dawn has ADHD and keeping a routine is important.  Now with their home unlivable that routine has been washed away.

"When she asks for something and realizes it's not there or a certain outfit it makes her kind of sad," said White.

"They're emotional right now," said 4th grade teacher Tonya Throesch.

Throesch said she and other teachers have noticed changes in the students who have flood damaged homes.

"I can't expect, especially her, I can't expect her to go home and study for a science test.  She doesn't care about that science test.  The family, they want her to do well but do you think they care about that science test," said Throesch.

"She's easily distracted anyway so any kind of distraction makes it more difficult for her," said White.

Dawn said sometimes when she is in the classroom her mind wanders back to her house.  When she leaves school at the end of the day or for the weekend she knows she is not going home.

"I'm used to having my own bedroom and I'm used to going in there after school and being all alone and it just feels weird," said Crawford.

More than 30 kids who go to school in Pocahontas are flood victims.  The school is providing free lunches for each of those students.  They were also able to use some of their title one money to purchase some clothes and personal items for the students.

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