JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A group of Nettleton Middle School 6th graders wants to make sure everyone in their community is safe when the next severe storm hits.
After learning that Jonesboro does not have a community-wide storm shelter, Kierce Jefferson, Cheyenne Sheppord, and Adrionna Dent took it upon themselves to utilize skills they've learned in their EAST classroom to design one.
"In EAST, we solve community problems and we saw that there was a problem in the community," Sheppord said. "There are some that are for schools, but not any just for the public."
After doing research and browsing Jonesboro on the map, the students also noticed there are many people living in mobile homes.
Before they begin their designing, they are picking a location that community members could most benefit from.
"We've noticed a lot of mobile homes and they wouldn't be as protected during a tornado or a storm, so we want to make our design and put it in an area that would need it most, like areas with a lot of mobile homes."
The students said they need the community's help once their design comes to light.
"We are trying to get community partners, so we are still reaching out," Sheppord said. "The next step, we would have to get our design approved by the city and reach out to more people to help us because we are just three middle schoolers, we can't build an entire shelter by ourselves."
Bill Campbell, a spokesman for the city, praised the three students on their effort and said it is a fantastic idea.
He said the city does not have a designated community safe room because a town as large as Jonesboro does not receive federal funding for storm shelters. The funding goes to smaller, rural towns.
Campbell did say that Parker Park and Allen Park, along with the Municipal Building, open their doors during severe weather.
For the students, they remain hopeful that their design will come to life one day.
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