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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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New Orleans school gets 'new' library

When Lynn Oaks reopened last year—after it was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, torn down and rebuilt—the 200 students in the St. Bernard Parish elementary school had classrooms but few books. That changed in January when cartons arrived containing the entire library of Wildrose [N.D.] School, which closed last June.

Kindergartners at Lynn Oaks School,
Kindergartners at Lynn Oaks School, New Orleans, proudly hold up books for their library. They were donated to the school, rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina, through networking efforts of Phil Blom (center), an ELCA pastor serving as “chaplain to Katrina recovery.”
The special delivery grew out of the work of Phil Blom, an ELCA pastor from Neenah, Wis., who has been serving as “chaplain to Katrina recovery” since 2006. A Wildrose native, Blom met the volunteer work crew from Grace Lutheran Church in his hometown and learned about the school closing. “We began to think how the death of the Wildrose School could bring new life at the Lynn Oaks School,” he said.

More books were collected by Blom’s wife, Susan, a teacher at Hortonville [Wis.] Elementary School.

Blom celebrated with the Lynn Oaks staff and students when the books were in place on the school’s library shelves by reading several of the donations from Up North to the students, including one titled There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow. “It was a fun story, which taught them about snow and cold,” he said. “I also spoke of how the gift of books was a sharing of love between neighbors, even those they had never met.”


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