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Biloxi Students Reflect on Childhood Art in Katrina Book

By Rhonda Miller | Published 12 Sep 2012 07:39pm | comments
Biloxi student MariahSullivan did this drawing when she was five years old. It's in the book 'The Storm.'

It’s the middle of hurricane season and that means a destructive storm can head toward the Mississippi Gulf Coast at any moment. MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports some Biloxi students are being recognized for a book they wrote about Hurricane Katrina - one of the most destructive storms ever to hit the Gulf Coast.

"Despite the trials and tribulations of Hurricane Katrina, we have come back, these students have succeeded…"

You could call this a gathering of the students of The Storm at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast campus. The walls of the Katrina Research Center are lined with their drawings and writings collected in a  book called 'The Storm.'

"...A car  that’s floating..."  "…and what about the house?" "….it’s floating, too."

That’s 12-year-old Mariah Sullivan, who was five years old when she drew this picture of everything floating away. She reads her childish handwriting across the top  of the drawing.

"My house floated across the street.." "Did it?"  "Yes."

More than two dozen Biloxi students are signing their book for middle and high school classmates, teachers and families. Teacher Nancy Hunter coordinated the book and worked with trauma counselors who came to the schools.

"I think very definitely some of this artwork represents very deeply embedded terror. and when you look at some of the pictures the waves are lapping at the top of the house and they’ve said things like, my house drowned. Many of these students were actually in their homes when this happened."

Sometimes children’s worries show up in small things. Bobby Scott is 16 now. The paragraph he wrote in 4th grade is in the book.

"Before Katrina we got to have hot lunches. There were enough chocolate milks to go around and all of my friends were here. Now we have cold lunches. There are not enough chocolate milks to go around and most of my friends are not here."  

Sixteen-year-old MacKenzie Hunt still has vivid memories of Katrina.

"Just how everything was destroyed and everything had to be rebuilt. But I feel like since I went through the storm, like everyone coming together, it teaches you when bad things happen you have to come together to fix it."

Now, with several weeks of hurricane season left, emergency officials are reminding residents to be prepared and evacuate when necessary, because you never know how strong the storm is going to be.  Rhonda Miller. MPB News. Biloxi. 





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