State forest becomes new ‘classroom’ after flooding damages school

Local News

[Credit: Getty Images]

WAYNE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – After flooding damaged an elementary school in Wayne County, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced a new way to help the students and staff return to in-person learning.

The governor says Cabwaylingo State Forest will open its group camp facility for Dunlow Elementary School. Beginning Monday, March 15, students and faculty will attend classes at the group camp five days a week through the end of the school year on Thursday, June 10. The governor’s office says Wayne County Schools will provide bus service to the camp.

“This is what West Virginians do when our neighbors are in trouble; we step up to the plate and help in any way we can,” Justice said. “The challenges posed by the pandemic already caused our kids to miss too many days of school this year, so we needed to do everything in our power to get the students of Dunlow Elementary back in the classroom where they belong and where they thrive. I thank everyone with our West Virginia State Parks and especially those at Cabwaylingo State Forest who are making this important adjustment possible.”

Justice says the two large, barrack-style rooms at the camp will be used as classroom space and the common area will be used for physical education, music classes, art, and serving breakfast and lunch. An outdoor pavilion will also be used for meals and classes when the weather permits.

“The West Virginia State Parks team is always here to support our communities,” said Division of Natural Resources Director Steve McDaniel. “We’re honored to open Cabwaylingo’s group camp to Dunlow Elementary and hope each student, teacher, and staff member feels at home while they’re here.” 

The governor’s office says tables, chairs and instructional materials, as well as food and custodial services, will be provided by Wayne County Schools. Food will be delivered weekly during school hours and COVID-19 protocols will continue to be followed.

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