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Centennial Arts Academy to help Dunwoody school after fire
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How to help

Supplies needed by Fairington Elementary School after the recent fire:

• Crayons
• Soap and sanitizer
• Tissues
• Electric pencil sharpeners
• Bleach wipes
• White and colored copy paper
• Markers
• Colored pencils
• Chart paper
• Wide masking tape
• No. 2 pencils  
• Construction paper
• Glue
• Scissors
• Loose leaf paper
• Dry-erase markers
• Pencil boxes
• Borders
• Butcher paper
• Oil pastels
• Chalk
• Sharpies
• Composition notebooks
• Medium-sized containers for books
• Red pens
• Post-it notes
• Mouse pads
• Flash drives
• Printer cables
• Dust spray for computers
• Headphones
• Art supplies
• Nurse supplies

Donated items can be dropped at Centennial Arts Academy, 852 Century Place, Gainesville, c/o Dallas Thompson’s classroom.

After a fire suspiciously started in a Dunwoody kindergarten classroom, more than half the school was damaged by flame, smoke, water and soot.

Fairington Elementary School in DeKalb County desperately needs school supplies after a blaze that started the evening of Jan. 17. A team of more than 100 workers have been working 24-hour shifts to repair the damage to the building, but much will still be missing when students return to school today.

Centennial Arts Academy in Gainesville wants to help.

“I heard about Fairington’s need for supplies on Tuesday morning,” said Dallas Thompson, fifth- grade teacher at Centennial. “A friend of mine posted a message on Facebook telling people about the fire. She volunteers there regularly and said she was devastated by the news.”

Thompson and faculty at Centennial are organizing a school supplies drive for Fairington. So far, they have collected books, notebook paper, crayons and other miscellaneous supplies, but they are hoping to get more.

“I have always tried to incorporate service projects in my classroom, and I knew that this would be a great opportunity for my students to help their students,” Thompson said. “Many other teachers at Centennial participate in service projects, so I opened it up for other classrooms who wanted to help.”

Thompson’s fifth-graders wrote letters home to parents, telling them about the news and asking for new or gently used books and supplies.

Thompson said this project feels no different from others her students have done, including helping the homeless and sending care packages to soldiers.

“I really love the fact that this project is an example of students helping other students,” she said.

The Parent Teacher Organization at Dunwoody Elementary School and DeKalb County’s office of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice are also helping collect school supplies for Fairington.

“I am humbled and proud of the offers of support and encouragement from the District and outside DeKalb County,” said Michael Thurmond, superintendent of DeKalb County Schools, in a news release. “This is a reminder that we are all part of a community of learners who care for each other.”

North Georgia residents who wish to help Fairington can drop school supplies at Centennial, 852 Century Place, Gainesville, c/o Thompson’s classroom. She is assembling boxes to drop at Fairington when it reopens.

Her students are also writing letters of encouragement and drawing pictures for the students at the Dunwoody school.

“Even though we aren’t very close to Fairington, I want to instill a love for helping others in my students,” Thompson said. “We are all one big global community, and I think we should help anyone whom we are able to help.”