MILLER, S.D.(Aberdeen American News)- After a fire at Miller High School on Feb. 2, communities, schools and groups are joining together to help the school district replace items that have been damaged by smoke.
Although the fire was at the high school, the junior high and elementary schools are connected, meaning the entire building was subject to smoke damage. Students from all three schools will be resuming classes at nearby churches to allow for cleanup.
Many of the school’s basic materials have been damaged. Patty Martin, a science teacher at Roncalli High School in Aberdeen, said the Miller fire made her reflect on an electrical fire at Roncalli in November. She said she was thinking about how bad the fire at Roncalli could have been and was inspired to begin a fundraiser. She asked Miller High School teacher Janet Wetz what materials were needed, to which Wetz responded rulers.
Martin said that upon realizing that Miller was in need of basic materials, she decided to raise money for Amazon gift cards so the school can purchase whatever is needed. Funds were collected at a basketball game on Thursday night. Martin said about $600 had been raised as of Monday. People can donate can drop off donations at Roncalli High School, 1400 N. Dakota St., through Thursday.
Sarah Schuster organized a book drive by the Groton Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which she started a little over a year ago. She said she chose a book drive to differentiate it from Roncalli’s fundraiser and to ensure that Miller was receiving donations for different materials.
Schuster graduated from Miller High School and saw the drive as an opportunity to give back. Her sister is a third-grade teacher at Miller Elementary School, while her brother-in-law is a volunteer firefighter who was at the scene of the fire.
Schuster said it a teachable moment for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Each month, members complete a service project. They have been helping to spread the word of the book drive.
People can drop books off through Friday. Collection totes are located at the Groton elementary, middle and high schools, as well as the northeast side door of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1620 Milwaukee Ave., Aberdeen.