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Snapshots of Katrina


Communications Coordinator / Moderator

May 31, 2006, 11:24 AM

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Mrs. Greenwald's Community Problem Solvers from Highland Park, IL are making a big difference in Bayou la Batre, Alabama, where Hurricane Katrina devastated lives, and destroyed property and homes.

Through photography, writing, and personal connection, two of Mrs. Susie Greenwald’s campaigners, Nessa and Charlotte Higginson, have been involved in a special hurricane relief program with their Elm Place Middle School.

The girls, with the assistance of classmates, are helping Alabama middle school students from Alba Middle School to process their experiences in Katrina’s wake.

A total of 18 students from Elm Place comprise the Community Problem Solving team that is making a difference to the hurricane-ravaged region, by —
  • traveling to Alabama
  • raising funds to rebuild the Alba Middle School’s flooded library
  • producing a traveling exhibit of photography and poetry, called “Eyes of the Storm”
  • hosting the exhibit to students in Chicago
Nessa and Charlotte still have one final accomplishment in mind – to supply the students of Alba Middle School with 35 mm manual cameras.

The Elm Place Middle School Community Problem Solvers have created a campaign to collect used, working condition, manual 35 mm film cameras to replace the equipment that was lost in the storm.

Even before Katrina, the community surrounding Alba Middle School was poor, one of the neediest in Mobile County; it cannot afford many extra curricular activities.

Sheila Hagler, their photography teacher, has proven to be a remarkable teacher, collecting second-hand 35 mm cameras and photography as a tool to help children cope with their traumatic experiences. An artist in residence of the Alabama Arts Council, Hagler will be featured on a PBS special this fall.

Nessa and Charlotte plan to make use of the trend towards digital photography, and to convince people in Highland Park to donate discarded 35 mm cameras to Alabama.

The Elm Place Middle School Community Problem Solvers won first place for Illinois for assisting the students in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. Then, they traveled to Fort Collins, Colorado to capture the middle-school age division of the International Problem Solving Tournament, and first place overall.

The judges also awarded them an extra award for going beyond all expections.

Sending cameras to the students would be a great finish for these philanthropic teens.

Cameras should be sent to:

Elm Place Middle School
2031 Sheridan Road
Highland Park, IL 60035
Attn: Mrs. Greenwald's Community Problem Solvers

Please state within the donor package if you want a tax receipt

More Information:

‘Eyes of the Storm’ Photography Exhibition
The Art Center – Highland Park
May 12 to June 10 — 2006

Visit 'Eyes of the Storm' Website - - below - -

Nessa and Charlotte Higginson are the nieces of Andrew L. Schwartz, summer camp director and owner of ACA-accredited camps:
  • Firebird Camp for Girls
  • Camp Roosevelt for Boys
  • Great Lakes Camps
Stephen Winbaum is the Communications Coordinator of


(This post was edited by stephenwinbaum on Jun 5, 2006, 2:39 PM)


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