One week after bus crash, Woodmore students adjusting to "new no - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

WOODMORE BUS CRASH

One week after bus crash, Woodmore students adjusting to "new normal"

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Tent provided by Chattanooga Tent Co. to protect Woodmore Memorial. Tent provided by Chattanooga Tent Co. to protect Woodmore Memorial.
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The makeshift memorial for victims of the Woodmore bus crash keeps growing, and a tent now protects it from the weather.

Chattanooga Tent Company donated a large tent to help shield the Talley Road memorial from this week's storms.

The balloons, stuffed animals, and notes honoring Woodmore Elementary's angels are now protected from wind and rain.

One week after the deadly crash, the memorial continues to grow, drawing visitors from around the area.

"I thought I was gonna be OK," said a tearful Karen Reid, "but once I got here, I was pretty emotional."

Reid lives across town. She's never been to Talley Road, until now.

"I've seen buses drive by with children. I've seen a couple of them looking out the windows (at the memorial), and that just broke my heart," said Reid. "To think, those children have to drive by every day where they lost their friends."

Monday was Woodmore's first day back to school after a difficult Thanksgiving break. Eighty-five percent of students returned to class.

Hamilton County School officials said they are "humbled" by the community's generosity and outpouring of support. But their main goal, right now, is helping kids adjust to a new normal.

"Getting the students back on a normal routine is vital for their well-being," said Dr. Kirk Kelly, Interim Superintendent.

Administrators' goal was creating a safe and comforting environment for students, who are still trying to process what happened to their classmates.

"We have 15 counselors on site, five therapy dogs, hundreds of teddy bears, and thousands of hugs," Principal Brenda Cothran said, before taking an emotional pause. "It was a good day for our kids."

"I just can't imagine. I mean, how do you get up every day, after something like this, and just... be normal again?" asked Reid. "I don't think our community is gonna be normal again after this incident."

Anyone with physical donations should drop them off at New Monumental Baptist Church, which is located at 901 Woodmore Lane, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Monetary donations to the Woodmore Fund can be made here.

READ MORE | Channel 3's coverage of the Woodmore bus crash   

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