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Chapel Hill teacher restocks after fire destroys teaching materials

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CHAPEL HILL (KYTX) - It's been one week since a fire Wise Elementary in Chapel Hill ISD damaged 29 years worth of a veteran teachers materials.

That teacher told CBS 19's Katiera Winfrey that the community stepped up big time to help get her room back in order.

There are a few words in Mrs. Debbie Griffin's temporary class that describes her work: 
Passion, purpose and love.

"I wouldn't been here that long if it wasn't fun," Griffin.

For 29 years, she's taught little ones at Wise Elementary. Throughout those years, she's accumulated books, games, toys and even a record player that plays what the kids call "big CD's."

But all of that was destroyed by smoke and water after an early morning fire that started in a connecting girls bathroom.

There was an electrical problem when a fan was left on.

She said it was hard to see all the things she's collected over the years be erased in a moment.

Her old room is now covered in plastic, with few items showing teaching was done there.

It's been a process getting back to normal, and restocking her room.

"Our theme this year is whatever it takes," said Griffin.

People in Chapel Hill and surrounding communities have done whatever it takes.

"Dropping off box of goodies, it's like Christmas," she said.

Griffin said, despite losing nearly three decades worth of memories, she's using this fire as a teaching lesson.

"You realize what you can do without and we're making it fine in this room because of the generosity."

 

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