Dealing With Disaster

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Kids get stressed out when they see stuff they aren't able to understand. When they see images everyone isn't able to understand.

Kelly Jesch, an elementary counselor, says despite our distance to the hurricane affected areas, school administrators say, the kids are watching.

They say knowing several students will soon attend as many as six schools in the Washoe County School District makes the disaster that much more personal because it's kids who just lost everything.

That's why counselors attended class at Desert Heights Elementary, in Stead, to talk to the young students about their fears and expectations about the incoming students.

Susan Rusk, another counselor, says it is important to talk about the disaster at home, because your children are listening.... especially those who will meet some of the new kids.

Empowering your children to help can often teach them how to work through grief or just the understanding of a disaster.

Several elementary schools have already started a penny drive to directly benefit disaster aid.

Nationally, the department of education is also trying to deal with the fact that there are more than 200,000 students who are now considered "homeless," and therefore are entitled to more services and benefits.

The secretary of education, Margaret Spellings, is concerned the $61 million budget for the program will be insufficient because of the drastic number of affected students.