The Norman Transcript


April 28, 2014

Long-time Norman preschool raises funds for tornado shelter



Sherri Ward, director of the Pumpkin Shell School, said she is very happy that the parents took initiative.

“We had a tornado touch down close to our school a couple of years ago. It is scary enough when this happens at home, but it is even more scary if you are with somebody else’s kids,” Ward said.

“We have wanted to put a shelter in for a long time, but we simply don’t have that in our preschool budget,” she added.

Ward said that the school staff work very hard to provide quality education to the Pumpkin Shell kids and want to keep tuition affordable for the families by avoiding raising tuition for capital improvements. But the shelters are necessary to keep students and teachers safe.

“Our weather experts and Oklahoma’s warning system are the best in the world, and thankfully we usually get advance warning with enough time to pick up the children at school,” Ward said. “But after last year’s tragedies, officials have actually encouraged people to stay off the roads as storms approach because some who died or were injured were trapped in their cars on roadways — on the way to get their kids.

“As a mom and teacher, I want to make sure all kids are safe, but I also want to make sure the parents that may work in Oklahoma City or further away don’t put themselves in harm’s way. These shelters will provide safety and peace of mind to the teachers and parents and they will keep more than 60 kids safe, not just this year but for many more storm seasons to come.”

Anybody who wants to support the tornado shelter project at Pumpkin Shell School, can send donations to the Pumpkin Shell School, 1037 N. University Blvd. in Norman.

For more information on the Pumpkin Shell School, visit To keep up with the project, like Pumpkin Shell School on Facebook.


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