Making Friends At A New School

Tuesday, Sept. 6 was the first day back to school for many of the children displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The Early Show correspondent Melinda Murphy followed the Wood and Treen children on their first day in their new world. With their families, they were force to move to Baton Rouge, La., from New Orleans.

As the day starts, Halle Wood is awaken by her mother and gets ready for her new day at school. As she prepares for her new day, nothing seems out of the ordinary but she tells Murphy she is nervous.

"It's kind of like my first-ever day of school, so I don't really have a lot of friends and I don't know any of the teachers," Halle says.

Her brother Lewis, a senior, is ahead of the game. He had football practice Monday. Back home in New Orleans, Lewis was the star linebacker, but this is a new school.

"I'm a little nervous, little excited," he says. Of course, football is one thing and school is another. He hasn't had to start over since the 4th grade.

Michelle Treen knows the feeling. The thought of her children starting over was hard. Her son, David, is in 4th grade and her daughter, Alli, is a freshman.

"I feel like it's my first day at school," Michelle Treen says. "It's hard and it's wonderful at the same time."

After orientation, it was time for all of the kids to face the day on their own.

Surprised, David Treen says, "I thought I'd sit alone at lunch, but I'm sitting with like 10 people."

Halle made friends, too. Counting with her fingers and looking around the school cafeteria, she figured she had more than seven friends.

But new friends don't replace old friends.

"Of course I miss everybody," Halle says, "It's still a lot to take in all at once, but I am getting excited about other things."

Luckily for her brother Lewis, his best friend, Kevin, is starting in the same school, too. And there are other plusses as well, like cute girls.

"A few out there," he says laughing.

Maybe it's just that ability for kids to adapt that makes the future seem not so scary after all.

"I feel excited and it was just a really fun day for me," Halle says, noting that she thinks she is going to like her new school.

Though none of the children know how long they'll stay in Baton Rouge, all are hoping to return home to New Orleans soon.
  • Tatiana Morales

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