Castleberry Community Weathers the Storm

Castleberry Community Weathers the Storm
Posted on 03/04/2021
Members of the Castleberry Board of Education at the AVC water distribution

2020 was a year of change. A global pandemic forced schools across the country to suddenly pivot and figure out how to make quality learning and resources available online. For many there was a sense of hope that 2021 would prove to be a new beginning and an end to the stress and angst that was 2020. Thus far 2021 has not been the bright and shining new start that people have longed for. Not only has the pandemic continued to rage across the globe introducing new variants and devastating both the health of the populace and local economies, but a ferocious winter storm tore through Texas with a fury that has not been seen in 30 years. All over Texas people lost power, lost water service, suffered severe property damage, and held their loved ones tight as they tried to keep warm in the blistering cold.

Amidst all of this tragedy, there has been hope and positivity. While many online platforms and social media sites tell stories of a search for the cause of our struggles or someone to blame, national social unease, and heated political disagreements; the winter storm brought to light a very different narrative for local communities. Here in this little corner of DFW there was amazing generosity. People went out of their way to provide safe havens, transportation, heat, and clean water; often to complete strangers. The Castleberry community banded together and showed everyone that kindness and humanity are still very much alive and in practice here in Texas.

The City of River Oaks experienced a water outage for over 3-days as a result of the extreme weather. The City’s water plant was crippled and low water pressure prevented the emergency lines with Fort Worth from functioning. In response, Castleberry ISD came together with the greater Castleberry community to provide clean water at a distribution point located at A.V. Cato Elementary. Dr. Ramos, Castleberry Superintendent, said “It was an honor to serve our CISD community during its time of need, especially after the catastrophic winter storm left so many families without running water. Thank you to all our board and staff members who came out to help in our efforts last week.”

The City Manager of River Oaks, Marvin Gregory, had this to say “Castleberry ISD came to our rescue in providing water from A.V. Cato for our citizens. That really helped the community and gave us the needed time to get the water back on. We are so thankful for their assistance in our community’s hours of distress.” Parents, teachers, students, and community members all came together to help those who were without. Castleberry ISD would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who found it in their heart to assist others.

Castleberry counselors sent out surveys to families to identify those that needed help or support and promptly went to work routing assistance and information to those most in need. Counselors were also available should anyone need a friendly ear and a kind word. Michelle Stapp, Castleberry Elementary Principal, was amazed by the outpouring of support from everyone. “I am humbled and blessed to work in the River Oaks community. Members of the community, along with great leaders at CISD, were willing to do whatever was needed to meet the communities immediate needs and ensure that all families felt supported.”

The past year has been a trying time for everyone. Things seem to be changing incredibly fast, and it has been difficult to keep pace. If nothing else this most recent challenge has shown that the Castleberry community has the grit to persevere. By continuing to support, encourage, understand, and help each other there is nothing that can’t be overcome. Because we are Castleberry, and we are Lion Strong!