When the young pupils began to sing "Lean on Me" there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
When the ZES pupils presented the check for $3,091.30 to members of the LaPlace school on Sept. 27, it was difficult to maintain one's composure.
ZES Has Heart, a fundraiser Zachary Elementary created after Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School was damaged during Hurricane Isaac, culminated in the donation of a week's worth of money raised by everyone at the school.
"We are truly taken aback by all of this," Bailey said. "We're overwhelmed, grateful, appreciative and really touched. You just never know when you're being considered, we never expected this...it's all so moving."
Bailey said the entire Lake Pontchartrain student body and faculty, Pre-K thru 8th-grades, have all been displaced. She said the money donated by ZES will go toward replacing school supplies, book bags, classroom tools and even uniforms.
"We're spread out among the six other schools in our district," said Bailey. "However, all of our students are still with their original teachers. We felt it was important that they not be separated. The schools have welcomed us with open arms."
Even though many of the students are now attending class at other schools, there is still only a 79 percent return rate among the student body, Bailey said. "Parents are driving their kids in from other parishes, including Baton Rouge," Bailey explained.
The principal said her kids may not return to Lake Pontchartrain Elementary until mid-January 2013.
"Our kids are adapting," the principal said. "Seeing their friends and teachers brings some normalcy, some comfort to the overall situation. Being here today at ZES, it means a lot. This is really special. This is when you know things are going to be alright."
During the ZES Has Heart fundraiser, students brought in many denominations of currency, everything from three cents to $30, Asst. Principal Trudy Johnson said.
The ZES Has Heart fundraiser has inspired another organization - Zachary Area Reading Council - to hold a book drive to replace the classroom library books for the Pre-K thru 8th-grade students at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary.
The book drive will be held from Oct. 9 - 16, and books can be dropped off at ZES or the Bank of Zachary.
For more information on ZARC's book drive, type 'ZARC' in the search field at the top of this page.