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Support For Fire Damaged Sonora Elementary

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Sonora, CA — Sonora Elementary received a $10,000 donation from Chicken Ranch Casino in Jamestown to help the school recover from fire that damaged several classrooms. Tribal Chairman, Lloyd Mathiesen met with Support Sonora School President Carla Salyers today.

The school’s Parent Teacher Organization, Support Sonora School (SSS), has coordinated efforts to provide teachers with whatever they need for their students. Salyers says the money from Chicken Ranch is the largest donation so far. She estimates $25,000 in fire relief donations have been made.

Several volunteers were on hand when Mathiesen visited the Sonora gym. Spirits were high as volunteers finished sorting books that were donated to the school. The local chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma (an international society of female educators), helped lead a book drive.

Classrooms in D and E buildings are still being cleaned, and students will be able to move back in next week. The district has four new portable classrooms, sometimes called Bobcat Village, near the Elementary’s lower playground.

Seventeen classrooms were impacted by the fire at Sonora Elementary School on November 23rd. Seven rooms in the F building will be closed for the rest of the school year. Cleanup estimates have been thought to reach half a million dollars, restoration or new construction could cost over a million dollars.

The identity of the 17 year old suspect charged with starting the fire has not been released. The Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office has sought to try the individual as an adult.