Dena Kirkland, a disabled staff member at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, was hit by a car on R Street in front of the high school where she worked with students as a production manager. Now the school community is raising funds to support her as she recovers.
According to a notice shared with parents recently:
"On November 29, 2012, Ms Dena (as the students affectionately call her) was hit by a speeding car while walking across R St to her vehicle. That accident left her with a fractured skull, broken jaw, broken leg, as well as other injuries. Ms Dena, previously diagnosed as 100% disabled, devoted countless hours to Ellington and our mission to 'nurture and inspire passion for arts and learning in talented students'."
Teachers told Patch that cars often speed along R Street, despite the school environment and the likelihood of student and teacher pedestrian traffic.
"Folks speed down that street daily and with so many children out there—well—our worst nightmare came true," said Tia Powell Harris, director of artistic affairs, in an email to Patch.
Teachers and other staff members at Ellington are asking the school community, neighbors and members of the DC arts community "to help
in any way you can."
Monetary donations to help Kirkland can be placed in a donation box located in the front office or mailed to “Attn: Help Ms Dena” 3500 R St NW, DC 20007.