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Tampa teacher has personal items stolen from classroom during Irma

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A Florida teacher found an empty bookshelf when she returned to her classroom, which had served as a shelter for Hurricane Irma evacuees. Martha Hereford-Cothron tells the Tampa Bay Times her heart sank when she saw 80 books and a few board games were gone from her classroom at Highland Middle School. Some books were signed by her favorite authors. She teaches sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders who test in the lower 25 percent of the school's readers and says it's enough of a challenge to get them interested in books. She tried to spin the theft in a positive way to students. And she had a message to the book thief. "I hope they're reading them," she said, or passing them along to someone who will. Dunedin is near Tampa on Florida's Gulf Coast.

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