With the city in turmoil and controversy surrounding its law enforcement, Ferguson, Missouri’s school district cancelled classes for what was supposed to be the first week of the school year. Students eager to get back to classes and see old friends were left waiting, hoping for an end to the conflict around them.

Just a few blocks north of the Ferguson Police Department stands the Ferguson Public Library. With schools closed, the library has become a place of solace from the chaos outside for students in the small St. Louis suburb. Volunteers have stood outside the library holding signs that say, “Students Welcome” and “Teachers Here to Teach”…

Ferguson Library

The library turned a meeting room into a de facto classroom with students diving into subjects ranging from math to art…


Walnut Grove Elementary art teacher Carrie Pace told the Riverfront Times, “We’re trying to provide a positive and productive place for students — a place for them to come and do something educational and meet up with other students”…





A volunteer from St. Louis magic group Abra-Kid-Abra even showed up to entertain the kids…


With many Ferguson teachers in a mandatory session on crisis-management counseling Thursday and Friday, Teach for America brought in more teachers to help accommodate over 160 students who showed up at the library…







Thanks to volunteers ranging from 16-year-old high schoolers to teachers on the verge of retirement, Ferguson students are finding a small sense of normalcy in a week of incredible chaos.

Photo credits: KSDK, Ryan J. Reilly, Antonio French