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Rap: Usher assists cleanup of New Orleans school

Usher assists cleanup of New Orleans school
Usher pitched in to help dozens of volunteers clean a school that had been ravished by Hurricane Katrina in August.

The singer, wearing work gloves and using a pair of trimmers, helped to clear out overgrown weeds and vines that had invaded a fence at the International School of Louisiana, the state's first foreign language-based charter school.

For the first time, Usher saw with his own eyes the desolation in the area as he toured affected neighborhoods in New Orleans and nearby St. Bernard Parish.

"To see it, in this state, it's devastating," Usher said. "I'm here to physically do something and hopefully motivate other people to do the same."

On Monday, Usher met with Xavier and Dillard University students, whose campuses were flooded by the hurricane. He was scheduled to join Gov. Kathleen Blanco in a meeting with business leaders in Baton Rouge on Tuesday.

During a visit to the state capitol, he ignored requests from House members to sing a tune and instead spoke to lawmakers about rebuilding efforts in the city.

"It truly takes a village to ... get some of these families back into their homes," he said.

On Wednesday, he was scheduled to visit the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

In the immediate aftermath of Katrina, Usher hosted a benefit concert in Atlanta for the storm's victims, and launched his charity Project Restart to help families in the Gulf Coast region find housing.
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