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Students across eastern suburbs offer relief to victims of Sandy

Manlius Pebble Hill students recently collected urgently needed items for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Necessities were delivered to Laci’s Tapas Bar, the Syracuse restaurant whose owners are traveling to the New York City/New Jersey area with supplies. Shown making one of many deliveries to Laci’s are (from left) MPH seniors Jessie Glies, Christy Murphy and Jordan Olinsky, and 2012 MPH graduate James Gavigan, now a student at SUNY Geneseo.

Manlius Pebble Hill students recently collected urgently needed items for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Necessities were delivered to Laci’s Tapas Bar, the Syracuse restaurant whose owners are traveling to the New York City/New Jersey area with supplies. Shown making one of many deliveries to Laci’s are (from left) MPH seniors Jessie Glies, Christy Murphy and Jordan Olinsky, and 2012 MPH graduate James Gavigan, now a student at SUNY Geneseo. Courtesy Caroline Sussman

Vanessa Rose, a fourth grade teacher at the elementary school, wanted to ensure that her students were informed about the storm from the start.

“My class was actually tracking the storm as a current event project for two days before the storm hit,” Rose said. “The appropriate thing to do after it hit was to talk about what happened and also see if any of the kids had family that was affected. They can developmentally handle some of the stuff, and understand that people were displaced and under hardship. It is good for them to … have an understanding and compassion for people who are struggling and [see] that it could be anybody.”

Rose is linking an annual concert that the school normally hosts with fundraising efforts for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Her students will collect change in empty milk jugs before and after the show, in the lobby. All of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross.

“I asked my kids what the goal should be, and they said between 300 and 400 dollars,” Rose said. “I can’t imagine any family would not bring like a dollars worth of change, and if there’s 130 fourth graders, and you have parents and grandparents going — we are trying to spread the word as much as possible — I think that’s a good amount.”

Capri understands the importance this has for the victims in our state, but also the influence it will have on her students.

“A huge part in our school and district is really focusing on being socially responsible citizens and global learners,” she said. “Those are kind of abstract concepts for young kids, and something like this really shows them you can make a difference no matter how young you are. We talk about these things in school all the time, but when you can actually live it and feel yourself make a difference, it creates a great sense of community and character for our kids.”

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