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Sunday, September 21, 2014
School News
Brooklyn Avenue food drive helps the needy
Andrew Hackmack/Herald
School Nurse Maria Griffin, left, and Grace United Methodist Church food drive coordinator Theresa DiSalvo with the donations.

Children at Brooklyn Avenue School have been in the giving spirit lately, ensuring that needy families in the community had a good Thanksgiving and helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The school’s annual food drive was a success, said Principal Dr. Scott Comis. Not only did students bring in non-perishable food items such as soup and canned vegetables, but staff members donated more than $800 to buy turkeys. The contributions went to nearby Grace United Methodist Church.

Students who brought in food were able to wear their pajamas to school on Nov. 16 as a reward. “It was a fun way to get the children involved in a very meaningful activity,” Comis said.

The school always collects food to help give local families a happy Thanksgiving. However, this year some of the donations went to help families that were displaced by the hurricane and are now living in the district. Jo-Anne Casucci, the school social worker, said some new students have joined Brooklyn Avenue School because they are staying with family in Valley Stream while their homes are repaired. Most of those children have come from hard hit areas such as Island Park, Oceanside and Far Rockaway.

Comis said those students have fit in well at Brooklyn Avenue. “I’m happy to say they’ve been welcomed by the school and all have made friends quickly,” he said.

Brooklyn Avenue School students say they are happy to help. Fifth grader Jessica Sierzega said she can’t imagine losing her home. She brought in tomato sauce and cans of beans for those in need.

Her classmate, Christina Hillery, donated some cans of tuna, peaches and corn. “It’s just a nice way to say ‘I want to help you,’” she said. “I really feel bad for the people who lost their homes. I would be really upset if I lost everything.”

Fifth-grader Evan Miller was also conscious about doing a good deed for others. “It’s nice to help them,” he said. “If you don’t help them out, it’s kind of selfish.”

“People are in need,” added sixth-grader John Cataldo, who brought in cans of corn and soup for the food drive. “Those people don’t have as much as we do.”

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