TOAST newcomer students complete hurricane aid project
N.Y. (Dec. 11, 2017) --
English-language learners at Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and
Technology (TOAST) on Monday packed their teacher’s car with hundreds of
pounds of supplies to be delivered to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.
During the past two months, the 25 students – fourth-, fifth- and
sixth-graders in Caroline Espinoza Navarette’s English as a new language
class – collected the provisions in a school-wide drive they planned and
The students were inspired to start the drive in mid-October after
learning about the devastation Hurricane Maria wreaked when it roared
into Puerto Rico on Sept. 20.
“What they’re going through is rough,” said fifth-grader Arnicia
Bibalou. “We feel bad that some people got washed away by the hurricane
and some people have to live in schools.”
The students initially pitched the idea for the drive to Principal
Teresa Brown, who approved it. They made and hung posters about their
project all over school and gave presentations in classes.
Students gathered bottled water, batteries, flashlights, lanterns,
diapers and disposable wipes and loaded them in their teacher's car. The
provisions were taken to a collection point for the Empire State Relief
and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, a state
effort to collect and transport supplies that are still desperately
The students were clearly pleased with their efforts.
“I think we saved lives,” said sixth-grader Anne Singiza.
Added sixth-grader Blay Moo Wah Paw, “We did a good job.”
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