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TOAST newcomer students complete hurricane aid project

ALBANY, 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 carried out.

 

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 needed.

 

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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The mission of the City School District of Albany is to work in partnership with our diverse community to engage every learner in a robust educational program designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for success. The district serves nearly 9,700 students in 18 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

 
         
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