Extending a Helping Hand

BBP Schools Work to Assist Families in Need

The holiday season is often a difficult one for those struggling, a fact that has become even more apparent this year as many Long Islanders find themselves in need of assistance due in large part to the recent hurricane. Looking to help those in the local communities as well as ones in far-reaching neighborhoods, the Bayport-Blue Point School District coordinated several relief efforts in November. From food to supply drives, district students and staff members once again demonstrated the caring nature of the schools.

Academy Street Elementary School peer leaders coordinated a Thanksgiving food drive to benefit local residents. As the school received an overwhelming amount of donations, the students not only created Thanksgiving baskets for local families but also boxes filled with food and supplies for members of their surrounding community gravely affected by Hurricane Sandy. Additionally, the students in Tammy Santora’s class also created bags of well wishes and supply items for individuals living in shelters as a result of the hurricane. The bags were filled with gift cards and a variety of personal hygiene items. As part of Operation Shoebox, the students in Carrie Almskog’s class created shoeboxes filled will toiletries and other supplies for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The students creatively decorated the boxes and donated the filled creations to the high school’s collection effort.

Sylvan Avenue Elementary School fifth-grade students in Ursula Camenzuli’s and Alexandra Sulton’s classes decorated pillowcases and filled the creative sacks with personal care items for Long Island Cares, an organization collecting items for Long Islanders affected by the recent storm.

Blue Point Elementary School students coordinated a food drive, which called for donations of non-perishable food items for local residents in need this holiday season.

James Wilson Young Middle School student council members coordinated a food drive for Our Lady of the Snow Church and the Patchogue Soup Kitchen. The students collected hundreds of nonperishable canned and boxed goods during the weeklong drive. Additionally, the school’s National Junior Honor Society coordinated a school supply drive for the Scholars’ Academy, a school in Rockaway Park, N.Y. devastated by the hurricane. JWY students collected backpacks and filled them with pencils, pens, index cards, construction paper and an assortment of other school supplies for their fellow New York students. Their effort made an even greater impact thanks to a $425 monetary collection, $100 of which was donated by the Bayport-Blue Point Teachers Association.

Bayport-Blue Point High School staff and students also worked to ease the pain felt by the surrounding community as a result of the hurricane. During a two-day collection drive, the school was open to interested parties who wanted to drop off food, clothing or other supplies for local families affected by the superstorm. During their lunch periods, students volunteered at the drop-off site to help sort and organize the donations.

Lending a Hand to Make an Impact

Bayport-Blue Point High School’s iLead class—a student elective course focused on teaching students to acquire leadership skills through hands-on projects—recently coordinated a unique fund-raising project that truly embodied the term “hands-on.” After learning of the devastating effects that the recent hurricane had on their neighboring communities, the class rallied together to help make a difference for the victims of the superstorm—more specifically, those families in the Lindenhurst School District.

iLeader Bob Mischo painted an outline of Long Island on a canvas along with the words “When strength is needed, look to those around you.” It was on this canvas that the school’s students—for a dollar or two donation—could make an imprint of their hand to symbolize the support they were showing for their fellow Long Islanders. As a result of the school’s generosity, the iLeaders collected more than $300 for an elementary school in the Lindenhurst School District and will be donating the completed canvas to that school as a constant reminder of the friends they have in Bayport-Blue Point.