Croton Schools Band Together During Storm Aftermath

Schools across the Croton-Harmon District pitched in to help those in need in the days after Superstorm Sandy hit.

The Carrie E. Tompkins community is banding together to help people in Croton-on-Hudson who have been affected by Superstorm Sandy. The elementary school has launched a new Kids Helping Kids program, which will help support families who are still dealing with the aftermath of Sandy.

The Kids Helping Kids program is the brainchild of Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School Assistant Principal Kerri Bianchi. Bianchi says she wanted to launch the program in the near future, but Superstorm Sandy created an instant need for such an iniative.

Students have been gathering goods to donate to families in and around the Croton-Harmon School Districts, with the support of the CET PTA. All of the grade levels at the school collected specific items to help those in need. Goods collected included blanket, pajamas, gloves, new clothing, baby items and toiletries.

A collection box was set up in CET's main lobby for donations up until Friday. The items were then distributed to the families that needed them most.

"I really feel like I have come into an amazingly strong community that looks out for each other and the needs of the people around them," said Bianchi. "If you could see the donation boxes that we have, they are huge moving boxes... overflowing with blankets and socks, pajamas, tolietries and diapers. It's amazing, it's heartwarming."

Bianchi says that she will continue to spearhead the Kids Helping Kids project, and that the children themselves will drive the direction of the program.

"To see the pride in the kids' faces when they're bringing this stuff down and putting it into the boxes is amazing… they know they're helping, they get it," said Bianchi.

Local businesses also got in on the effort to help in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, providing students coming back with a hot lunch option.

People from the CET community haven't been the only ones pitching in to help out those in need. Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School teachers pitched in to buy pizza for their students who had to go without power during the storm's aftermath.

Meanwhile, Croton-Harmon High School Milk Monitor Carol Tozzi and her husband helped keep the milk supply plentiful at the school. Her husband drove down to Diamond Dairy in Ossining to replenish the schools milk supply, since the milk at the school had become spoiled from the lack of electricity.

Many students homes didn't have power during the storm's aftermath. This meant that many were left with no heat and no way to prepare warm meals. To help with this problem Superintendent Ed Fuhrman and Assistant Superintendent Deborah O'Connell kept Croton-Harmon High's library open up until 9 p.m. This gave parents and students a warm, comfortable place to work on homework assignments.


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