Ridgebury adopts Jersey school in wake of Sandy

Ridgebury’s Student Council members include, rear, from left, Emma Gibson, Antonella Risi, Luke D’Antonio, Will Hooker, Abigal Hadar, Geereesh Shankar, John Mathes, Salvatore Iovino, Jack Coughlin, Aarav Patel; Front, Susanna Howard, Alyssa Napoli, Chloe Jureller, Sam Bazarian, Evelyn Carr, James Hooker, Matthew McDonough, Bella Jureller. Not pictured: Jillian Collins and Katerine Weiner.

While students at Ridgebury Elementary School lost power for almost a week due to Hurricane Sandy, they realized that students in other schools lost far more during the storm. In an effort to help the families of children like them, the student council decided to “adopt” a school in an area devastated by the hurricane and chose the Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary School located on Long Beach Island, New Jersey.

Elementary students on Long Beach Island were back to school two weeks after Hurricane Sandy ravished the small barrier island in southern New Jersey, causing an estimated $1 billion in damages.

Many families homes are heavily damaged and these families are displaced and either living with family members or in shelters on the mainland.

Long Beach Island’s school district also sustained heavy damage to the Long Beach Island Grade School which is currently closed.

All children in kindergarten through sixth grade are currently being taught at the Ethel Jacobsen School which normally would house students in pre-kindergarten through second grade.

Ridgebury’s student council has been in contact with Karen McKeon, the Long Beach Island school superintendent and their PTA president Sharon Lubach-Dugan.

“Wal-Mart, Target, Shop Rite and Kmart gift cards would be helpful for those who have lost everything,” Ms. McKeon said.

So the student council, with the help of Michele Montanaro, the student council leader, went to work. They have notified the Ridgebury Elementary School community and began collecting!

“We will never forget the compassion and efforts extended to our families,” Ms. McKeon stated.

Anyone interested in making a monetary donation to the Ethel A. Jacobsen school or providing gift cards, books, educational toys or puzzles may contact Rosemarie Hooker, the parent coordinator of the adopt a school project.

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