Instead of rescheduling its annual Halloween Parade, Strawtown Elementary School held “The Giving Parade” to assist schools devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Students, parents and staff joined in the effort.
Strawtown Principal Deirdra O’Connor, Third-grade Teachers Kerriann Koppel and John Bennett, and PTA Co-Presidents Karie Loomis and Bonni Garvey worked together to transform the cancelled Halloween celebration into a hurricane recovery project for damaged Staten Island schools, I.S. 24 and P.S.8, and Stony Point victims.
Loomis said students made posters with notes of encouragement and parents donated school supplies and cleaning supplies to the Town of Stony Point. In addition, Clarkstown High School South’s Assets Leadership Team, VAASA and SADD clubs collected donations. Strawtown PTA’s After School Enrichment class, Strawtown School of Rock with Alice Leon, also got involved by writing and recording a song, “Gotta Help Out”.
On Friday, Nov. 9, Strawtown students paraded their donations and posters. Parent volunteers organized and packed items after school for delivery on Saturday.
Teachers and parents brought seven carloads of school supplies to Myrna S. Barnes Intermediate School 24 and also dropped off cleaning supplies in Stony Point.
Loomis said the principal and staff of I.S. 24 greatly appreciated the generosity of the Strawtown community and the poster cards made by the students.
O'Connor said, “We are honored to have been a part of their healing process and are grateful that “The Giving Parade” allowed us to have a teachable moment about caring, empathy, and citizenship that will be with the students forever.”