Donations have flooded in from far and wide to help Red Bank Primary School recover from the extensive damage it was dealt from superstorm Sandy.
Although many came from local sources, the school also received aid from educational material giant Scholastic, Inc. in New York as well as from an elementary school in Michigan.
The Red Bank Board of Education formally accepted these donations and others at its meeting on Dec. 18. Topping the list in terms of financial amounts were the 5,000 books received from Scholastic, which amounts to between $20,000 and $25,000 in total value. This donation was part of an initiative taken on by the company to donate a million books to schools and libraries across the tri-state area that were affected by Sandy.
“The educators, parents and caregivers, who are helping children in our hard-hit communities throughout the region, are true heroes,” Scholastic CEO Richard Robinson said in a press release. “All of us at Scholastic are committed to getting these books, lesson plans and other learning materials into the affected communities as soon as possible in the hope that we can provide support for our young people as they return to schools that need extra resources.”
The Primary School also was given a cash donation of $2,182.48 from Pine Knob Elementary School in Clarkston, Michigan. The money was collected by the school's PTA specifically to help Red Bank Primary recover from Sandy.
"We have encountered highly thoughtful and generous people," Superintendent Laura Morana said. "We don't have an exact number of books that were damaged [from flooding] however, the donations will enhance our library collection and the classroom libraries."
Other donations included: over $100 in cash and school supplies from New Providence Middle School; about $500 of books from Stevenson and Churchill Schools and members of the NJ Association of School Librarians; books worth approximately $300 from the Willard Elementary School in Ridgewood; school supplies and toys worth approximately $100 from the Center for Vocational Rehabilitation in Eatontown; approximately $175 in gift cards from Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Edison; and backpacks and coats from United Methodist Church in Morganville, worth approximately $100.
The school also received over $600 from individual donors.
The Red Bank Primary School reopened exactly one month after it was flooded by Sandy on Oct. 29, although the displaced students had been attending split sessions at Red Bank Middle School for several weeks.
Roughly two thirds of the school's flooring and carpeting had sustained severe flood damage, and workers had to replace much of the carpet with linoleum tile.
The primary school as well as other schools in the district were also left without power after the storm, which further delayed the reopening to students. Although most of the building's classrooms are now fit for use, some areas are still undergoing repairs.