How Our Teachers Find Support For Their Students After Sandy

Ms. Accardi’s classroom. Source:

“Our local teachers face two kinds of challenges in the aftermath of Sandy: Dealing with classrooms that have been damaged beyond repair, and helping their vulnerable students make sense of this shocking disaster.

Luckily, teachers have been able post their needs on DonorsChoose, a website that helps educators ask for funding for projects that will eventually help them rebuild their classrooms and serve the students, according to Gotham Schools.

The website created a special page that allows teachers that were directly impacted by Sandy to post their needs. Thus far, teachers in need received over $50,000 from individual donors.

Local staff at Brooklyn Studio Secondary School at  8310 21st Avenue were the beneficiaries of the websites efficient setup. Ms. Accardi wrote an impassioned plea asking donors to help the teachers help their students. She said:

Hurricane Sandy destroyed the homes of many students at our school. As teachers, we’ve joined forces to help make things a little bit easier during this time of tragedy and loss. Won’t you please contribute to our efforts to provide our students with basic necessities as they begin to rebuild?
Our students are a diverse population, but they have one thing in common – many lived right on the beaches of NYC, where Hurricane Sandy did the most damage. They’ve been without power for a while and many are staying in temporary housing, as their buildings are unsafe and without heat and hot water. Our students need healthy, non-perishable food items like soups, cereal bars and trail mix to help get them through the next few weeks and months as their families begin to rebuild. Many we’re left with nothing and have no kitchen, so even a simple task, like cooking a meal is difficult and their families need foods that are quick and easy to prepare.
My Project: Your generous donation will make life a little bit easier for a teenager during the struggle to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. Perhaps a hungry student will be able to focus in class and stay on target thanks to the breakfast bar provided through your donation. One less young person will have to worry about where their next meal will come from. Please- help us help them. Thank you.

Within days, her requests were fulfilled. She was able to collect the amoutn she had asked for from generous donors all over the country. Her thank you note read:

I can’t fully express my thanks in how generous your donations are. Thanks to your kindness, many of our students will have food to eat while they patiently wait for their heat and electricity to be restored, or for their homes to be rebuilt. You’ve given struggling kids one less thing to worry about during this stressful time. You’ve helped ensure that kids can concentrate on what matters – education, because their bellies will now be full. In reading your comments, I’m reminded that empathy for fellow man is alive and well. Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart.
With gratitude,
Ms. Accardi

We are glad to report on this bit of good news and we thank our educators for going above and beyond their jobs in the classroom.

There are many other classrooms in Long Island and New Jersey affected, check out the DonorsChoose page to help a teacher in need.


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