School Board Notes • January 2, 2013 • Vol. XXXVI No. 21


NJSBA Hurricane Assistance Effort: Update

The number of donors identified through the New Jersey School Boards Association's Hurricane Sandy Assistance Effort has increased to 165, including individuals, organizations and public schools as far away as the West Coast.  The donors have stepped up to provide equipment and supplies to New Jersey schools hard hit by "Superstorm Sandy."

In some cases the nature of the donation prompted referrals to other organizations and agencies such as Gov. Christie's Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the New Jersey Association of School Administrators and the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials.

Below are examples of donors matched up with schools in need through the NJSBA program.

  • Kevin Mount, a College of New Jersey student, reached out to the Student New Jersey Education Associations and the Teachers of Young Children Associations at several colleges in an effort to mobilize a coordinated Hurricane Sandy relief effort.  Representatives from several schools will meet to discuss the fundraising activity.
  • Dr. Timothy Purnell, superintendent of the Somerville Public Schools, reports that Somerville will provide assistance to Toms River Regional and is working with the Ocean County district to identify specific needs.
  • Jennifer Perry, school counselor at the King William High School in Virginia, contacted the Point Pleasant Beach Public Schools and will begin efforts to raise money and/or supplies after the holidays.
  • Tara Dreossi, a fifth grade math intervention specialist, and the students at Eisenhower Intermediate School in Bridgewater, collected and delivered some 500 new toys to the Union Beach school district.
  • Janet M. Kosco, treasurer of the Florence Elementary School in High Point, N.C., collected supplies for donation. Her school has been matched with the Belmar Elementary School. Over the holidays, Kosco travelled to New Jersey to deliver the supplies to the Monmouth County district.
  • On Dec.15, Lisa Tamburri, assistant principal at the West Essex Middle School, brought a van filled with supplies and $1,375 in TD Bank gift cards to Donna Stump, special services director at Brick Township, to assist the families in need from the loss they have endured from Hurricane Sandy. The West Essex students filled many rubber bins with personal hygiene, cleaning supplies, nonperishable foods, undergarments and school supplies. "I want to commend Donna Stump for her efforts and allowing our middle school students to experience helping others," said Tamburri. "It was very touching to work with such wonderful people. We hope to continue to help in the months ahead."

To assist school districts further, NJSBA has established a Hurricane Relief webpage, which provides a list of districts in need, with contact information and web links. NJSBA advises prospective donors to contact the affected school districts before conducting a donation drive so they can ascertain what the schools really need.

"We continue to be impressed with the generosity and the sincere concern about the storm's impact on New Jersey's schools," said NJSBA Executive Director Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod. "It is critical that potential donors maintain a focus on the relief effort since some schools might not have known what they needed immediately after the storm or they might have run out of supplies donated early on."

In addition to contact information on the affected school districts, the NJSBA webpage includes information on school districts' responsibility to provide 180 instructional days and statutory guidelines concerning contributions by public school districts. The toll-free number for NJSBA's Hurricane Help Hotline is (888) 88NJSBA, ext. 5209.