GVS Helps a Harvey-Ravaged School Reopen
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Green Vale Parents' Association leadership immediately began to formulate a plan for Green Vale to help -- in a meaningful and immediate way that also would resonate with our students. Mara Silverstein, Vice President of the PA, was able to identify and connect with The Sam Houston Elementary school in Port Arthur, Texas, a school that was partially destroyed located in a town that was entirely flooded.
In speaking with the principal of Sam Houston Elementary, Silverstein learned more about the school, its community, and its needs. As a Title 1 public school, Sam Houston has a high percentage of students from low-income families. Prior to the storm, Sam Houston Elementary had a population of about 700 students from Pre-K to 5th Grade. After the storm, administration was overwhelmed with attempting to locate and contact all of the students while ensuring that teachers and staff had places to live. They were hoping to reopen school for the 400 students who remained in Port Arthur, but faced a burden of replacing lost supplies and uniforms in a matter of two weeks.
The Green Vale community came together and promised to help. Within a week, Green Vale families donated thousands of items, from binders to backpacks, uniform clothing, and books to rebuild their ruined library. Upper School contributed funds from Wednesday bagel sales that amounted to $1,000. Younger students created cards and notes of support for the Sam Houston students.
The PA also arranged for the East Meadow UPS Store to donate boxes and shipping costs. In an all-hands-on-deck effort, the items were organized and packed, and have since arrived in Port Arthur.
Upon receipt, Principal Sharp wrote to Green Vale's Mara Silverstein: "I could not help but to be overcome with emotion. The boxes were labeled with counted items. The parents are so grateful, they are posting many thanks and shows of gratitude. The teachers are overjoyed. Feels good to be the recipients of your goodness. My favorite part of the shipment is the books! 📚 love the books! We are working in distributing all the supplies to the teachers and the librarian is distributing the uniforms. Many students were wearing the same clothing everyday."
Items that Green Vale donated:
- 200 packs of wide ruled filler paper
- 400 boxes of Crayons (regular size - 24 count)
- 400 pocket folders (yellow, green, red, blue) w/brads
- 400 glue sticks
- 400 spiral one-subject notebooks
- 400 composition books
- 400 boxes of pencils (No.2 lead)
- 100 reams of copy paper (500 sheets, 81/2"x 11")
- 100 boxes of Ziploc bags (1) gallon - (1) quart
- 400 small pink erasers
- 100 blocks of construction paper (12"x 18")
- 300 boxes of colored pencils (12-24 Ct)
- 200 school glue (4oz.)
- 200 rulers (metric & inches)
- 200 Dry Erase markers
- 200 1" binders
- Used or new polo shirt solid colors, sizes 4 to 16
- Used or new uniform pants (blue or khaki), sizes 4 to 16
- Academy or Walmart $20 gift cards for families to purchase uniforms
- Clear see-through backpacks or mesh backpacks
- Library books appropriate for Grades K-5