Barton Elementary Helps East Rockaway Recover

Nearly $2K donated to rebuild East Rockaway High School, which was devastated by Sandy.

The restoration of East Rockaway High School received some "helping hands" this week from an elementary school 40 miles away.

When Hurricane Sandy struck, Judith Soltner, principal of the Barton Elementary School in Patchogue, was approached by many teachers and parents about the need to do something for the Long Island families hit the hardest. 

On Monday night, the efforts of the Barton community came to fruition as a check for $1,907.69 was presented to the East Rockaway School District during a school board meeting at Patchogue-Medford High School. 

The money will go toward rebuilding East Rockaway High School, which was devastated by Sandy.

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Several students who helped organize the collection efforts were honored by the school board Monday night. Through a "Helping Hands" authentic learning effort, the students collected money from fellow Barton students and the local community. 

"We learned how to be a team and help others," one student said. 

Students who made donations were able to put their name or family's name on a "Helping Hand" and they were then hung up around the school, Soltner said.

"Our school is filled with the Helping Hands," she said. 

A raffle to win a Kindle Fire also helped raise money for the cause.  

Joseph Cangemi, the math and science chairperson for the East Rockaway School District, accepted the check from Barton social worker Maggie Felt. 

"From our heart to your hands," Felt said as she handed over the check. 

Cangemi expressed his gratitude for the efforts of the Barton students and community. 

"This check is going to by far go to good use and help the students at East Rockaway High School as we rebuild and hopefully get back into our school very soon," he said. 


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