a K-5th grade elementary school in downtown Brooklyn, is partnering with the (K-8th grade) in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, which suffered serious damage as a result of Hurricane Maria. The PTSO is working with the teachers and administration at BPCS so that our students can help to provide much-needed supplies and support for the 400 students at this school.
By November 5, we are aiming to raise $5000. These funds will cover backpacks saying #puertoricoselevanta. In the backpack, we will include: crayons, a notebook, pencils, sharpeners, bug repellent wipes and hand sanitizer. Our backpacks will also feature the adventures of Kiki Koki, inspired by Puerto Rico's coquí frog, whose loud songs fill night, thanks to the generous donation of author Ed Rodriguez. We have also set up an Amazon wish list (http://a.co/0bKabpb) for other thoughtful items that families can purchase for inclusion in the backpacks, such as small toys and other books.
Over the coming weeks in Spanish class, students will be learning about Puerto Rico and the effects of the hurricane. They will also be writing notes of encouragement to the students at Escuela Luis M Santiago that will be included in the backpacks.
Our own Maestra Rosado explains why this project is so important:
“I was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Hurricane Hugo hit the island in 1989. I was five then and feared our wooden house would not withstand this natural disaster. Quickly, my family needed to find a safe place. My mom, a third grade teacher, told us, “We might not have a house or a roof when we come back, but you are going to school, Isa”. I lined my stuffed animals up and begged each of them to forgive me for not bringing them along. Mom packed my uniform, books and pencils and off we ran. Hugo was the first hurricane to threaten my family. Our home survived and we returned to school without much delay — but this frantic exit became a ritual over the years.
Last month, Hurricane María devastated my beloved island. Parents had no time to pack anything — never mind school supplies. Most of the schools are still closed with no real plan to open soon. La Escuela Luis M. Santiago, where my friend Ericka Ayala teaches, was flooded under five feet of water. Everything was destroyed; classrooms, books, desks, student work, teacher materials, the school library — everything covered in mud! The children of Puerto Rico need to get back to school and the BPCS community can make this possible with the Borinquen Backpack Project.”
Help us spread the word and please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support this project. Also, be sure to check if your company has a matching program! Your donation will go toward the cost of supplies and shipping and will help the children of Puerto Rico get back into the classrooms and resume a sense of normalcy. Thank you!