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Students collect supplies for N.Y. school devastated by storm Sandy

| Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, 12:31 p.m.
Emily Paravate, 8, a 3rd grader at Hutchinson Elementary in Greensburg helps sort school supplies to be donated to a school in New York that was flooded during Hurricane Sandy on Wednesday, November 21, 2012. Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review

A Greensburg Salem educator is teaching students about giving by doing.

Jennifer Tucci, a third-grade teacher, and others at Amos K. Hutchinson Elementary School have organized an in-house drive to collect school supplies for Fulton Avenue Elementary School in Oceanside, N.Y.

Hurricane Sandy pummeled the Long Island school last month.

The Hutchinson students are keeping with the message of a school reading lesson, “Stone Soup,” which shows “caring and helping others is what it means to have a rich life,” Tucci said.

“We wanted our focus to be on helping out,” she added.

Flood waters swept across the first floor of the school and its contents, with the devastation extending to the cafeteria and gymnasium, said Tucci, who is spearheading the collection.

Students were forced to go to another school.

Hutchinson students are collecting pencils, colored pencils, glue sticks, crayons, scissors, rulers, eraser caps and other supplies for the New York school.

“The reason we decided on school supplies was because it was something kids can relate to,” Tucci said.

On Wednesday, six third-graders sorted through items gathered so far. At that point, they had eight boxes of donated items.

School officials plan on collecting until next Friday, Tucci said.

“I would like to help other people,” Jayla Anderson, 8, said. “They didn't have stuff, and I feel really bad.”

“It would be really bad if they didn't get anything,” added fellow third-grader Ellery Butler. “I'm trying to help the school.”

Tucci learned about the New York school's plight through a friend of a friend's child who attends the Long Island school.

“I think it's wonderful,” Hutchinson Principal Kevin Bringe said. “We receive so much as a school, particularly this time of year ... so it's nice in turn that our students, their families are giving back. I'm very proud of them.”

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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