Sandy-hit schools to get books from Scholastic

A member of the recovery crew wipes down

A member of the recovery crew wipes down and disinfects a hallway wall at East Rockaway Jr-Sr. High School. Students' belongings in the bottom lockers were soaked by the flooding and bagged up. (Nov. 8, 2012) (Credit: David Pokress)

More than 30 Long Island schools and libraries that were hard-hit by superstorm Sandy are slated to receive books donated by Scholastic, the children's publishing, education and media company.

The effort is part of a larger initiative by Scholastic to donate a million books to schools impacted by Sandy in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. School officials began picking up books on Monday at sites operated by Kids in Distressed Situations Inc. -- a nonprofit that helps children scarred by poverty and tragedy.

"There's just been tremendous need for new books, so teachers have the resources that they need and students can continue learning," said Greg Worrell, president of Scholastic's classroom and community group division, in a phone interview.


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So far, about 500,000 books have been committed to more than 100 schools in the tri-state area, Worrell said. Schools can still apply via Scholastic's website, scholastic.com/bookgrants.

"We're very appreciative to Scholastic for their generosity," said Robert Fenter, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and research at Oceanside schools. "Three of our libraries were impacted by the storm. We had water damage. . . . each of the libraries lost books."

Fenter said he expects to receive 6,000 books each for South Oceanside Road Elementary School and Boardman Elementary School, and 10,000 books for Fulton Avenue School.

Harding Avenue Elementary School in Lindenhurst expects about 500 books, said its principal, Brian Chamberlin. "We have 116 families that are displaced from their homes . . . which is about a third of our population," Chamberlin said. The book donation will help to "replenish the books that the children lost in their houses."

Reading can also build resilience and grit to get through difficult times, said Worrell, adding,"You can find a message or a positive word or a moment in a book that can give you just what you need to get you over that hurdle."

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