The sixth-grade exploration team students at John Jay Middle School lent their kindness and help to individuals that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The students packaged gifts and supplies for nineteen families in Breezy Point. One of the team teachers, Jeanne Kellachan, has a personal connection with some of the area’s residents who lost nearly everything as a result of the storm. Mrs. Kellachan, along with the four other team teachers, Guy Amdur, Mary Dillon, Christine Watroba, and Annette Milne, organized the group of nearly 100 students.

Students were divided into nineteen groups; each group was assigned one family for which they collected and packaged donated items. The students inadvertently also undertook a lesson in special relations. One student in each group was responsible for supplying a large plastic container. The group shared the responsibility of assembling all of the donations. Each container was labeled with the name of the recipient family. As Ms. Dillon and Ms. Kellachan noted, “It’s kids helping kids.”

The teachers were truly amazed by the generosity of the parents, students and the community. Thanks were also extended to the custodial staff members, who offered to prepare the cafeteria space.

After preparing the donations for delivery, each student designed a personal card for “their” family. Each included warm thoughts, colorful drawings, and inspirational messages. Mr. and Mrs. Kellachan and Mrs. Dillon packed up cars and a truck and dispensed the donations on Saturday, November 24, the weekend after Thanksgiving.