Barnegat School Donating Books to Harvey-Ravaged District 

Oct 18, 2017

“Building a Better World” is the 2017-18 theme for the Lillian M. Dunfee Elementary School in Barnegat Township, and students and staff are living up to that slogan by “adopting” the Mauriceville Elementary School located in Orange, Texas.

Ninety-five percent of that school’s library was destroyed due to 47 inches of rainfall from Hurricane Harvey. Classroom libraries were also ruined. Due to the efforts of Stacy Fonner, a speech therapist at the Dunfee School, who spearheaded this project, Dunfee was able to collect $1,000 to help replenish Mauriceville’s book supply.

Fonner said that shortly after school opened, guidance counselor Michele Cucinotta had suggested that Dunfee look into aiding a Harvey-damaged school.

“I have a sister who teaches in that Texas school district, so I contacted her, and she told me which schools needed the most help,” said Fonner.

Dunfee Principal Kathy Makela said each homeroom classroom was given a coin bank. In order to sweeten the deal, a challenge was given to the students where the winning class would win a doughnut party.

“Students began bringing in their coins and bills,” said Makela. “Several students even donated from their own piggy banks. Staff members also donated to the cause.”

Makela said money was collected for two weeks, and three classes raised more than $100. Lauren  Hawtin’s second-grade class raised $136.54, winning the coin challenge and doughnuts for that class. Marrissia Grippe’s kindergarten’s class raised $101.39, and Brittany Wishart’s third-grade students raised $101.34.

The principal said that since each classroom at Mauriceville Elementary lost its book supply, Dunfee has also donated books to replenish those collections.

“Last year, the Dunfee School, under Mrs. Hawtin’s direction, hosted a very successful literacy night,” she said. “As a result, four boxes of surplus books were collected. Lefty’s Tavern has generously donated shipping costs for these books, which will help replenish the classroom libraries.”

Fonner added, “For the children, it’s a good lesson in the importance of helping people in need. It was a joint effort between our kids and the staff.”

— Eric Englund

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