The small oceanside city of Long Beach has been steadily recovering since Hurricane Sandy smashed into this south shore Long Island community on October 29th, 2012. In the Long Beach School District alone, hundreds of thousands of books were lost and destroyed due to the storm. Enter the Waldorf School’s Parent Association and PA Co-Chair Nina Justman-Wozniak who wanted to help as well as engage the entire Waldorf school community at the same time.
Above: Parent Association Co-Chair Nina Justman-Wozniak and some Waldorf students with books collected during the recent Book Drive.
“This was a terrible thing and I wanted to find a way for our children to help our neighbors in a meaningful way,” said Ms. Justman-Wozniak. “Many of our children have old books that are no longer read and I had a friend who told me that the Long Beach schools needed books.”
So for a week in January, families at Waldorf collected over 1,000 books and donated them to the Long Beach Public School District. “We asked our families to donate their gently used children’s books that were suitable for children ages 5-18 years of age,” said Ms. Justman-Wozniak.
“Thank you to the students and families at the Waldorf School of Garden City for this wonderful donation,” remarked Kim Ashmead, vice president of the Long Beach Middle School Parent-Teacher Association. “At this time, our Middle School library is still closed as is the Long Beach Public Library. Several classroom libraries were destroyed and these books will be put to go good use in our schools!”
One of the Waldorf School’s greatest strengths is its deep sense of community. Immediately following the storm, the School provided a website where families in need could anonymously post their losses to other Waldorf families who in-turn donated the requested item – such as furniture, kitchen items and even cars.