PEF Members: We still need your donations! The hurricane that passed through the Caribbean devastated Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Not only was the infrastructure including their power grid devastated, but the school/education system was severely damage as well. We received the following information from Tanya Cornell, Southern Regional Director of AFT:
“On the island of St. Croix, only five schools are open which means double or triple sessions at worksites for students and employees. Government officials promised temporary structures to relieve the strain and stress but now it’s been announced the structures won’t be available until the 2018-2019 school year. Because of this, there can be a battle for resources among employees wanting to deliver the best instruction to students with proper materials to do so. St. Thomas has most of its schools open now, but that doesn’t mean the working and learning conditions are up to proper standards. Schools are open, but on some campuses certain buildings might be closed which affects overall use and effectiveness.”
Additionally, electricity is still a challenge. While the schools are now back online, many of the homes still do not have power. Of the places that do, electricity comes and goes intermittently. This means life at home is still tough for kids as well as our members and could effect performance at school.
The damage to Puerto Rico is just as bad. At this point AFT is appealing to their locals here on the US mainland to provide any assistance that they can. There is a big need for the following school supplies:
Dry erase markers, rulers, calculators graph paper, copy paper, pencils, batteries for calculators, double sided tape, loose leaf paper, copy paper crayons pencils, dry erase markers, chalks, construction paper, glue, double sided posters boards, thumbtacks, page protectors, audio cord for smart board, pens, sharpeners, pencils, copy books printer and ink, paper clips red pens, stapler and staples, construction paper, primary writing paper, dry erase markers, glue, sentence strips, index cards, file folders, HP63 ink and pencils, scissor, stapler, blue and black pens, post it pads, folders, chalk, dry erase markers and boards, HP 902 black ink HP 63 black ink, 2 office chairs, self stick wall pad.
Please bring your donations to PEF the next time you visit.
If you would like to make a donation of money, you can send to PEF or donate directly to:
AFT Disaster Relief Fund
555 N. Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
-OR- use the following link to donate online: www.aft.org/disaster-relief-fund
In addition, we received the following information from Tom Moran, AFT:
“The AFT/First Book Essentials for Kids fund is another option. The fund is designed to provide school staff with access to just the kinds of supplies that you have mentioned in your email. First Book, through their network, is able to secure these supplies at a very low cost for high quality items. This stretches donations and makes it possible to meet the needs of more members. Below is a link to the essentials for kids fund that is earmarked to the Virgin Islands.
These donations are tax deductible.