Recorder: "Rallying behind Puerto Rico"

Greenfield Public Schools in the News

Rallying behind Puerto Rico

By PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer

Published: 1/29/2020 6:46:34 PM

GREENFIELD — Federal Street School student Erika Chala German and her family left Puerto Rico four years ago, after a hurricane struck the island. Now, the Greenfield resident and her classmates are doing their part to help Puerto Ricans in the aftermath of a Jan. 7 earthquake.

Karen Malley, the English Language Learning teacher at Federal Street School, is heading up a collection of donations of clothing, bedding and personal care items that will be shipped to the hardest hit areas by the Gandara Center in West Springfield, according to a press release from the school. The Gandara Center is gathering donations statewide.

Many of Malley’s students have ties to Puerto Rico, she said, and some of them sat around a table in her classroom on Tuesday making cards and writing letters to those impacted by the earthquake. Some of the letters will go directly to their relatives.

Federal St. students write cards for earthquake victims

Photo credit: Paul Franz/Recorder

The group plans to walk to the Greenfield Post Office on Friday to mail some of the cards and letters. Others will be included with the donation packages.

During Tuesday’s card-making session, Erika showed off her card that read, “Hope you are safe, thinking of you,” in Spanish. Erika added that she misses her “abuela,” Spanish for “grandmother,” and the puppy she remembers.

Siblings Sophia Ramos-Rivera and Yahir Ramos-Rivera also said they miss their grandmother as they drew colorful cards, some with drawings of Federal Street School. They also relocated to the U.S. mainland after the deadly Category 5 Hurricane Maria ravaged the Caribbean in September 2017. Sophia added enthusiastically that their grandmother is the “best ever” as the two put finishing touches on the cards before returning to their studies.

Residents are encouraged to donate the following items:

■Toothpaste and toothbrushes

■Shampoo and conditioner

■Hand sanitizer

■Soap

■Feminine hygiene products

■Sunscreen

■Baby wipes

■Bedding (sheets, blankets, etc.)

■Flashlights and batteries

■First aid kits

■Antibiotic ointment

■Bandages

Reach Paul Franz at 413-772-0261, ext. 287 or pfranz@recorder.com.