Schroon Lake teacher Christine Gonyeau, left, delivers school supplies to MacArthur Elementary School in Binghamton. Accepting are Liz Georgia, a MacArthur teacher and Gonyeau’s sister, and her daughter, Logan.
A Binghamton school destroyed by flooding is getting help from local students and teachers.
Schroon Lake Central School has collected donations of school supplies to assist MacArthur Elementary School, which was a victim of tropical storms Irene and Lee.
The project is under the direction of Christine Gonyeau, a Schroon Lake teacher, whose sister, Liz Georgia, teaches kindergarten at MacArthur.
“Tropical storms Irene and Lee caused major flooding in a lot of places,” Gonyeau said. “It really hit home when my sister was directly affected. She is a kindergarten teacher in a Binghamton school that was completely destroyed in the flood. Flood waters were up to the windows and everything was destroyed.”
Instead of starting school the first week of September like Schroon Lake students, MacArthur children started classes Sept. 19 in a former Catholic school that had been closed.
“As a result, she (Georgia) and all those teachers had no materials or equipment to instruct the students with,” Gonyeau said. “I felt like I had to help the students at MacArthur in some small way so I solicited help from my friends in Schroon Lake. I asked staff and faculty for school supply donations and to check their closets at home for picture books.”
The entire Schroon Lake school responded. Two classes — the senior class led by adviser Laura Corey and the fourth grade led by teacher Tracy Gath — turned the request into class projects.
“Their response was truly amazing,” Gonyeau said. “Not only did adults bring items, but our students did as well. The Schroon Lake Central School senior class along with adviser Ms. Laura Corey really ran with it as well as our fourth graders. Seniors collected donations in large bins in the high school while the fourth graders along with teacher Mrs. Gath searched their stashes of books at home. Many other students and staff dropped items off throughout the week as well.”
Last week the donations were packed in Schroon Lake and delivered to Binghamton by Gonyeau.
“My SUV was packed to the gills,” Gonyeau said. “Liz was really excited and so appreciative of what the Schroon Lake community did to help out her school. I think I was just as excited to have brought it to her.
“Our Schroon Lake school community really rose to the occasion to help out MacArthur,” she said. “Students keep asking me how the children from MacArthur are doing in their new location and if they liked the donations. I’m so proud to be a part of the Schroon Lake school community and to have been a part of this initiative.”