The Matawan Aberdeen school community has been hard at work raising funds and running donation drives for families struggling in the aftermath of Sandy.
Cliffwood Elementary School
Cliffwood students participated in Penny Wars in November. During Penny Wars, students are split up by their class and each class has a corresponding jar to collect money. Pennies deposited serve as points for each class, but paper bills and silver coins subtract points. As part of the competition, students will often place bills and silver coins into other classes' jars.
Cliffwood students are also participating in Back Pack Buddies, a program that supplies weekend food to local families that have been identified as being in need.
In December, Cliffwood students will adopt a family for the holiday seasons in order to help provide them with the means to celebrate Christmas. In February, students will participate in the Project PAUL Food Drive to benefit local food banks to recognize the 100th Day of School.
Ravine Drive Elementary School
Ravine Drive students participated in Penny Wars in November. Additionally, they collected cash donations to purchase gift cards for a local food market for families to use for Thanksgiving.
Ravine Drive students are also participating in Back Pack Buddies and will adopt a family for the holiday season. In February, they will also run a Blizzard Basket Drive to help provide families with certain necessities such as diapers and shampoo.
Strathmore Elementary School
Kindergarten students at Strathmore, as part of their Native American Day, donated books for libraries that were impacted by Sandy.
Strathmore students also participated in Penny Wars and raised funds for Thanksgiving gift cards. They are currently participating in Back Pack Buddies and will adopt a family for the holiday season.
Lloyd Road Elementary School
Lloyd Road Elementary School also participated in Penny Wars along with the elementary schools.
The Lloyd Road School Student Council sponsored a Thanksgiving Food Drive that collected holiday meats such as turkey and ham for the local food pantry. The donations directly benefited the homeless population within Monmouth County.
The LRS PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) turned their annual Pick-a-Feather fundraiser into a holiday basket donation drive called Pick-a-Snowflake. The fundraiser will provide holiday baskets to Lloyd Road School families in need this holiday season.
Matawan Aberdeen Middle School
The Matawan Aberdeen Middle School community has also been busy helping families in need. Teachers at the middle school helped families affected by the storm before school opened.
The school is also working with the Columbiettes, who host a Holiday Tea each year to benefit a military family and a family of the organization's choosing. A middle school family will be selected to benefit from the tea, which will take place on Dec. 2.
MAMS is also running a book drive to support schools who lost their classroom libraries.
One eighth grade class, taught by Mrs. Spafford, is crafting a series of personal narratives about the students' experiences during and after Sandy. Their stories will then be published in a hardcover volume that will be placed in the school and possibly the public library.
In addition, the school ran a dress down day to raise money for gift cards for Thanksgiving, hosted a staff v. faculty Toys for Tots basketball game and Peer Leadership is collecting change during lunch to donate to local Sandy victims. Staff members are also assisting a co-worker with construction at his home which was damaged by the storm.
Matawan Regional High School
High school students are participating in Operation Jersey Shore Santa, a organization created to help bring a sense of hope and holiday cheers to families of all religious backgrounds during the holiday season.
Fifty percent of the proceeds from the annual Powder Puff Football Game are going to the immediate community. In addition, the Key Club sponsored a Thanksgiving Food Drive and will sponsor a clothing and a toy drive.