Students at Freeport’s Archer Street School had an exhilarating day filled with anticipation as they eagerly awaited the arrival of Dale the Eagle, the mascot of the Long Island Nets.
Dale, accompanied by representatives of the Nets, Jovia Financial Credit Union and the Target Corporation made a grand entrance, and brought a big surprise. As the students erupted in cheers and chants of “Let’s Go Nets!” volunteers unloaded boxes brimming with $2,500 worth school supplies, donated by the NBA G League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets, the prominent Long Island credit union and the retail chain.
Jovia partnered with the Nets and Target for their second annual Back-To-School Donation Drive on Sept. 22. The collaborative effort aimed to collect school supplies for Archer Street and Northwest Elementary School, in the Amityville School District.
“In continuing our partnership with the LI Nets, we are committed to strengthening our relationship with members of the Long Island community while giving back to children and families at the beginning of the school year,” Jovia’s community relations officer, Rich Tavarez, said. “We are grateful for the generosity of the Long Island community for donating an incredible number of items this year. Our employees, who volunteered their time, were heartened by the smiles on the faces of all the children we greeted today, which was simply priceless.”
In a campaign in August and September, Jovia, the Nets and Target encouraged community members to donate backpacks and school supplies for underserved students on Long Island. Donation boxes were strategically placed in Jovia branches, and they filled up not only with backpacks, but also lunch boxes, notebooks and other supplies.
“The Long Island Nets are excited to join forces with Jovia and Target to uplift our youth and give back to the region we’re proud to be a part of,” the team’s vice president of business operations, Morgan Taylor said. “The Back-To-School Donation Drive is a great example of how we can all play a role in supporting the needs of our community. We thank Jovia and Target for supporting this initiative to provide the next generation of scholars on Long Island with the educational resources they need to be successful this school year.”
More than two dozen volunteers from Jovia, the Nets and Target gathered at the Yes We Can Community Center in New Cassel late last month to sort and pack all the supplies, which they delivered to both elementary schools.
“On behalf of the Archer students and staff, we thank you for your generosity and wonderful school supplies,” school Principal Paul Lein said. “These supplies will help our students achieve their goals during the school year.”
District Superintendent Kishore Kuncham; Helen Kanellopoulos, assistant superintendent for educational and administrative services; and Glori Engel, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, offered their thanks as well. And for his part, Dale the Eagle added to the celebratory atmosphere, encouraging the students to dance and show their school spirit. For many of them it was clearly a memorable experience.
The Freeport school district also expressed its appreciation to several organizations that have donated backpacks and supplies to schools around the district since the academic year began, including American Transit, Hicksville Rotary, Staples, Supplies for Success, and the United Way.
“On behalf of our students throughout the district, I wish to thank each of these organizations for their thoughtfulness and generous donations,” Kuncham said. “Our students will use the school supplies during the school year as they work to achieve their goals of academic success.”