CARMA SHOE DRIVE
With over 80,000 pairs of shoes distributed throughout the United States, Haiti and South America, the CARMA SHOES PROGRAM continues to be a success. This July we did our yearly delivery for families in Haiti. This time around we had shoes especially earmarked for Haiti's school children!! Thanks to the students at “Wandell Cares” and "School Shoes 4 Haiti " ...700 additional school aged children where able to receive school supplies and shoes in the village of Chérissable and Etroits. For many, shoes may not seem like a big deal but to these Haitian families it means everything! Parents were in tears because they
A BackPack for education!
Please place your donated shoes into the drawstring backpacks provided & return them school. A Drop-Off Box will be located in front of the office.
These shoe-filled backpacks will then be distributed directly into the hands of children in Haiti. With your generosity, these children will not only receive a pair of shoes but also a backpack they can use for school, allowing them the opportunity to get the education they need and deserve.
*Please kindly return your empty backpack to school if not participating in the shoe drive.
A Giant JUMP SUCCESS for
The American Heart Association!!!
This year's Jump for Heart week was a huge success. Wandell Wolverines raised more than $7000 for the American Heart Association. A Heartful thanks for all those who have donated & jumped!
Wandell Extends Helping Hand to Cuba
Before relations reopened between the United States and Cuba, the students of the Saddle River School District were already extending a helping hand and making connections.
Saddle River resident John Lasalandra joined the People to People non-profit organization last year as part of its ambassador program traveling to Cuba on a good will tour.
As a Saddle River school board member, he hoped the children in the Saddle River School District would like to help others, especially children their own age who may not have the same supplies and resources they do.
What he got was more than a few volunteers and supplies.
"They made true connections, student to student," Lasalandra said.
Wandell Superintendent William Ronzitti said when he learned that the non-profit was seeking supplies to bring to a school in Cuba, he thought Wandell could do better than send a few pencils and backpacks.
"I thought, 'What a great opportunity for the Wandell students to connect with kids in Cuba,' so I suggested our fifth-graders pen pal with the children in Cuba," Ronzitti said.
Pretty soon, students, staff, teachers and community groups were collecting education supplies, as well as recreation equipment, such as basketballs and baseballs. The children were also writing getting-to-know-you letters.
Just before packing everything up, Ronzitti suggested making it even more personal and creating a better connection - offering brand new T-shirts and caps left over from a previous Wandell Field Day to give to the children in Cuba.
Though Wandell is small compared to other school districts, Lasalandra said they have as big of a heart as any and brought several boxes for the children in Cuba through a desire to have a positive impact and make a genuine connection to students in another country.
When the school board member returned, the Wandell fifth-graders could hardly wait to hear what the students in Cuba were like - they learned that the children in Cuba were "tickled with excitement" to receive their letters, even finding the differences funny. In return, they sent letters back to Saddle River.
One of the differences Lasalandra shared with the children is that the streets in Cuba are very clean for an interesting reason.
"That's because they don't have anything to throw away. Everything gets reused," Lasalandra said.
The school board member brought in a typical soda can and said in Cuba they sell it - they remake it into something else, like a little car or toy camera.
Ronzitti said it was a "unique" opportunity to integrate information about Cuba in the social studies classes using this newly-developed relationship. In addition, it bridged the two languages - Spanish and English - as the letters written back to the Wandell students were written in Spanish and then translated into English.
"You could see in their expressions when they were reading the letters from Cuba that they were connecting to one another," Lasalandra said.
Ronzitti agreed and said it was "a real pen pal moment. It was history in the making - child to child, reaching across nations."
He added, "We were already establishing the Wandell footprint at a time when it was rare."
Lasalandra said last year he wasn't sure how easy it would be to do this type of project. Now that the relationship between the two countries has changed, the school is interested in continuing this connection.
"We at Wandell are very proud to be able to help - it's really caring in action," he said.
They hope is to do that through the Wandell Cares program, which was started last year. It's a program that occurs once a month and engages students in learning about communities outside their own, Lasalandra said.
"It's to teach children community values about life outside Saddle River," he said.
The superintendent said this exchange with Cuba is one example of children making a difference just by being themselves.
"That's the way we change the world: When kids make connections with one another it helps everyone," he said. "It starts with a question and a conversation."
Reaching out to the Community & Making a Difference!!!
Table to Table is a community based food rescue program that collects prepared and perishable food that would otherwise be wasted and delivers it to organizations that serve the hungry in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic counties.
We “rescue” food from about 200 donors (supermarkets, distributors, restaurants) and deliver it the same day free of charge to over 80 community organizations including soup kitchens, homeless shelters, after-school programs and homes for the elderly.
1.2 million people in New Jersey are hungry, including 1 in 5 children. Every day, more families are lining up at food pantries and soup kitchens waiting for our deliveries and each week brings calls from additional agencies asking for our fresh, healthy food. To all of them, this year, we have promised the delivery of 15 million meals. But to achieve this goal – we need your support.
Wandell Cares with Make a Wish
For the month of March, Wandell will support the Make a Wish Foundation to help to send a little girl, Ella to California. She suffers from lymphoid Leukemia.
The Home and School Association's Valentine Valley was a great success this year!
WOW We Did It!
More than 1400 shoes collected to HELP Haitian Children get an Education!
Thank You for your donations!
Backpacks & Shoes are ready to SHIP!
The BAREFOOT CHALLENGE
Recently Children from Wandell went barefoot to increase awareness of the plight so many Haitian children face.
Without a pair of BlackSoled shoes children in Haiti are denied the right to attend school.