New Britain City Journal

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Drive Brings Much Needed Copy Paper to Schools

When the website savenewbritain.com asked for ways to help the City, one request was for school supplies.

Sue Truglio, President of the New Britain Federation of Teachers – local 871, wrote a letter to the group saying, “teachers have always used their own money to buy supplies or posters for their classrooms – this is not unusual in any district. However, this year more and more teachers are putting out money for supplies that are necessary in order to service our children.Supplies such as copy paper, resource books, notebooks and pencils, etc. for students.”

“There have been some positive steps taken by Central Administration and the Board of Education over the past few months – and the New Britain Federation of Teachers believes we will continue to move in a positive direction – however in the meantime your offer to help is greatly appreciated. Our goal as educators is to help students become successful, productive college and career ready citizens – and we need educational supplies if we are going to do this the right way. In order to keep teachers in the classroom the board had to cut 12-15 percent this year from materials and supplies. So teachers are picking up the slack as best they can, but there is only so much one can do,” continued Truglio.

Zeena Tawfik Hawi, of savenewbritain.com, didn’t just read the note and move on. She decided it was a worthy cause and has begun a Paper Drive in conjunction with Truglio.

“We have raised some funding for our school system in New Britain,” said Hawi. “Office Max and Staples have been contacted and they may be matching the funds that we raise.”

Hawi said savenewbritain.com has been trying to find ways to help the schools and has contacted businesses.

“We are now going to be working with the board of education, the teachers union and a student group from New Britain High School,” she said.

Landlords, business owners and individuals from New Britain and surrounding towns have been donating and so far the group has raised abut $1,200.

“That is about half of what we need,” said Hawi. “For this year alone we need 50 to 100 cases of paper.”

Each case contains about 30 packs of copy paper.

Paul Salina, assistant superintendent of schools, has been working with the group and suggested a student group be formed in order to engage the kids.

New Britain High School teacher Vanessa Barneschi is helping to organize students at the school who will help run the drive.

“It will not end here, because they will not get the funding they need next year either,” said Hawi. “We will continue to raise money for paper, but we also want to make a proposal to bring laptops and iPods to students.”

Hawi said there are grants for those items and they are even earth friendly.

“There are grants specifically meant to conserve paper and save the earth,” said Hawi. “These things should be in the budget.”

Drop off points will be coming soon, but in the meantime anyone interested in donating either cash or copy paper should go savenewbritain.com and send an email.

“We’re still brainstorming,” said Hawi. “More information will be coming soon.”