Hurricane Maria Relief Fund
A message to TMS Families and Friends from our faculty member, Jackie Cooper:
As I desperately watch from a distance the devastation in my homeland, Puerto Rico, I can’t help but feel pain in my heart. Before coming here to The Montessori School, I taught for five years at The Montessori School of Puerto Rico (Colegio Montessori de Puerto Rico). The staff and families at my Montessori school in Puerto Rico became an extension of my family, as all of you have here in Dresher. Montessori children and parents have lost everything. I humbly ask for your assistance to help these families. I have arranged with my good friend, the head of The Montessori School of Puerto Rico, to accept donations to the school to use both for school and family needs. They will need ongoing support in the months ahead and I hope you will join me in providing as much help as possible.
Click on the PayPal button below to donate. Thank you from my heart! Jackie
UPDATE October 13, 2017
Hurricane Maria passed through Puerto Rico on September 20th causing much devastation across the whole island. As of today, 23 days later, many are still struggling without electricity or water. Some are faced with the decision of leaving the island as they have lost their work and homes. For the Montessori school of Puerto Rico, opening the school has been a challenge. This school, where I taught for five years before coming to Pennsylvania, is a private Montessori school that has 150 students attending Children’s House through High School levels. They have around 25 staff members who are working hard to give their students the best education within these circumstances.
As of yesterday, I spoke to the head of school and a children’s house teacher who gave me an update on the school’s situation. They opened the school with running water but no electricity because the demand of the parents who need to go back to work was so urgent. They are able to be open from 8am-3pm with children bringing their lunches. Previously, they offered lunch but they have no electricity now to cook. Classroom windows and doors are kept open as much as possible because there is no air conditioning, and temperatures in the classrooms can go up into the 90s during the afternoons. There are no screens so the mosquitoes and bees are coming in the classrooms and overwhelming the children. At least four families have left for the US mainland in search of stability but have left the school in a budget shortage, and it’s difficult to pay staff. One of their teachers lost his car during the hurricane and is now riding his bike 10 miles to get to work. Teachers who do have cars are stuck in traffic for hours as roads and bridges have closed for security reasons and traffic is bad. These are just some of the complications that are occurring.
With your donations, the school will buy a generator to run fans in classrooms and screens to keep insects out. They will also use your donations to rebuild their shed and buy physical education materials that were destroyed with the hurricane. I am so thankful for your donations so far. This will be an ongoing effort to stabilize this Montessori school and the families who are a part of it. Thank You, Jacqueline Cooper