SLIDELL, La. - Pencils, books and learning games can be found in every classroom at Bonne Ecole Elementary in Slidell.
It’s a very different atmosphere from Fulton Avenue School #8 in Oceanside, NY, where Hurricane Sandy’s floodwaters have kept the main building closed and where Theresa Bordelon’s family and friends are still dealing with the storm’s aftermath.
"There was a desperate need for school supplies following Hurricane Sandy and I got to thinking how I could help and singularly I could not do a whole lot," said Bordelon.
But an entire school could, especially one that knows the trials and tribulations of a disastrous hurricane like Katrina. So Bonne Ecole is offering a helping hand to the Sandy-affected school.
“We're doing a pay it forward penny drive to collect money to purchase specific needs that the teachers have up there," said Bonne Ecole Assistant Principal Kellie Ainsworth.
Students here understand the situation and want to give back.
"We encourage everybody in our school and community to help because during Hurricane Katrina, we had schools helping us and now we're helping them," said Sixth-grader McKenzie Fugate.
The hope is that a little bit of change from one school will go a long way for another.
"I think it's for our area to let people know that helped us that we haven't forgotten and we do look for ways to give back to communities that potentially helped in some form or fashion," said Bordelon.
And the students are ready to do that one penny at a time.
The school will raise money for two weeks. Local teachers will then buy what the teachers in New York need most and have supplies sent there when classes resume after the Christmas break, hopefully, in the original #8 building.