MANCHESTER - Maple Street School opened its doors to Elise Serpico, a first grade student from St. Francis de Sales School in Belle Harbor, N.Y., after Hurricane Sandy tore through the beachside community on Oct. 29, leaving many unable to return to their houses due to fire, flood damage, and power outages.

Elise's school is currently being used as a staging center for those affected by Sandy in the Rockaways and nearby Breezy Point, where over 100 houses burned to the ground when Sandy hit. The narrow peninsula located at the southern part of Queens is home to many policemen and firemen, ten of whom lost their lives on 9-11.

Elise's aunt, Mary Mangiacotti is the upper school English teacher at Maple Street and lives in South Londonderry.

"It was natural for me to take my sister Susan's girls to Vermont. Olivia, who's four, is home with my mother, Anne Gilmartin. Dr. Bisselle, Betsy Lavecchia, our first grade teacher, and the incredible faculty and staff with whom I work, have been amazing. Everyone, including our entire student body welcomed Elise with open arms at our morning meeting on Monday. They continued to reach out to her throughout the day, and it made the world of difference. I know Elise is in good hands until my sister and brother-in-law, Susan and Joe Serpico, are able to find a new place to live and a new school for both girls."

The Tablet, a newspaper published by the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, stated that over 1,400 students throughout the diocese have been displaced due to Hurricane Sandy.


Advertisement

Heat is not expected to return until the end of December, and the Diocese is putting in place a plan of action to meet the needs of its students and teachers. In the meantime, Elise is safe in Vermont and happy to be learning at Maple Street.

"I love this school. I'm learning a lot of things. It's really fun - I get to write books and tally how many times I read a book. I'm really proud of myself." Maple Street School is an independent day school serving children in grades Kindergarten through eighth grade.

For more information about the school, please call Admissions Director Jeff Barclay at (802) 362-7137 or visit on the web at www.maplestreetschool .com.