| Dennis Hackett
WESTFIELD – With Westfield Public School students returning to school on Sept. 14, Amelia Park Arena is hosting its first ever Fill Our Nets for Schools school supply donation drive through Sept. 18.
Amelia Park Arena’s Assistant General Manager Christina Pagella said that she came up with the idea to collect donations after talking to one of her friends who is an elementary school teacher.
“One of my dear friends is an elementary school teacher here in town, and every year I’ve seen how much she puts personally into her classroom, even from a monetary standpoint. That’s always been inspiring to me,” she said.
In a normal year, Pagella said its difficult to get school supplies but it is even harder with the pandemic this year.
“With all the ways school systems have to change with the times, it got me thinking how much more difficult this year is going to be compared to a regular school year. During a typical school year some families don’t have the means to provide school supplies for students and they may not have any supplies at home at all which creates a huge issue,” she said.
The arena is looking for supplies such as 24 packs of crayons, colored pencils, pencil boxes, glue sticks, pencil sharpeners, tissues, and disinfecting wipes.
“Any tissues, paper towels and disinfecting wipes are really important right now. There is going to be a huge need for those in our schools. Everything has been mostly even, but I would say we need pencil boxes, tissues, and things like that the most,” Pagella said.
Pagella said that she wanted to have fun with the drive and create a hockey spin on the drive to help spread positivity in the community.
“Every time a supply goes into the net, we’re scoring a goal. We’re just making it light and fun while trying to spread some positivity during these challenging times for everybody,” Pagella said.
Once the drive is over, Pagella added that all donations will be given to Superintendent of Schools Stefan Czaporowski to decide where they will be used best.