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Jericho School District central administration and building principals met on Sept. 6, to establish a coordinated effort, which will support our neighbors in the Gulf Coast States devastated by Hurricane Katrina. After researching various organizations, the district will encourage donations to any of the following organizations:

1. America's Second Harvest (National Food Bank)

2. United Way (Multipurpose National Organization)

3. American Red Cross (Multipurpose National Organization)

4. Salvation Army (Lodging and Family Support)

5. Habitat for Humanity (Home Building)

District-wide "Denim Donations" opportunities for faculty and staff will be Sept. 9 and Sept. 23. Building staff members, student councils and PTAs will now be organizing and coordinating fund-raising activities. Each school will send out information related to those efforts as soon as details are finalized. Details about these fund-raising efforts will be posted on the district website, www.jerichoschools.org as it becomes available.

All money earned from Syosset High School Student Government fund raisers for the months of September and October will be donated to funds to help Hurricane Katrina victims. These events include the Homecoming Carnival, a walkathon, and a student dance, among other events. Principal Dr. Jorge Schnedier said they are hoping to raise to about $20,000, which is the amount the students raised last year to help the victims of the tsunami in Asia.

Jericho students Alexandra and Danielle Margolis, working in partnership with Kohl's Department Store, are holding a clothing drive to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Residents are encouraged to donate new or gently used infants' and children's clothing that will be delivered to the victims of Katrina.

The clothing drive will be running from Sept. 9 - 16. Drop off locations are Jericho's Jackson Elementary School, the yearbook room (room 237) at Jericho High School, the assistant principal's office (located on the first floor) at Jericho Middle School and also Jericho's Kohl's Department store, which is located on Jericho Turnpike on the border of Jericho and Westbury.

The Jericho Fire Department is collecting non-perishable food, canned goods, bottled water and clothing for the victims of Hurricane Katrina through September 10. Please drop off all items at their headquarters, located on Route 106/107. Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of the victims of Hurricane Katrina, who are faced with not only devastating personal losses, but also with the widespread destruction of their communities. Residents for a More Beautiful Syosset urges Syosset residents to make a contribution to the Red Cross to aid in hurricane relief for our southern neighbors.

Nassau County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is offering free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training for its residents. The CERT Program educates residents about local hazards and trains them in skills that are useful during an everyday emergency or an uncommon disaster. While people will respond to an emergency or disaster without the training, the goal of the CERT program is to help people do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.

CERT training teaches basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, basic first aid and disaster medical operations. No prior training or experience is required. People who attend CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace and community and can take preventive steps to lessen the effects of these hazards. In the event an emergency or disaster occurs, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when local first responders (police, firefighters and EMS) are not immediately available to help. When help does arrive, CERT members provide useful information to first responders and support their efforts, as directed, at the disaster site. CERT members can also assist with non-emergency projects that improve the safety of the community. CERT members have also been used to distribute and/or install smoke alarms, replace smoke alarm batteries in the homes of elderly, distribute disaster education material, provide services at special events, such as parades, sporting events, concerts and more. For instance, in November 2004, at Nassau Community College, the Nassau County Department of Health administered thousands of flu vaccines to seniors with the help and support of several private and government agencies, including CERT members from communities throughout Nassau County. There are many jobs within CERT for someone who wants to be involved and help. During and after a disaster, CERT members are needed for documentation, logistics, etc. Non-disaster related team activities may include creating and maintaining databases, developing a website, writing a newsletter, planning activities, and organizing exercises and activities.

To learn more about CERT or sign up for the upcoming training, October 6, 11, 26 and November 2, 9, contact Debbie Baum, Locust Valley CERT coordinator/trainer, public relations representative at ladyrealtor3@aol.com or by calling 225-5166. You can also learn more about CERT at www.co.nassau.ny.us/OEM/home.html. Class is forming now.


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