By Tracey Porpora Staten Island Advance
Children from Midland Beach’s PS 38 and Egbert Intermediate schools — populations hit hard by Hurricane Sandy — were treated to free books and school supplies yesterday compliments of Giants lineman Justin Tuck, who crusades against illiteracy.
The two-time Super Bowl champion teamed with MTV, Scholastic Books, United Way and the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to distribute 1,000 new books to kids hurt by the superstorm. “Everyone knows about the devastation in these parts due to Hurricane Sandy. … It’s my pleasure to come here today. I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to give out books and promote reading literacy, something that me and my foundation are very passionate about,” said Tuck, whose organization Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy encourages children to read.
“You’re excited to see me because I play football, but I’m excited to see you because I want you all to understand that with a great education you can do anything — I’m a prime example of that,” Tuck told the 70-plus schoolchildren assembled at the Siller Foundation headquarters in Dongan Hills.
Given out at the event were more than 300 school kits — donated by United Way and MTV — as well as 1,000 books from Scholastic Books and Tuck, said Brian Pham of United Way.
“Justin Tuck came down here today to lend his celebrity to let people know there’s still a recovery going on here on Staten Island,” said Frank Siller, chairman of the Siller Foundation. “These kids have been affected drastically; their lives have been turned upside down, and he [Tuck] came down here to show his support.”
School officials were thankful for the book giveaway.
“We had so many families who have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy that this is a good reminder that they haven’t been forgotten,” said Mary Frisz, a fifth-grade teacher at PS 38. “Even something like books, which they lost in the storm, is just one addition to getting back to normal.” She noted that 51 fifth-graders from the school attended the event.
Said Adrienne Stallone, principal of Egbert Intermediate School, “It’s wonderful.”