St. Bernard Parish Schools Send Relief

Arabi Elementary School Principal Carla Carollo helps prepare the nearly 300 spaghetti dinners raising $3,000.

Whether it was pasta with a purpose, free dress days, or fried fish for friends in need, schools throughout St. Bernard Parish School District have continued to raise money and awareness for communities impacted by the devastation of Hurricane Laura.

After the storm-ravaged the coastline of southwest Louisiana last month, schools jumped into action, hosting events and programs to raise money for much-needed supplies for schools in the impacted area.

Carla Carollo, Principal of Arabi Elementary, and her team of school volunteers cooked meatballs for three days as part of her school’s Pasta Fundraiser, serving nearly three hundred meals to her school community.

Carollo said it was a small way to give back. “In St. Bernard, we know firsthand what it’s like to need help. The funds raised from our dinner will help schools and school families in need. It’s our way of helping those just as we were helped when we needed it.”

Smith Elementary School in Violet also used food to raise funds, hosting weekly fish frys each Friday in September. Dedra Bailey said the seafood dinners served two purposes. “Not only did we raise money for those in need, it also brought our school families together for a good cause and a delicious dinner.”

Smith Elementary student Roddi Johnson serves a fish fry dinner raising $1300.

Superintendent Doris Voitier said she is proud of the efforts of all of her school people and appreciates their extra effort.

“This school year has been a challenge in itself, so to see so many of our teachers and staff go the extra mile so tirelessly is really inspiring,” Voitier said. “I’m proud of the efforts taking place in all of our schools to serve our children each day and humbled to see our staff go the extra mile in service to others.”

Over a three week period, schools and Board Members raised over $15,000.

Voitier said distributing gift cards and money is a priority. “People want to help, but aren’t always sure what’s best. Our experiences have taught us to send money to the school and school leaders and let them allocate it as they see fit. They know better than anyone what their needs are.”

In addition to the resources and funds, Voitier also offered some encouragement to our neighbors in southwest Louisiana. 

“Challenging times really bring out the best in people,” she said. “We know how difficult recovery can be, but we also know the people of Louisiana are resilient and that through time and tenacity, they will come back stronger than ever.”