Hempstead Town Senior Councilman Anthony Santino was pleased to have the opportunity to help students from William S. Covert School in Rockville Centre bring a banner that they created to the Boston City Council in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.
The journey began with a conversation at the Maher family dinner table. The family, which includes a third and fifth grader at Covert School as well as a student at the middle school, discussed how the Boston bombings were reminiscent of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. September 11, 2001 hit particularly close to home for the family because the children’s grandfather escaped the south tower on that fateful day. The Maher children wanted to do something to show their support for Boston.
Thomas Maher, a member of the South Hempstead Fire Department reached out to Covert School Principal Darren Raymar who enthusiastically jumped on board with the project. The principal noted the significance of the project, teaching the children to give back. It was decided that a banner would be created. Every grade in the school participated, with the kindergarteners and first graders placing handprints around the banner and grades 2-5 writing messages of love and support. The question then arose of how to get the banner to Boston.
Mr. Maher contacted Councilman Santino who arranged for a group of students from Covert School to attend a City Council meeting in Boston last Monday.
“These students have so much compassion and love in their hearts that it was a privilege for me to facilitate a school trip to visit the City Council in Boston,” said Santino. “Not only was it a meaningful experience for the Rockville Centre children, it was a touching moment for the Boston City Council as well.”
Four fifth graders and two third graders, including the two Maher boys and their father, made the trek to Boston. They attended the City Council meeting and presented their banner to the President of the City Council. The banner was promptly hung in the lobby of City Hall. The students then received a tour of the City of Boston.
"We are so honored by the beautiful banner and messages of hope that the children of Rockville Centre made for the people of Boston, especially those who brought it all the way here to present it to our city,” said Boston City Councilor Salvatore LaMattina. “I can't thank the Covert School, Tommy Maher and the students enough for their extraordinary gift."
North End Community Council Member Philip Frattaroli added, "It's not everyday that you get to be a part of something truly special. The incredible gesture that the children of the Covert School made to us and the entire City of Boston is something we will never forget. I am so grateful that the students and Tommy Maher came all the way up to Boston to share it with us."
“I could not be more proud of the students from the William S. Covert School in Rockville Centre,” concluded Councilman Santino. “The sympathy that they demonstrated by initiating this project in support of the residents of Boston was truly inspirational.”