PIX11’s Fuel My School: Meet the elementary school finalists

Meet the elementary school finalists of PIX11's 2019 Fuel My School campaign!

  • To vote for P.S. 5 in Bed-Stuy, text the word BYRON to phone number 77944.
  • To vote for P.S. 251 in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn, text MARISSA (with two s's) to phone number 77944.

P.S. 5 — The Ronald E. McNair School

P.S. 5 is a tiny elementary school with a big heart located in the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn.

Principal Lena Gates entered PIX11's Fuel My School competition because she says her students "need the fuel to continue their golden rule," which is treating one another with kindness.  As a Title 1 school, P.S. 5 has a high population of low-income families. Many of those families have been homeless at some point. Gates explained in her submission that some of the possible fuel money would go toward supporting

The in-house bookstore which is staffed by students, has a difficult time supplying all of the necessary books. Some of the items are donated, but many are purchased directly by the school staff.

"Our children need to read and the more they read their worlds open up, we want to make sure that they have the opportunity to have books in their hands," said Principal Lena.

Their mission of helping others is exactly what sets them apart. Children at P.S. 5 as young as 10-years-old are already entrepreneurs. The students dreamt up the idea of 'The Shower Bus' — a traveling, mobile unit that would allow the local homeless population to take showers and receive clean clothing. Students are even working with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to make the concept a reality this June.

P.S. 251 — The Paerdegat School 

From there, we traveled to P.S. 251 in the Canarsie/Flatlands part of Brooklyn.

Fourth grade teacher Tameke Gordon told us about the Brooklyn allstars that are all about helping the community.

In a program called "Service for Schools," students participate in countless volunteer programs, including visiting hospitals, food banks, and animal shelters.

One of the things the students would do with the fuel is set up a complimentary laundry center to help help its own less fortunate families who don't own a washer or dryer.

Principal Sheldon Noel even said that by giving back to the world around them, students are, in turn, changing their own lives.

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