LINDEN — From over 1,500 miles away students and staff at Allen High School and the Marion Elementary School in Allen, Texas watched as Hurricane Sandy battered the east coast and especially their long time friends in Linden last fall. As the storm raged on, text messages from concerned staff at Allen High School checked on the safety of their colleagues in Linden.
Following the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy, what began as an opportunity for diverse students from different parts of the country to share their fears and concerns, grew into a sister school relationship spanning the last 12 years. Over those years videoconferencing technology has permitted students at Linden High School and Allen High School in Texas to share views and regional perspectives on topics like politics, local/world events, and national disasters. Students as well as staff have visited each other’s schools and have created lasting friendships and bonds.
Underscoring the special relationship the schools share, Allen High School PALS, under the charge of JD Walker, and the students and faculty of the Marion Elementary School in Allen, with Principal Johnna Walker, have raised and donated $1,700 to help those Linden High School students and their families most affected by Hurricane Sandy.
In a comment from Linden’s program originator and advisor Joe Cataline, “I am greatly appreciative of the gift and blown away by the concern and generosity of the Allen community.”
Mirroring much of the state, the City of Linden suffered 99% power outages lasting many days, multitudes of downed trees and wires, blocked roadways, and gasoline shortages. However, eleven students and their families at Linden High School, living in the Tremely Point section of town, lost most of their possession and in some instances their homes due to severe flooding. The monies donated by the Allen students and staff will be shared with those students and their families attempting to rebuild their lives.
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