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Local benefactors work together to help area students, families, teachers

Mike Jaquays
Staff writer
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Posted 10/13/22

“Together is better,” promises Connected Community Schools co-executive leader Melissa Roys.

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Local benefactors work together to help area students, families, teachers

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ORISKANY — “Together is better,” promises Connected Community Schools co-executive leader Melissa Roys.

Fiber Instrument Sales in Oriskany, Max’s Print Shop in Marcy, and Connected Community Schools in Rome recently teamed up together to make a $30,000 contribution of school supplies to local students.

A ceremony, including the presentation of a big check for that amount, was held Tuesday at the Fiber Instrument Sales administration building. Roys was joined by FIS Founder and President Frank Giotto, Max’s Print Shop President Dan Smith, Rome City School District Superintendent Peter Blake and Canastota Central School District Business Official Tracy Leone to pose for photos with the check.

“If we are all connected and we share our resources and we’re generous, we can ensure that families have their basic needs met,” Roys told the audience at the ceremony. “A student can’t sit in math class if they don’t have their basic needs met, if they are hungry or if they are lacking school supplies to do the work.”

She said there are unfortunately “a tremendous amount” of families in the area who can’t afford the school supplies needed by their students. The donation will bring $30,000 in school supplies to students in need throughout the 14-district Connected Community Schools area, benefiting not only the students and their families but teachers as well who are spending their own money to help the students out.

The school supplies purchased with those funds filled two separate 10-foot by 30-foot storage units, Roys said.

“That’s a lot of school supplies,” she said. “This will help a ton of kids.”

There are some 25,000 students within the Rome-based Connected Community Schools area, Roys added.

Giotto credited Smith with the inspiration for them to work together for the donation while Mark Cushman, FIS’ vice president of organizational development and human resources, came up with the idea to give to Connected Community Schools.

“The fact that we know that you value every penny that has been donated makes me feel good as a business person,” Giotto said.

Leone said she knows from experience the donations directly help the students.

“These items, these supplies, these donations truly get in the hands of students and families and where they need to be,” Leone said.

“We are just extremely appreciative that this organization continues to thrive and it is due to business partnerships like this one here making donations to our kids, our families and our faculty throughout our region,” Blake added. “We have something unique here that is unique to the country.”

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