Focused on Civic Engagement

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Port Jefferson Middle School’s English language arts department is encouraging students to create a community of heroes as part of their studies on civics and in recognition of the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.

“While English classes read and discussed events related to the 9/11 attacks, we felt it was important to acknowledge how our country comes together in times of need, like the country is doing to rebuild after the catastrophic hurricane in Texas,” said teacher Allison Giannusa, who is helping to spearhead the districtwide efforts to assist people affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Students and staff are encouraged to donate money to their respective English classes or in the main office through Friday, Sept. 15. All money raised will be donated to the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund. Created by the company’s CEO, Howard Lutnick, in 2001, the organization’s mission is to support victims of terrorism, emergencies and natural disasters, including the recent victims of Hurricane Harvey. According to the Relief Fund’s website, 100 percent of the contributions will go as direct financial aid to those in need and they will match up to $5 million of donations made.

Many staff members at the Middle School wore jeans to school on Patriot Day and each made a $5 donation. The ELA department also hosted a bake sale on Sept. 11 and proceeds will be sent to the Relief Fund.

To help out in the fundraising efforts of the Middle School, please contact Kayleen Everitt at or Deirdre Filippi at