The One to Count On...

Winfield-Mt. Union Principal Visits Puerto Rico School Recovering from Hurricane Maria

Posted: Friday, July 20th, 2018 at 6:24 am
Author: KCII News - Sam McIntosh


Winfield-Mt. Union Elementary Principal Gabe Wylder with Luis Muñoz Rivera School Principal Yamitza Figueroa

After Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico last fall, a local elementary school raised $3,025 to help one of the impacted schools with recovery.

Winfield-Mt. Union Elementary School held the fundraiser as its principal Gabe Wylder has family in Puerto Rico that were affected by the hurricane. Wylder visited San Lorenzo this June to see how his family is recovering several months later, and toured the Luis Muñoz Rivera School which Winfield-Mt. Union donated the money to.

The school had been closed for a couple months after the storm, but Wylder says the staff adopted a superhero mentality to teaching the kids, “They would conduct classes when there was no electricity in school, it was just something that the students took in stride and so did the teachers. If there was no power then we’d keep going, we’d do something different, another activity. We’re going to stay positive, we’re going to care for the students that we have here. They stayed really upbeat and really positive and I think that definitely was felt in the community.”

Wylder says the next school year will be more challenging for the Luis Muñoz Rivera School which will be doubling its number of students after a neighboring school has closed. Wylder shares where Winfield-Mt. Union might be giving aid next, “Right now we’ve been talking about the library and that seems to be the thing that we’re trying to figure out, if there’s a way we can support getting books back to those students back to that library.”

The school was used to house refugees while it was closed last fall, and nearly all of the library’s books are missing since. Wylder says he has already started discussions with Winfield-Mt. Union staff on how they want to continue the global connection with the Puerto Rico school this fall.