At Hillpoint Elementary School, gifted resource teacher Julie Plasencia, assistant principal Catherine Pichon, and principal Dr. Ronald Leigh take delivery of a batch of school supplies from Planters Peanuts’ Tina Cengic and Malika Stepasiuk.
At Hillpoint Elementary School, gifted resource teacher Julie Plasencia, assistant principal Catherine Pichon, and principal Dr. Ronald Leigh take delivery of a batch of school supplies from Planters Peanuts’ Tina Cengic and Malika Stepasiuk.

Companies help Hillpoint kids

Published 8:20pm Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Employees of two companies in Suffolk dug deep to brighten the lives of needy children returning to Hillpoint Elementary School this month, school principal Ron Leigh said.

Planters employees Tina Cengic and Malika Stepasiuk delivered construction paper, crayons, glue guns, scissors, file folders and many other items to the school last week, according to a news release from the school system.

Items needed to send kids back to school were written on cards that were placed on the wall at the Planters facility.

Employees selected items to purchase from the cards, with the company’s Kristin Rountree working behind the scenes on the project.

The supplies will be used for children’s engineering activities, the release states.

“At Hillpoint, we have a pretty significant population of students who are economically disadvantaged,” Leigh said. “We have good parents who work very hard, but the cost of living is high, so it helps when you can help them with these materials and supplies.”

Meanwhile, Leigh said, employees at Golden State Foods provided every first-grader with a book bag packed with supplies.

Parents were notified of the gifts so they wouldn’t double-up and buy the same things that already had been provided, he said.

“I think the parents were really appreciative,” Leigh said. “Many of them have more than one child.”

Golden State Foods workers also provide kids with 50 pairs of shoes just before Christmas, Leigh said.

“They come out a month before Christmas and measure to make sure they fit,” he said. “They supply brand new, brand-name shoes.

“The kids look forward to it all year. Some of them say, ‘I don’t want to wear them, I want to wait and open them on Christmas.’”

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