JFK International Air Terminal (JFKIAT), operator of the international gateway Terminal 4, donated 400 backpacks and school supplies to the excited middle schoolers.
“It feels nice to be supported by the school,” said student Elijah Ross, who read some of his published poetry during the assembly. “They’ve been very generous.”
Vernon M. Taylor, senior manager of human resources at JFKIAT, said that all three parties are getting a lot out of the donation: themselves, the students, and the parents.
“We feel great that we are actually partnering with the community,” Taylor said. “The students get really excited by us being here, and back-to-school time is a really rough time for parents. So financially, this actually helps them out as well.”
JFKIAT has been a long partner with M.S. 226, dating back to 2011. They began the school’s photography program when they donated 10 Canon cameras students still use to this day.
Some of the students’ photos were showcased at Terminal 4 in the Arrivals Hall, allowing hundreds of thousands of travelers to see the work.
“The work that was done in the photography class was of such high quality because of JFKIAT’s contribution,” said assistant principal Shirley Brown
This year, JFKIAT donated 40 brand new computers to the school. In the past, they sponsored mentoring programs and young women’s leadership groups.
“They are mentors to our children,” Brown added. “For us, it’s a constant donation of time and resources.”
On why they chose the school, Taylor explained it was due to its proximity to the airport.
“We firmly believe that we want to give back to the neighborhood that we’re in,” he said. “And we believe one of the best ways to give back is through education.”