by Charlie Best, Byram EA president
The members of the Byram Education Association last saw their students over 9 weeks ago. Since then our world and our communities have had to change and adapt to deal with the COVID crisis.
This has left teachers, therapists and support staff worried about their students and their families. With that in mind the BEA has taken action over the past few weeks to help our Byram community. One of the early victims of this crisis was the annual Byram Township Education Foundation Tricky Tray. The BEA had put together a “Red for Ed” basket filled with candy and snacks. With the Tricky Tray canceled, the BEA donated their basket to Newton Memorial Hospital to show our support for the frontline medical staff.
The BEA also began to brainstorm different ways to help the community beyond just that donation. Recognizing that even with so many businesses closed, Byram township employees are still working to keep the town going and safe. The BEA purchased lunch for the Police Department, Department of Public Works and all essential municipal building employees on Friday. The BEA had wanted to place a sign on Route 206 to honor our frontline workers, so we partnered with Byram Mayor Alex Rubenstein and the Byram Police Department to use the electronic road sign. On Sunday May 15, the electronic sign was placed on Route 206 with the message, “The Byram Education Association thanks our frontline heroes.” Along with the Route 206 signs we are working with NJEA to purchase yard signs for members, thanking all essential workers.
To directly help our students and families the BEA partnered with the Byram PTA to survey parents for questions they may have about remote learning and members of the BEA will be recording their answers to be sent out to the parents of Byram’s students. Lastly, recognizing that families may be struggling financially, the BEA donated $250 to the St. Michael’s Food Bank and Blessed Kareri’s Food Bank.