Students and faculty at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child collected 50 cases of bottled water as part of the City of Summit’s Clean Water Drive benefiting the residents of Newark.
Newark residents who are serviced by the Pequannock treatment plant have been battling spiked levels of lead in their water since 2017. At the recommendation of the Environmental Protection Agency, about 14,000 Newark households have relied on bottled water for more than a month.
After learning of the City of Summit’s efforts to provide water to residents of Newark, members of Oak Knoll’s Athletic Council sprang into action, collecting water at home athletic games and at the school’s Tisdall Hall Gymnasium.
Oak Knoll’s drive, completed in less than a week, was just one of many from the Summit community, contributing to a total of 350 cases of bottled water collected.
“When we have the opportunity to serve, we do. It’s one of the things that makes this Oak Knoll community so special,” said Oak Knoll Athletic Director Kelly Childs. “We had water delivered to us from as far as Pennsylvania and it really shows the great initiative our faculty, students and staff take when help is needed.”
Athletic Council President Keelin Schlageter ’20, of Maplewood, agreed.
“It is really great to see how many people donated water in such a short amount of time,” Schlageter said. “I think it reflects how special our community is, our willingness to help those in need and our ability to turn words into action.”
Oak Knoll’s action inspired others as well, as the School of Saint Elizabeth in Bernardsville reached out to their school community after learning of the Royals’ efforts and donated to the cause.