German Village residents have contributed supplies, money and manpower to help Stewart Alternative Elementary School students get back on their feet this year.

German Village residents have contributed supplies, money and manpower to help Stewart Alternative Elementary School students get back on their feet this year.

Russ Arledge, office manager of the German Village Society, said the neighborhood contributed an estimated $4,500 worth of supplies and $2,200 in monetary donations for the students, who started the school year Wednesday at Beck Elementary School.

On Saturday, roughly 40 volunteers helped teachers set up their classrooms and unpacked 7,000 books and 300 videos for the school library, Arledge said.

He said the generosity was overwhelming.

"The numbers are just unbelievable that we were able to pull all of this together in two weeks time," he said. "It definitely touched the neighborhood. Everyone felt a connection."

A fire on July 30 forced staff and students to relocate to nearby Beck while Stewart Alternative is repaired. A man was arrested and charged in connection with the fire. Stewart, built in 1874, is an adopted school of the GVS.

David Schooler braved the hot weather Saturday afternoon and spent about four hours hauling books and unpacking boxes. Still, he called it the highlight of his weekend.

"It was a great effort," he said. "The community came together."

Jacquelyn Bryant, communications manager with the school district, called the outpouring of support "amazing."

"Without their help we wouldn't have been able to get it done as quickly" as it was, she said.

Bryant said the district is assessing the damage at Stewart and no official estimate has been done. It is unclear if students will return to Stewart this year, she said.

It's likely that residents again will be asked to volunteer when students and staff are ready to move back in Stewart, Arledge said.

"When they're ready to move back we'll be happy to help them move back into Stewart," he said. "At least this time there won't be the tragedy behind it. There will be the rebirth of the school."

gseman@thisweeknews.com

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