Tuesday marked the first day of school at the recently renovated Dike Newell school in Bath.
The school was buzzing with 250 boys and girls starting the school year in a brand new school.
The arson at the end of the last school year destroyed most of the old Dike Newell school.
“We lost everything completely,” music teacher Celina Reed said. “Things looked a little bleak. The community stepped in right away.”
The only instruments Reed could salvage were two drums and her ukulele.
That’s when a first-grader’s parents stepped into help, raising $10,000 in less than a week to buy musical instruments for the new Dike Newell school’s music room.
“They were all just so incredibly generous,” parent Matt Fogg said. “I’ve been a career music teacher my whole life. It’s hard enough to get funding for your program year to year, let alone when somebody burns the whole school down, you know what I mean. So I just felt, I just felt like it was something that I could do, that Stephanie and I could do to help.”
“Oh, it’s incredible. I’ve got xylophones on the way,” Reed said. “Tambourines. Triangles. Sound effect instruments like vibraslaps, slap sticks, ratchet. All of those fun things that we can just explore sound.”
Like many other kids and parents, Palix Fogg is pumped about the new school.
“I really want to give this to you, Miss Reed, if you want it,” Palix Fogg said. “It’s my toy xylophone.”
“She’s very, very excited. She’s actually got her own xylophone that she’s bringing in to donate to the music room,” Stephanie Fogg said. “She can’t wait to go to school.”
Neither can teachers.
Thanks to all the donations, and their hard work, their new classrooms have everything they need, and then some.
“It was really taking an empty, vacant, not in great shape building and getting it ready for little kids in two months,” Principal Jennifer McKay said. “So it’s been nonstop.”
“We were so lucky that this place was still here, so that we could all stay together,” Reed said. “This building has so much light. And it’s been so taken care of by all RSU 1 facilities this whole summer.”
From bulletin boards to books to school supplies, this school received thousands of donations this summer, not to mention all the work that went into this building to get it ready before the new school year.