The Council of the City of New York
Office of Council Member Costa Constantinides
(718) 274-4500

For Immediate Release
September 17, 2014
Contact: Shachar Sharon

Constantinides and Local Groups Collect Over Twenty Boxes of School Supplies

Astoria, N.Y. – New York City Council Member Costa Constantinides gathered with local groups to distribute the donations from their co-hosted school supply drive. The groups collected over 20 boxes of supplies and received donations of $3,000 to purchase supplies.

The Council Member hosted the drive with St. Michael’s Cemetery, the Elmezzi Foundation, Queens Library, education advocacy group Zone 126, and Quontic Bank. Supplies were already donated to community group Urban Upbound and will also be donated to a local high school, middle school, and elementary school.

School supplies cost parents an average of $100 per year and many students come to school empty-handed. Teachers also spend an average of $500 of their own money on supplies per year.

“It is important to provide our students with the tools they need to excel in school,” said Councilman Constantinides. “I am grateful for all those who donated supplies to support our local students and schools in need. I commend with St. Michael’s Cemetery, Zone 126, Quontic Bank and the Queens Library for their activism and participation to support our local students .”

“We are delighted to partner with Quontic Bank, Councilman Constantinides, and Zone
126 to support schools and families in the neighborhood,” said Jose Rivero, Chairman of The Elmezzi Foundation. “We are going to contribute $2,750 to bring the total amount to $3,000 to purchase general supplies for school partners of Zone 126. Our Foundation has a strong commitment to supporting students and families in Long Island City and Astoria, an effort like this goes a long way in solidifying that.”

“Every child needs to be ready to learn. It is a critical part of future academic success. Queens Library joins the community in thanking Council Member Constantinides for his leadership in getting Queens’ kids off the a great start by collecting and distributing school supplies. We were pleased to be partners,” Bridget Quinn-Carey, Interim President and CEO, Queens Library.

“The cost of back-to-supplies for families can be as high as $200 per child. For many of our families in Astoria, this is a burden. Zone 126 is grateful to Council Member Constantinides for rallying us and other community institutions, such as Quontic Bank, Queens Library, St. Michael’s Cemetery, and The Thomas and Jeanne Elmezzi Foundation in joining the Back-To School Supply drive to support children and families of Astoria,” said Maritza Arroyo, Executive Director of Zone 126.

“Ensuring that every child is never left behind and has the proper tools needed for school is very important. Partnering up with our local elected officials and the Queens Library was an honor to ensure this vision was executed, as a true community bank, things of this nature define what community really is,” said Michael Serao, Vice President at Quontic Bank .

“Councilman Constantinides’ Back To School Drive is an important pooling of resources for those of our community who require aid insuring education will immediately assist our children in reaching their full potential,” said Ed Horn Director of St. Michael’s Cemetery.

Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. He serves as the chair the City Council’s Sub-Committee on Libraries and sits on seven standing committees: Civil Service & Labor, Contracts, Cultural Affairs, Environmental Protection, Oversight & Investigations, Sanitation, and Transportation. For more information, visit