New Britain Survey to Help in Wake of Hurricane Maria

The city of New Britain is asking residents to complete an online survey to help them plan for the arrival of more people, including children who may enroll in school, from hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

The survey was posted to the school board website a week ago and the city has already received more than three thousand responses. City officials told NBC Connecticut’s Kate Rayner the results help them figure out where resources are needed most to help accommodate children in schools, as well as others who are coming to the community.

Right now, there are 35 students from hurricane-affected areas in the city’s schools, including 20 from Puerto Rico alone. Based on the survey responses, the school district expects another 40 will join soon.

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart explained the city anticipates more adults and children will continue arriving from Puerto Rico, and hopes those who have relatives and friends on the island can use the online survey to keep officials in the loop, and asked residents to, “let us know if you know of any family members that are going to be coming to New Britain and staying here. Do you know how long they’ll be staying here for? How many kids do they have with them? Are you anticipating enrolling them in our school district?”

Diana Martinez, whose mother arrived from Puerto Rico last week, felt New Britain’s pro-active approach to helping those relocating to the area is great. The Bristol resident explained those who experienced Hurricane Maria and its aftermath on the island are in need of a lot of support, and added, “my mom – you ask her about it and she starts crying.”

Though the survey is primarily geared towards helping the school district plan for arriving students, city officials explained the results are also helping them prepare for other arrivals, including senior citizens.

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