EDISON - A community is coming together to support the families and staff of James Monroe Elementary School, after the building went up in flames over the weekend.
Parents say the tragedy is offering a valuable lesson to students about how quickly New Jersey can come together in a crisis.
For the first time since fire took down their school, the James Monroe Elementary family came together for a meeting about their future.
They say they are overwhelmed with the outpouring of support they've already received.
As school officials concentrate on getting students and teachers back to the books, others are working to ensure they have what they need, after having lost so much. "The kids go home on the weekend and everything that was in their desks, all their papers, the projects that they've done, everything is gone," says Angela Spohr, of Edison.
Without being asked, people from across the area have been donating school supplies. Bags of paper, notebooks, pencils and other items are filling up the high school student council office.
Jersey-based gym, Work Out World has a location not far from the school. Owners there quickly organized a book drive. "The fire was simply devastating and I think the kids know the whole state is thinking about them," says Steve Kane. "That alone is going to bring a smile back to their faces and then they'll have the books to read."
The book drive runs through next Tuesday and books can be dropped off at any Work Out World location.