Members of the Alfred N. Sanzari Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving communities across northern New Jersey, recently presented the Hackensack Public School District with $20,000 to aid in the district’s efforts to supply elementary school students with iPads to facilitate ongoing virtual learning this school year. From left: Melissa Sanzari Stevens, Dana Jareck, Lisa Britt and Benita Sanzari Raia, all of the Alfred N. Sanzari Family Foundation, along with Hackensack Public Schools Superintendent Robert Sanchez, Assistant Superintendent Andrea Parchment, Director of Curriculum Lauren Kazmark and Director Of Special Services Darius Pemberton — Courtesy: Alfred Sanzari Enterprises
By Joshua Burd
The Alfred N. Sanzari Family Foundation has donated $20,000 to the Hackensack Public School District, supporting its effort to equip students who are learning remotely.
In a news release Thursday, the nonprofit said the gift would fund the purchase of iPads for the nearly 1,800 students across the district’s four elementary schools — Fairmount School, Fanny Meyer Hillers School, Jackson Avenue School and Nellie K. Parker School. In doing so, it’s seeking to help close the technology gap among students that has been exposed by the pandemic.
It’s also the latest show of support by the foundation and Alfred Sanzari Enterprises, the 75-year-old commercial real estate firm, whose connection to the city goes back decades.
“Hackensack has always held a special place in the hearts of the Sanzari family as it is where our story began,” said Benita Sanzari Raia, a granddaughter of Alfred Sanzari and a member of the Alfred N. Sanzari Family Foundation board of trustees. “When we were made aware of the technology gap facing many students in the district, it was an easy decision for us to provide this donation to help those in need this school year. We hope that this can make a tangible impact in the lives of thousands of students and their families as they continue to navigate the significant educational challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In a news release, the foundation noted that its namesake, the late Alfred N. Sanzari, graduated from Hackensack High School in 1937 prior to serving in World War II. Following his service, he returned to Hackensack in 1945 to start Alfred Sanzari Enterprises, which remains headquartered in the city.
Since its founding, the ANS Family Foundation has donated more than $2 million to organizations throughout northern New Jersey, supporting causes such as the promotion and support of health care with a special preference for patient care and Parkinson’s disease. Those causes also include local education programs and those that support disadvantaged populations such as shelters and housing and services for women and children in need.
“On behalf of the Hackensack Board of Education, I would like to thank the Alfred N Sanzari Foundation for their very generous donation of $20,000 to the district,” said Robert Sanchez, superintendent of the Hackensack Public School District. “This donation will help us bridge the digital divide ensuring equitable teaching and learning environments for our youngest learners. We are very grateful to the Sanzari family for supporting our efforts. Even while we are asked to stay apart, it’s great to see our community come together.”