Hurricane Sandy devastated communities along the east coast, and kept New Jersey and New York students out of school for a week or more. Families went umpteen days without power or heat.

In Belmar, N.J., Belmar Elementary School teachers went door-to-door, offering help to their students victimized by the storm.

"When they see us on their front doorstep knocking and they realize it's us and we're here to see if they're OK, their faces lit up," Assistant Principal Lisa Hannah told PBS NewsHour. "In a time like this where kids are scared and you see it in their eyes, the more people they have around them that they are familiar with and that they know care about them can only positively impact them."

For those who need shelter and hot food, the teachers were able to bring about 50 students to the still powerless school for lunch -- and reading.

"We just grab baskets of books and let the kids grab books," Hannah said. "We try and sneak in, if we can, a little bit of education."

Luckily, Belmar Elementary didn't sustain the storm damage that hit other schools in New Jersey, rendering them "unusable as educational facilities for quite some time," according to School Board Association President John Bulina.

As most schools in the state have reopened, all but 27 of Belmar's 550 elementary students are back in class. School officials are in the process of contacting and locating the missing students.

Watch the full PBS NewsHour segment above.

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  • The auditorium at P.S. 195 in Manhattan Beach remained flooded on Wednesday afternoon. At its highest level, the water was above the stage, said Pat Kennedy, the school's custodial engineer. Kennedy said he could not pump water until he received a generator, most of which were in short supply in southern Brooklyn.

  • "Catastrophic. Pure devastation," said Joe Modica, a custodian at Gravesend's William Grady Career and Technical High School. The school's boiler room and media center, both located in the school's basement were flooded with about seven feet of water yesterday.

  • Modica and about a dozen others — custodians, plumbers and electricians — were working in shifts to pump water from the school today.

  • P.S. 253 in Gravesend, about three blocks from the ocean. Con Edison trucks were parked outside many flooded schools in southern Brooklyn, where electricians disconnected power until the schools could be fully pumped.

  • The basement at P.S. 15 in Red Hook was also flooded with between five and seven feet of water, staff said.