ELMSFORD, N.Y. -- Alexander Hamilton Junior/Senior High School held its first Day of Service: Hamilton Gives Back on Wednesday, Nov. 26.
“We’re a part of the neighborhood, and it’s so important for our children to understand the importance of paying it forward and giving back,” said Assistant Principal Andrea Hamilton.
This event focused on the seventh habit of “synergy” as a part of their study of the “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. About 500 students throughout the district engaged in variety of activities, including putting together Thanksgiving packages, complete with turkey and all the fixings, for 33 local families.
“Students are working together collaboratively and not working per grade level,” said Principal Marc Baiocco. “They were randomly assigned throughout the school.”
Students decorated the school for the holidays, and created letters and holiday cards that will be delivered to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which will deliver them to service men and women in Afghanistan.
Students also created inspirational bookmarks for children at the Maria Ferrari Children’s Hospital, Sloan Kettering and recovering veterans at New York Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals. Festive place mats were also made for members of the senior center in Elmsford.
About 60 students visited Carl L. Dixson Primary School to read to the students and create holiday art projects.
The rainy and snowy weather did, however, put a stop to two of days major service projects, including a turkey trot whose proceeds would be used to buy meals for local families. Students were also scheduled to rake leaves and pick up garbage or debris around the village.
The day of service also exemplified a synergy between the school and generous businesses and individuals in the community who made donations that made the schools event possible.
Among them were Robert Venuti at Carmine’s Italian Delicatessen , Jim Lash at Dunkin’ Donuts, The Fucci family and Frederick Schlott at The Home Depot in Hawthorne.
The Service Day Action Committee, which conceived the event, also worked with 24 student peer leaders to orchestrate and come up with activities for the day.
“We’re trying to get the whole school to understand we all go through the same things and that if we unite each other we can help each other out,” said 16-year-old Maria Camila Puerta, a junior and peer leader.
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