Thursday, 04 July 2013 00:00
This spring, students at Stewart School in Garden City were given the tremendous opportunity to experience first-hand the powerful feeling that comes from doing something to help others. The Stewart School family participated in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Pennies For Patients,” a service learning program in which students collect spare change after school or on the weekends to help people with blood cancer.
Funds were collected from friends and family in honor of local student survivors and current patients. Parents received notification and were asked to speak to their children about the value of helping others. With the assistance of Stewart schoolteacher and coordinator Brenda McCarthy, many classrooms implemented learning activities that aligned with the New York State Standards. Members of the Student Council were involved with the publicity and coordination of the donations. Total amounts were graphed and estimates and predictions were made. Many students took on additional chores at home to receive donations and were “matched’ by family and friends.
Two culminating activities helped to raise the excitement level at Stewart School. The Stewart family playfully participated in “Stuck For A Buck.” This optional activity gave students a chance to actually tape a teacher to the wall. Librarian James McAleese and music teacher Andrew Albani “volunteered” to be duct taped to the gymnasium wall during lunch and recess periods. “Over 1700 pieces of tape were distributed that day,” explained McCarthy. “The duct tape was generously donated by Home Depot and Lowe’s.”
To end with a bang, the classes that raised the most money during the campaign were given a chance to “Pie the Principal!” Kim Petiton’s fourth-grade class took the top spot in this activity, earning an unbelievable $1,574.23. Each member of the class was able to throw a whipped cream pie at Stewart Principal Linda Norton. The second-, third- and fourth-place classes were also involved in the pie-throwing. Melissa Coyne’s, Michelle Galligan’s and Regina Lehan’s third-grade classes all joined in the fun. Assistant Principal Susan Kenny, John Cronin and Lehan were the recipients of those pies.
As a result of the generosity of the Stewart School family, the students were able to raise over $15,700 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, making the school the top donor on Long Island for the second consecutive year.