Fall at St. Bernard’s is bustling with activities, many of which are focused on community service.
In the first two months of the 2018-19 school year, the community service club and community service committee have collected backpacks and school supplies for the African Dream Academy of Liberia and the Nathan Ebanks Foundation of Jamaica. They hosted a movie night to raise funds for a young boy with cerebral palsy. They collected over $500 for disaster relief in Indonesia and Florida. Middle and Upper School boys wrote letters to veterans and hand-delivered the letters to the James J. Peters VA Medical Center, a home for disabled veterans. While they were there, the boys sang karaoke with the veteran patients, and everyone had a great time.
The Animal Protection club held a bake sale to raise funds for SPCA International. Boys of all ages trick-or-treated for UNICEF and collected $3,985.18 for the organization. Many students also donated much of their Halloween candy to the Ronald McDonald House in New York. Early November also marked the annual used book sale. Families donated gently-used children’s books, which were sold at reduced prices to the members of our community. All of the proceeds and remaining books will be donated to Nathan Ebanks Children Advocacy Group, an organization that supports children with disabilities in Jamaica. Over the summer Nathan Ebanks Children Advocacy Group also helped place fifty computers that were removed from St. Bernard’s during an upgrade. Jamaica College, a boys’ high school in St. Andrew, Jamaica, was happy to receive the computers. Fifteen computers were also donated to the African Dream Academy.
The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving will include more opportunities for St. B’s boys to get involved with community service. St. B’s has been challenged by New York Common Pantry to collect a list of food items to share with families for their Thanksgiving meals. In mid-November third and fourth grade boys may participate in the first sandwich making breakfast of the year. This popular morning activity takes place before the school day, and the boys make sandwiches and bagged lunches, which New York Common Pantry then shares with people in need. St. B’s will also host a winter coat drive before Thanksgiving and donate all of the coats to the Center for Family Representation, a Manhattan organization that provides legal and social services to families in crisis. Finally, Junior School boys will have the chance to lend helping hands in Central Park and rake leaves with educators and volunteers from Keeping it Green.
During the month of Thanksgiving, we are especially grateful to the members of our community who help organize these terrific opportunities to give to our larger communities beyond 98th Street. Special thanks to the Parents Association community service committee, the faculty community service committee, and the community service club. They have kicked off a year of giving with generosity and enthusiasm, and we look forward to the year ahead.