On February 13, students, families, and friends gathered in the Field House to celebrate the Lower School’s service learning project in support of Island Harvest, Long Island’s largest hunger relief organization. Inspired by the Ross motto, “Know Thyself in Order to Serve,” all Lower School students created jewelry pieces that reflect their cultural history studies. Proceeds from the sale of the items were donated to help fight hunger.
After extending a warm welcome, Head of Lower School Jeanette Tyndall turned the podium over to special guest Stacey Parsell, vice president of Development at Island Harvest. Stacey explained the wide-reaching hunger crisis impacting thousands of children and families on Long Island. She expressed her gratitude and shared information about her organization’s programs that are helping to ease their situations. One initiative provides healthy meals to children to eat over the weekends. Many of those impacted are embarrassed by their situation, so Island Harvest delivers the packages in discreet locations. She then showed an inspiring video that was testament to the good that comes from the community pulling together to care for their neighbors in need.
Next, Shannon Timoney, who organized the schoolwide effort, explained the importance of the service learning project and invited student ambassadors from each grade level to briefly describe the inspiration for their jewelry pieces. Nursery students made clay medallions of the sun, moon and stars; kindergarten’s and first graders’ works focused on creation and cycles; the second grade chose to work with sand, a natural material of the Earth; third graders fashioned fossil imprint necklaces; the fourth graders made beaded necklaces out of clay mixed with dried herbs and pastel pigments inspired by ones found at Neolithic settlement sites in Europe and Asia; the fifth grade created amulet necklaces to go along with their current study of Ancient Egypt; and sixth graders’ pieces incorporated glass beads in the style of the Ancient Phoenicians and golden bracelets recalling Ancient Greece.
Before everyone dispersed to browse and purchase the jewelry on display, they were treated to a moving performance of “That’s What Friends Are For” (written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager) by a chorus of students in grades 3, 4, and 5. The song was even more touching because the schoolmates had devoted their recess periods to prepare for the event.
The final tally of funds raised has not been calculated, but at last count, the Ross Lower School was on track to deliver a check for more than $1,200 to Island Harvest.
Thank you to the Lower School for living the Ross Core Values and lending a much needed helping hand to Long Islanders in need.