Penny By Penny, New York City Pre-School Changes Lives Around the World

Students of The Riverside Church Weekday School collect change to fight global hunger

Pre-school students are generally not the first group that comes to mind when discussing philanthropy. But the students and teachers at The Riverside Church are working to change that notion with their recent Community Caring Initiative.

For 30 days between early April and mid-May, Weekday School students participated in community service projects, including a Penny Harvest during which they collected change and deposited it in their classroom piggy banks. After choosing individual class charities to donate a portion of their collections to, the classrooms and staff voted on a school-wide charity – and Action Against Hunger was the lucky winner, receiving a check that totaled almost $750 and measured nearly 6 feet by 3 feet!

“By allowing the children to be a part of the decision process, we encouraged them to have a feeling of ownership of the important and positive work they were doing,” commented teacher Nicole Maki, who co-organized the initiative with parent Valeska Stupak.

“Engaging the students at this young age plants the seed of humanitarianism very early – and provides fun and productive learning experiences too,” added Weekday’s Interim Administrator Dr. Lynn Jemmott.

During a wrap-up Community Caring celebration on May 21st, students performed songs and presented handmade checks to each of the charities chosen. Action Against Hunger’s artwork – complete with drawings and signatures from each of Weekday’s more than 140 young philanthropists – is a priceless reminder of a generous donation that will make a big difference in the lives of the people we help worldwide.