For more than 20 years, students from the Community Service Advisory Board In-Training (CSAB-IT) have had a long-standing partnership with the New York Common Pantry to provide families in the metro area with a hearty Thanksgiving meal. Not only do we collect popular Thanksgiving food items and accept pledges and donations, we — along with the introduction to community service class — physically volunteer at the pantry, hand out provisions, and learn by engaging with those who use NYCP as a resource. This pairs our classroom setting with hands-on learning, which brings this issue closer to home.
While only upper school students run the drive, collecting bins were set up all throughout the campus: Fieldston Lower, Middle, and Upper. In addition, CSAB-IT also ran a hot chocolate sale in an effort to raise money; we raised $500! The money collected is set to accompany the pledges and donations made by both parents and students and will go towards NYCP.
This year’s drive will officially conclude on November 20, when both ICS and CSAB-IT go to the pantry and hand out supplies. Of course, in preparation, a short training session for newer students was done by a few members of our CSAB-IT class, the final touch after several weeks of exploring this social justice issue — bridging the gap between book information and actual engagement.
With that, this year’s Thanksgiving activities will end, and a new cycle will begin, the only difference being the current ICS students becoming the new leaders of this event. The current CSAB-IT students will move onto other projects in the coming years and our community looks forward to building an even stronger partnership with NYCP and the many communities that use it as a resource for many years to come.