By: Kate Rieger
One of the district objectives in the New Hartford Public Schools’ Strategic Plan states: “All students will increase their participation in meaningful service or citizenship activities in their community.” We at Antolini School encourage students to contribute to our community. Students have collected non-perishable food for the local food pantry, have sung carols at nursing homes, have planted bulbs, and participated in school beautification projects. They have raised money for several worthwhile causes, volunteered as reading buddies for younger students, sent holiday letters to students at the primary schools, worked with disabled students in Oak Hill School, and honored our veterans with a moving Veterans Day Program. They have made a real contribution to our community. And they have done so with our encouragement and by following the example set for them by the adults in their lives.
Every year individuals and community groups (Lions Club, American Legion, Karate Club, Women’s Club, PTO, State Police…) donate to needy families through the school. This year when the need seems greater, the community has responded accordingly with an overwhelming outpouring of support. Staff members have “adopted families” or contributed to a fund for students and families in need, civic organizations and individuals have contributed gift cards for distribution to families, and other local groups have donated toys and gifts as well as certificates from local stores. This year several parents decided to give gift cards to our families rather than give gifts to each other. All these contributions will be making the Holidays brighter for our children and our community.
Thank you to all who have provided material support for those in need, but more importantly ~ thank you for setting an example for our children. New Hartford is indeed a very special place to live!
Kate Rieger is the Principal of Ann Antolini School and she is a former First Selectwoman of New Hartford.