Rigorous academics and social responsibility for children of all faiths.
Head of School Blog
List of 2 news stories.
Pausing to Give Thanks
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Each year my family gathers together to cook our traditional meal – each of us insisting that we “must have” a certain side dish or “it just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving.” For me, it’s the mashed sweet potatoes and the string beans with slivered almonds – yum! As much as I love the food, however, nothing beats the prayer we say just before we begin to eat. We don’t have a set prayer, or a particular person assigned to lead it, and it’s never very elaborate. That’s not the point. For me, it’s about the collective pause we take to give thanks, to recognize the abundance in our lives, and to experience the gratitude we have for each other and for our many blessings. At some point after the prayer, I wait for two things I know are going to happen. The first is that my mom is going to say, “Mmm, mmm, mmm,” and the second is that my brother, the master chef at the feast, will sample everything on his plate and will invariably ask, “Who’s got it better than we do?” Then my favorite part - we’ll all reply in near-unison, “No one!” What wonderful moments and memories these are, surrounded by my family who all love me, and each other, unconditionally - who share history and countless memories together, and who have raised our children from infants into the amazing young adults they are today. What a wonderful pause this is, this moment at the Thanksgiving table – the best of the whole year.
Students Give Thanks for Grandparents and Senior Friends
My grandfather, the late Robert McNiff, ranks high on the list of people whom I am most grateful to have had in my life. Anyone who met my grandfather responded positively to the special twinkle in his eye, his Irish gift for gab, and his overall easy-going nature. Pop-pop was a round man who walked with a cane, made eggs to order for anyone who wanted them, and made a Sunday roast as easily as someone would crack open a can of soup. He was also an amazing gardener who took pride in growing his tomatoes and flowers from seeds in an indoor terrarium before planting them outside along the wall of his garden apartment in Newton, NJ. I think of my Pops every time I water my plants at home, and this weekend he was especially on my mind as I repotted two orchids that I am hopeful may actually bloom a second time – an exciting “first” for me if it actually happens.
I was reminded this week of the special relationship I had with my Grandfather when our Sixth Grader students showed a video they created about seniors they are thankful for having in their lives. I was so touched by their stories, and was struck by the many lessons seniors have to teach our young people. Whether grandparents, caregivers or friends from the neighborhood, the presence of seniors in our children’s lives is truly valuable and plays an important role in their development. Watch their amazing video here: https://vimeo.com/144408883
Did you know the lack of intact footwear is a problem around the globe resulting in diseases that can even lead to death? Our school once again did an amazing job contributing shoes for children in need. This year we collected over 250 pairs of shoes! Thank you to the Magliato family for their financial donation to cover the cost of shipping the shoes. We also thank Angie Banziger, Michelle Solomon, Jennifer Poland, Amber Nugent, Andrea Feinstein, Dory Kurowski and Kelly Vassilakas for their help sorting and packaging the shoes. For more information about Soles4Souls: https://soles4souls.org/
New or Gently Used Children's Shoes Needed
Do you have gently used shoes your child has outgrown? Please bring them to either location as we kick off our annual Soles4Souls collection drive. The drive will continue through Wednesday, November 25. For more information about how Soles4Souls is "Changing the World, One Pair at a Time," visit their website.
Students Engaged in the Arts
Students have been engaged in a variety of exciting arts projects and events over the past few weeks. First Grade students have finished wood assemblage artworks inspired by Louise Nevelson, whose work can be found at the Newark museum, Storm King Art Center and more! Seventh Grade students prepare for their tapestry project by visiting the famed, mysterious unicorn tapestries at the Cloisters. Kindergarten students will see a limited time exhibit of children's book author and illustrator Eric Carle at the Montclair art museum and then create work inspired by him in the museum studio. The National Junior Art Honor Society students created "Live Art" for the Annual Youth Rocks Out for Ecuador talent show this past weekend. Finally, students in Art Club are busily preparing for puppets for this year's winter musical production of the "Lion King."