Lower Division hosts Caring in Action Day


Jasmin Ortiz

STARTING YOUNG: Lower Division students participate in various forms of service learning

Caroline Goldenberg

Lower Division students, families, and teachers participated in Caring in Action Day by visiting the Riverdale Senior Center and the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and holding a drive for donations to those affected by hurricanes in Puerto Rico.

“[The day] is an opportunity for parents, children, and teachers to come together with a shared vision of helping those in need,” Head of Lower Division Deena Neuwirth said.
Activities included creating centerpieces, origami, and birthday cards at the Riverdale Senior Center, writing get well cards at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, and collecting flashlights and school supplies for students affected by the hurricane in Puerto Rico.

Creating origami flowers was the best activity of the day, Naina Mehrotra (5) said.

For the first time in the day’s history, fifth graders filled leadership roles, helping to run stations and plan activities, Neuwirth said.

Mehrotra guided younger students and helped them stay excited about activities, she said.

The fifth graders also helped to prepare for the day.

“The biggest preparation that was the most visible was the work that the fifth graders put into advertising the day. They signed up to go into different homeroom classes across the building, so every homeroom class had a fifth grader who came in and spoke to the kids about what Caring in Action Day usually looks like, trying to get them excited,” Third Grade Team Leader Jessica Shapiro said.

So far during the school year, the fifth graders have taken on roles as “Hurricane Helpers,” choosing to raise awareness and gather supplies to help areas hit by hurricanes, Neuwirth said.

“There were a lot of people who didn’t have power, and they were suffering, and so we thought of a good idea: to raise money to help them,” Mehrotra said.

As the event has been going on for several years, Shapiro, who works on the Lower Division yearbook and sees the photos from the event, notes that “the turnout is always very good,” and that, “It’s also nice to have parents come with the children and be involved with the project together,” she said.

Participation in Caring in Action Day helps students feel “empowered to embody all the aspects of a Horace Mann student, giving to others is at the top of the list,” Neuwirth said.

After taking part in the day, Mehrotra was “happy that it made someone feel good,” she said.