On November 22, 25 and 26, Chapin’s Thanksgiving Assemblies, a century-old School tradition, honored the custom of giving thanks through music, poetry and reflections, while casting a spotlight on the global crisis of hunger and food insecurity, which affects 37 million Americans, including one in five New York City children.
“Thanksgiving is a bigger concept than just the story of the founding of the Plymouth Plantation,” said Lower School Head Thérèse Cruite in her remarks. “It can remind us of the possibility and hope that reside in recognizing and embracing our common humanity, and in our obligation to hold not only our lives as sacred, but also the life of each person we encounter.”
Wearing “harvest hats” decorated with construction-paper fruits and vegetables, the Kindergarten through Class 3 students found their places on the stage and risers. Guided by Lower School Music teacher Eddie Wiernik, they energetically performed a selection of songs and spoken-word pieces that spanned an assortment of cultures and time periods.
In a touching ritual, several Class 1, 2 and 3 students delivered bowls of produce, representing nature’s plentiful offerings, to four Upper School students who waited at the front of the room with their arms outstretched.
Throughout this season of gratitude, members of the Chapin community demonstrated their compassion and generosity by participating in the annual school-wide food drive. This year, Chapin filled 44 boxes with canned and packaged food and raised funds to purchase 45 turkeys for those in need.
The food was donated to the New York Common Pantry, the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, Ronald McDonald House New York and Union Settlement, four local organizations that support food-insecure people. In addition, students opted out of desserts for two days, enabling Chapin to donate these sweets to the food drive.
In celebration of the holiday and thanks to Chef Leo Goltser, Director of Food Services Evamarie Deevy and the entire food services staff, Chapin’s students and professional community members were treated to a delicious pre-Thanksgiving lunch on November 22, complete with turkey and all the fixings, followed by apple and pumpkin pie.
Best wishes to all for a restful and restorative Thanksgiving.