For the first time since 2019, the Chapin community came together for our Lower School-led “Celebration of Harvest and Gratitude” Thanksgiving Assemblies. The joyous gatherings were held on November 18 for students and the professional community; November 21 for Kindergarten and Class 1 parents/guardians (and a sprinkling of pre-school siblings); and November 22 for Class 2 and Class 3 parents/guardians.
A beloved and longstanding Chapin tradition, the Thanksgiving Assembly recognizes the custom of giving thanks through music, poetry and reflections while raising awareness about hunger and food insecurity.
As Head of School Suzanne Fogarty emphasized in her uplifting remarks, this cherished event is a vital reminder to “…share our joys, our love, our gratitude with those around us, not just as we head into the November break, but to lift each other up every day that we are together in our Chapin community.”
Lower School Head Thérèse Cruite spoke about far and wide celebrations of appreciation. “The tradition of recognizing the bounty of the earth is continued around the globe with some harvest festivals lasting for a day such as Thanksgiving and others for several days like the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the harvest festivals of Ghana and Ethiopia, and the moon festivals in many Asian countries,” she said, adding, “These universal celebrations and coming together of community to give thanks for the small and large things that make life meaningful informs our Assembly today.”
Guided by Lower School Music teacher Hallie Stotler, the Kindergarten through Class 3 students – proudly wearing handmade fruit and vegetable hats – performed an impressive and heartwarming selection of choreographed songs and spoken-word pieces that covered myriad cultures and time periods. Walter Aparicio provided accompaniment on the piano.
In a beautiful, long held Chapin tradition, several Class 1, 2 and 3 students walked up the aisle carrying bowls of produce, which represented Mother Nature’s ample offerings. They handed the bowls to three Upper School students who waited in front of the stage.
Throughout this festive season of gratitude, members of the Chapin community generously participated in the annual school-wide food drive. This year, Chapin donated more than 1,000 class-specific pantry items* and Class 12 raised money for approximately 50 turkeys. The boxes of food and the funds were distributed to two local non-profit organizations, Union Settlement (www.unionsettlement.org) and LSA Family Health Service (www.littlesistersfamily.org).
Along with the food collection, Chapin community members contributed nut-free baked goods to the Holy Trinity and St. Joseph’s Thanksgiving program (www.holytrinity-nyc.org), which delivers Thanksgiving meals to homebound New Yorkers.
Last Friday, Chapin students and the professional community enjoyed a delicious lunch on November 18, featuring turkey with all the fixings and scrumptious desserts. Special thanks to Chef Leo Goltser, Director of Food Services Evamarie Deevy and the entire Food Services team!
Best wishes to everyone for a Happy Thanksgiving and a restful break.
*Donated pantry items included: Instant mashed potatoes (Kindergarten); cornbread mix (Class 1); boxed stuffing (Class 2); pie crust mix (Class 3); beans or rice (Class 4); pasta (Class 5); canned sweet potato (Class 6); canned pie filling (Class 7); canned beans (Class 8); canned corn (Class 9); canned cranberry sauce (Class 10); canned fruit (Class 11); turkeys (Class 12).