Two of Greenpoint’s most enduring institutions teamed up last week to benefit the community’s less fortunate.
145-year-old St. John’s Lutheran Church makes 80 lunch bags a month, which they contribute to the Greenpoint Reformed Church soup kitchen. In October, with the tough economy threatening that program, they turned to another 145-year-old, PS 34, for help. And the response by the kids at New York’s oldest, continuously running public school was overwhelming. The students took up a collection of items to fill the St. John’s bags and presented 15 large boxes of food to the Church at an assembly last Friday, which, in turn, presented a framed “Certificate of Appreciation” to the school and students for their efforts.
“This was the chance to congratulate them on what they accomplished,” said Ruth Haupert-Lengemann, President of St. John’s Church Council. “I’ve never seen such dedicated teachers and staff.”
This latest example of community service by the PS 34 students was part of their annual “Character Counts” month, during which the children are taught the importance of developing a good moral fiber.
Both institutions expect to see this community outreach collaboration continue. “We’re always looking for different opportunities for our students to become active members of the community,” said PS 34 Principal Carmen Asselta. “Even though they are young, they see that they can still play an important part and learn from their experiences. This is an important part of their education.”
Another important aspect of the assembly was the school’s tribute to Veteran’s Day. Mr. Katopes, a guest speaker from the Mayor’s Veteran Affairs Office was the keynote speaker and had the kids’ undivided attention while talking about his experience in the army. Keeping with the theme of community service he explained “I didn’t understand the importance of leadership until I had to take care of others.”
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