By Robin Jovanovich
It was crunch week when we visited Resurrection Grammar School for a “refresher course” on what they’ve been up to of late.
The upcoming school play was on the mind of Sr. Anne Massell, Principal. “One of our parents is a builder who owns the oldest house in Port Chester, and she helped students build the set,” said Sister Massell, who has led the school for five years.
As a school dedicated to family, responsibility, and charity, we weren’t surprised to discover that Sister Massell was co-directing the play.
At Resurrection, everyone pitches in.
Starting in preschool, Resurrection students are taught that there is a world beyond the school walls, and that many of the people who live outside those walls need food, care, and affection.
Preschoolers bring in food for Caritas, the soup kitchen and food pantry in Port Chester. Eighth graders, in one month, collected 400 pounds of perishables for the center.
Three Montessori classes make baskets for special needs patients of the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in White Plains. First graders write letters to veterans.
“We gave second and third graders the option of helping make placemats for a holiday meal we were serving at POTS, or go out for recess,” related Sr. Massell, “and they all chose to help.”
Second graders recently pulled together toiletries for a Shower program at POTS, the Bronx-based nonprofit organization, of which Resurrection is an active participant.
“As much as we’re helping them, they’re helping us,” said Sister Massell. “It’s a give and take on both parts.”
Eighth graders bring back great stories from Midnight Run, according to longtime parent/volunteer Karen O’Hara. “At first, the children are a little hesitant around the homeless population we serve, but by the last stop, they are conversing and comforting.”
At Resurrection, every grade knows about Midnight Run. “It’s a badge of honor,” said O’Hara. The students make soup and sandwiches, with their parents, beforehand.
What every Resurrection student receives from the start is “the building blocks to become good citizens. By middle school, they have the initiative and are taking the lead,” said Sr. Massell.
Resurrection fifth graders holding a bake sale
Eighth graders putting together donations for a Midnight Run
Loading a car up for a food delivery to Caritas