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Shaw Avenue’s Giving Club Makes a Difference

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Members of Shaw Avenue Elementary School’s Giving Club recently collected 203 pairs of new socks to donate to the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless this winter. The school community generously placed their donations on clothespins outside the school library near a sign that read “Hang Some Kindness.”

Led by adviser Kristin Princiotta, the Giving Club is a new extracurricular activity at Shaw Avenue School that focuses on giving students opportunities to give back to their community and participate in acts of kindness and service. The club contains 20 members who meet virtually every Thursday on Google Meet and members range from fourth graders to sixth graders.

The sock drive is just one of many projects that the club members have initiated this school year. Past projects have included “The 12 Days of Giving” campaign which encouraged the student body to complete 12 acts of kindness around the holidays, a letter writing campaign to show appreciation for COVID-19 nurses at NYU and a no-sew blanket project to support cats in shelters.

“I started The Giving Club to give students opportunities to give back to their community by performing acts of service and kindness,” said Ms. Princiotta. “I am so impressed by these wonderful children who come to each meeting eager and excited to help others.”

Shaw Avenue Students Spread Love for the Holidays

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Throughout December, members of the Shaw Avenue Elementary School Student Council strived to give back for the holiday season. With the guidance of student council adviser Timothy Rau, the students hosted a food drive for Shaw Avenue families in need and the food pantry at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Valley Stream. 

Each grade was assigned a non-perishable food group to donate and student council members distributed flyers to spread the word about the food drive. The students wanted to go above and beyond to impact the Valley Stream community beyond the walls of Shaw Avenue. Mia Estrada, a fourth grader in Teresa Eberle’s class helped to spearhead this effort by developing the concept and the flyer to go with it.
  
“I wanted to start a food drive because some families don’t have a lot of money and I thought Shaw Avenue could help with giving food to make their holiday season a little better,” she said.

In addition to the food drive, the Shaw Avenue Student Council created approximately 60 holiday cards for local businesses and frontline workers as a sign of appreciation for all of their hard work and dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We wanted to show our appreciation to these workers for continuing to work and keeping their businesses open during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Shaw Avenue sixth grader Sudan Belnavis.

They sent their cards to places within and outside the Valley Stream community such as Bellevue and South Shore Hospitals, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Target, Urgent Care and Walmart.

“I am so moved and proud of our council members for their thoughtfulness, empathy, and compassion to spread kindness during the pandemic,” said Mr. Rau.