Saturday, April 13 was the fourth annual King Cares Family Service Day. Over 250 students, parents, family members, friends, and staffulty came together to support 10 of King's partner organizations, and the day concluded with the US student Midnight Run. The mission of the King Cares Service Program is to support the values-based education at King School. This Program reinforces the School's belief that service to the broader community, both local and international, is central to educational excellence.
King Cares Family Service Day kicked off with breakfast, face painting, balloon animals, and service opportunities with the Student Rebuild Challenge (SPCA) as well as an equipment collection for Harlem Lacrosse. During the opening there was a musical performance from Project Music, an intensive after-school music education program for students living in the city of Stamford. Ian Taylor and senior Sam Nadler introduced the group, and Sam talked about his experience as a mentor to the younger students after school, as well as during Saturday classes at King.
Karen Raidt, Director of King Cares Service, welcomed attendees and then student speakers from each division spoke about activities they had participated in during the 2018- 2019 school year that benefitted local, and international partner organizations. Reflecting on their service experiences over the course of the school year, students shared:
"I was so excited and happy to go to the Long Ridge Post-Acute Care Center with the King Cares Service Club. What I noticed was that the residents smiled so much when we were there." Camila Pajares, Grade 4
"All of my experience have been amazing and they have taught me that anyone can make a difference whether it is packing a lunch for someone who needs it, helping kids with homework, or running a 5K in support of other children." Finleigh Benkwitt, Grade 7
"I love being involved in so many aspects of service. Currently I tutor at Stamford PEACE and help in the classrooms at the Children's Learning Center. It is so amazing to see a kid's smile when solving a problem." Maggie Ruvinsky, Grade 9
The opening remarks concluded with a special recognition of Cathy Miskin, US History and Social Sciences teacher, Senior Class Advisor, Service Learning Coordinator and faculty member since 1976. Karen Raidt shared, "There is not one partner organization that Cathy has not been connected with during her tenure. Cathy embodies the qualities of kindness and respect, and her dedication to service learning and passion for making a difference in others' lives is to be admired." Raidt concluded by praising Cathy as a role model and inspiration to us all, and thanked Cathy for the care and respect she has always shown others in the King community and beyond.
The on and off campus service activities ranged from making cards and organizing toys from the toy drive supporting the pediatric unit at Stamford Hospital, to making children's blankets for a home in Guatemala supported by the Orphaned Starfish Foundation, to preparing a meal for clients at Inspirica, beautifying the outdoor patio for residents at the Long Ridge Post-Acute Care center, plus more.
"The level of community engagement during the day truly reflects the caring culture that exists at King," said Raidt. "The activities were developed in partnership with the organizations and this year student leaders designed a few of the activities based on their work with the organizations over the course of the year."
Saturday's event benefitted several of King's partner organizations, including:
- Building One Community
- The Children's Learning Center - car wash managed by the Girls Tennis team
- Long Ridge Post - Acute Care center
- Midnight Run
- New Covenant Center
- Orphaned Starfish Foundation
- Project Music
- Stamford Hospital
To view a full gallery of photos click here.