Penny Harvest Schools of Excellence is an annual distinction awarded to a select group of schools that have demonstrated their commitment to and understanding of all phases of the Penny Harvest: Gathering Pennies, Making Grants, Taking Action and Building Legacy.
Schools of Excellence exemplify the very best of the Penny Harvest and its’ core values of service-learning and philanthropy. They go above and beyond to create student leadership teams that engage the whole school in building long-lasting partnerships with the greater community. Schools of Excellence incorporate enriching opportunities for students that combine classroom instruction and meaningful community service.
For 10 years now, the Schools of Excellence award has served as a distinction and honor awarded to exemplary Penny Harvest schools that have demonstrated their commitment and understanding of service learning and philanthropy.
2014 Schools of Excellence Showcase
At the 2014 Run for Change 5k Run/Rally, Common Cents hosted their 1st annual Schools of Excellence Showcase – a highlight and celebration of schools that go above and beyond in service.
Because of their commitment to service learning, the following schools were awarded the distinction of Penny Harvest Schools of Excellence:
PS 1 Alfred E. Smith (District 2)
PS 205 Fiorello LaGuardia (District 10)
PS 7 Abraham Lincoln (District 19)
PS 19 The Curtis School (District 31)
PS 123 Suydam (District 32)
PS 112 Lefferts Park (District 20)
Students, parents, coaches, and all who attended were able to view and vote on their favorite School of Excellence as the Grand Prize Winner.
School Feature: PS 123 SUYDAM
By majority vote, PS 123′s visual story captivated all who laid eyes on it with its bright Penny Harvest scrapbook, quilt of caring poster board, and video of students in service! Their visual story demonstrated their commitment to their community and a better NYC by engaging their students in a year of service through the Penny Harvest.
“Classes in our school created a ‘Quilt of Caring’.” Judy Moschera – teacher and Penny Harvest Coach – explains, “Each class decided on an issue they wanted to address and they made a pledge [to help].”
All year round, PS 123 Suydam students, faculty, and staff came together to collect canned foods for the food pantry, plant daffodils to beautify their community, and create uplifting holiday cards for their local senior center. Their biggest accomplishments, however, came in the form of a partnership with Publicolor – a nonprofit that has helped bring the joy of color to public schools throughout the city, while teaching students a trade.
Unhappy with the dreary state of their cafeteria, students at PS 123 approached Principal Veronica Greene for approval for a letter writing campaign. Upon receiving approval, students began writing letters to various home improvement companies to express their sentiments about their dull cafeteria. The response? Gallons of Sunny Yellow and Springtime paint from Benjamin Moore, $10,000 from Yellow Pages, and volunteers from Publicolor. Students, with the help of teachers, parents, alumni, and volunteers, spent five Saturdays transforming their basement from drab to fab.
For their steadfast commitment to giving their time, treasure, and talent to serve their community, we congratulate PS 123 Suydam.