KIDS GROW NEW YORK
Each year, the kindergarten program at the Mandell School hosts a wonderful community service project called Kids Grow New York. Since establishing a partnership with the Mandell School’s kindergarten program in 2008, MCC students have participated in the community service initiative. The project seeks to promote environmental consciousness in students from within the Upper West Side community by encouraging them to plant and care for trees. To support the project, MCC students create calendars featuring tree-themed artwork. Those calendars are then sold to raise funds for purchasing supplies to plant greenery and flowers in the area. In addition, the Mandell School hosts an annual Kids Grow New York Art Exhibition at which the tree artwork are featured. Each May, students from MCC, the Mandell School, and other public and private schools participate in a planting day. On this day, each school installs tree guards, and cleans and plants flowers in street tree pits around the respective schools.
THE GREAT BEDTIME STORY PAJAMA DRIVE
MCC students have participated alongside students from the Alexander Robertson School in The Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive, a community service project coordinated by the Scholastic Book Club.
The Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive benefits the Pajama Program, which is a nonprofit organization that provides new pajamas and books to children in need, especially those living in group homes, shelters, foster care, and orphanages. MCC students showed their support of this project by donating pajamas and wearing their pajamas to school as well. To show their appreciation for our collaboration on this project, 4th and 5th grade students from ARS visited the school and read bedtime stories to our students.
MCC students are always looking for opportunities in which to give back to their community. Each year, students collect non-perishable food items to donate to a local food pantry. The community service project provides MCC students with an opportunity in which to work on community-based instruction goals. Students not only practice the component skills required for shopping, but also sorting skills as they distribute collected goods at the pantry.
The Manhattan Childrens Center provides service learning opportunities through our Peer Buddy program. During weekly half-hour sessions, the Buddy will learn how to interact with a MCC student through social interactions based around two-person play and lunchtime conversations. All Peer Buddies receive training from professionals in the field of autism, and have hands on training and guidance during each Peer Buddy session.
Current partnerships include The Mandell School, The Heschel School, The Alexander Robertson School, and The Trinity School.