NEW ROCHELLE, NY –Thanksgiving brought a spirit of togetherness to the Campus Alternative High School as students helped distribute turkeys to families in need and gathered with staff for their own holiday feast, featuring foods from many nations.
These events have become modern day traditions at the school. Students volunteer to pick up turkeys from a local grocery store and deliver them to HOPE Community Services in New Rochelle. This year, the students, with New Rochelle police officers, helped unload 150 turkeys and distribute more than 400 turkeys to families, including the elderly.
“This is a wonderful way for students to give back to the community through warm smiles, conversation and a helping hand,” said Teaching Assistant Jennifer Renne.
“I enjoyed the work I did because it was for a good cause,” said senior LeSandra Turner. “I like helping others, especially around the holidays. It was great working with my fellow classmates in providing a meal for needy families.”
The students and staff held their Thanksgiving feast the day before the actual holiday – another tradition the school has observed for more than 20 years. The celebration featured a wide variety of dishes and desserts, including pasta dishes, rice and beans, tamales, eggplant parmesan and macaroni and cheese.
“On this special day before Thanksgiving, Campus had a wonderful feast that included alumni, friends and family,” said junior Omari Walker. “I have never felt so welcomed and thankful for what they have done for me and my classmates. This Thanksgiving feast has shown me a lot about people’s true spirit of giving.”
English teacher Karen Tucker coordinated the meal with help from other staff members. Neil Mattera cooked four turkeys and Almaire Fridovich baked a scrumptious ham. Students and teachers set up the cafeteria and served the food together.
Former students also visited, including alumni from years ago, who brought their children and shared their accomplishments and memories of Campus.
Program Administrator Joel Fridovich wrapped up the event with a speech thanking all who participated and extending well wishes to students, alumni and staff. Uneaten food and desserts were donated to the HOPE Soup Kitchen as another way to support the community.