The entire Harvey Upper School community got to work on Tuesday, October 3, participating in the 6th Annual Harvey Builds day of service. Students, faculty, and staff brought a huge amount of Harvey spirit and enthusiasm to many urban areas where it was felt they could do the most good and make an impact. That they did! With the Senior Bridge classes at the helm, groups of underclassmen dove into projects designed to leave each location a little better than when they arrived.
The seniors took the junior class to Newburgh, NY, where they divided and conquered several projects at different locations. At the Hudson Valley Food Bank, students sorted through over 2,000 tomatoes, and packaged items for donation through Feeding America. Students carried lumber and performed demolition duties at three houses for Habitat for Humanity. With the students’ help, their workers are now ahead of schedule on all three housing projects. At the San Miguel Academy, students painted trash cans with students in grades 6-8, helping them to “see their school in a fun way.” They also worked at an urban farm in Downing Park, and at the Ritz Theater painting chairs and making other overdue improvements.
The freshmen were led by seniors in the Stamford, CT area, and thankfully the weather cooperated. Under sunny skies, students waded into the Mill River to clean out debris and garbage, while another group walked three miles through neighborhoods collecting 38 bags of trash. At the Children’s Learning Center, Harvey students put on a carnival that brightened the faces of their young patrons, and at Building One Community students tutored adults with limited English language skills.
Another group of seniors stayed local in the Katonah community with the sophomore class, clearing brush near the entrance to John Jay Homestead and performing clean-up work at both Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and the Katonah Museum of Art. At Bedford Elementary School, Harvey students helped teach math and reading to children in grades 1-3, and gained a new appreciation for the hard work of their own teachers. One group stayed on the Harvey campus clearing two trails, which one senior commented “was cool because we helped out our own school and campus.”
An inspiring end to the day unfolded in Stamford where one group of ambitious students worked incredibly hard to paint a 53 foot by 6 foot mural in coordination with East Side Partnership. They managed to finish this work of art in five hours, leaving behind something of beauty for the neighborhood to enjoy. “Looking across the street and seeing the people smiling, we could see we were making people happy,” several students noted.
It was a day to remember, and the Upper School looks forward to wherever the next Harvey Builds takes them!