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Helping All Who Hunger: Hudson Montessori Gives Back With Annual Holiday Cheer Event

Zeppelin Hall was filled with Hudson Montessori School’s caroling students and our families at our annual Holiday Cheer celebration. Each year, our school embraces many various holiday traditions in one event while coming together to give back to our beloved Jersey City community.

The audience gathered around the stage while sipping tea, coffee, and hot cocoa, and enjoying holiday breakfast snacks. The elementary choir welcomed the crowd by performing Christmas classics "Christmas Time is Here," "Walking in a Winter Wonderland," "Mele Kalikimaka," “Eight Days of Hanukkah,” and “Mi Burrito Sabanero.”

Classes at every age level collected shelf-stable foods like pasta, bags of rice, canned chicken, and tuna. Teachers and students from each of the school’s 14 classrooms made unique, freestanding sculptures from the donated food as a way to imprint the “beauty of giving” on our students.

Middle schoolers spent the month visiting each of the younger classes talking about their experience visiting the Brookfield Place “Canstructure Exhibit” in Manhattan that similarly used donated foods to build elaborate structures made of cans and non-perishable foods. They also explained the importance of helping our neighbors in need.

Classrooms displayed all their “canstructure” designs in a video presentation at the Holiday Cheer event for gathered parents and families.

We gave our food donations to St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Downtown Jersey City, whose food pantry feeds over 500 families—sometimes up to 2,000 people per week—in need of food support. Pastor Menzi Nkambule thanked the school and discussed our connectedness as a Jersey City community.

"Why give food? Pastor Nkambule asked. "We all hunger. All of us do feel hungry at some point in time. It is important to balance our resources so all who may hunger have food."

Our holiday drive also addresses United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that our Upper Elementary and Middle School students study and work towards in their Montessori Model United Nations participation annually. Each year, the Upper Elementary students serve as United Nations delegates, proposing actions and performing community service. This year's donations help tackle three goals: ending poverty, zero hunger, and health and well-being for all. The United Nations set these global goals as a blueprint for peace and security for everyone on our planet.

"We wanted to make sure our students know the spirit of giving this holiday season," Dr. Grace Sanvictores, HMS Middle School Director, said.

After the assembly in Zeppelin Hall, parents and family members went classroom to classroom, saw their seasonal artwork on display, and met Santa while students caroled through the halls.

Each year, our school is reminded of the dedication our school has to its community partnerships. We are thankful to our families and their generosity. Together with our parents, we teach our children the importance of giving, community service, and volunteerism.

Our school community has proudly supported our neighbors through organizations, including Welcome Home Jersey City and Women Rising. We have also raised funds for global crises in Ukraine and Ecuador. Thank you to our students and families for consistently supporting these causes.

Visit the school to see firsthand what Hudson Montessori students experience daily. The student's enthusiasm inspires all of us to do all we can for our community and future generations. The school invites all families to experience the school through its open houses offered throughout the new year. Also, join the school in May for our next annual event: The "Museum of Wonders" Social Studies Fair.

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