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TINTON FALLS, NJ - Ranney students have a long tradition of giving back to the community. During the holiday season, they have continued this tradition, sharing their gifts of service and learning invaluable lessons along the way. Beginning in the Lower School, students have the opportunity to join the Community Service Club, which is present in all three divisions. Here, students develop positive and proactive citizenship and leadership skills and have an understanding of the impact their acts of kindness have on the community.

In the Lower School, students have participated in a Thanksgiving Food Drive for Lunch Break, a local charity that provides food, clothing and fellowship to community members in need. Gifts were collected for Lunch Break’s Adopt-A-Family Program as well. Students ultimately provided 225 gifts for 75 children and 32 families in the area. Students also responded after the Philippines were hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan in early November, organizing a collection of items including new and gently used clothing, shoes and socks, diapers, formula and first aid supplies.

Middle School students involved in the Community Service Club also participated in Lunch Break’s Adopt-A-Family Program, donating items to another 30 families. “I am so excited that we were able to provide so many gifts for those in need this season,” said Head of Middle School David Fischer. “Combined with the other divisions, we have made quite a contribution to ‘thankfulness’ in our community this season.”

Prior to Thanksgiving, the Middle School held a Food Drive to benefit Lunch Break and donated 1,109 items to stock the shelves in the facility during their visit on November 25. The Jr. Tri-M® Music Honor Society held its fifth annual Penny Wars to raise funds to support Toys for Tots. This year, Middle Schoolers raised $1,400.81 for the Toys for Tots Drive, bringing their total for the past five years to $7,750.37. On December 7, students and Jr. Tri-M® Advisor Lilly Torrente plan to shop for musical toys at the Eatontown Toys R Us and then drop off the toys at the US Marine Base in Lincroft, NJ to be distributed to children throughout Monmouth County.

The Upper School Community Service Club members have also been collecting for Toys for Tots and placed bins throughout campus for donations. The Upper School Orchestra performed at Arbors Assisted Living in Spring Lake Heights on November 24 to bring holiday cheer to the residents. Organized by Ranney sophomore Michelle Krameisen, the orchestra performed several holiday selections, including “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and “Sleigh Ride.” “The students enjoyed performing for the seniors as much as talking to the residents and socializing at the conclusion of the performance,” said All School Orchestra Director Dr. Dorothy Sobieski. “The experience was very fulfilling for all, and through music, the generations were brought together in a special way. The orchestra is looking forward to visiting our friends at the Arbors again in the upcoming weeks.”

Several Upper School students will also be giving back this month by helping Spanish-speaking elementary school students with their homework for Amistad at the First Methodist Church in Freehold. Other Upper School initiatives include the support of Ronald McDonald House and Kensington Court Nursing Home. The National Art Honor Society visited K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital on December 2-3 to paint the windows of the pediatric floors with seasonal pictures to bring cheer to the patients and staff. The hospital also received support from Ranney this fall with the school-wide “Bring a Pair/Wear a Pair” Pajama Drive. More than 1,000 pajamas were donated to provide each child at the hospital with a warm, cozy pair of pajamas this winter when they arrive at the hospital.

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