South Orangetown Central School District

“Communities Create Traditions” has been the character education theme of the month at Cottage Lane Elementary School and classes throughout the building have been engaged in thoughtful projects connected with Thanksgiving.

“Showing gratitude is a Cottage Lane tradition and it’s been wonderful hearing students and staff reflect on thankfulness,” said Principal Karen Ramirez.

Several classes have been working on gratitude journals. “We began a few weeks ago with students writing letters to their families about what they are thankful for. As part of the project, we walked to the post office to mail the letters, which was a great community connection because some of our students had not been to a post office before. We talked about how the postal service works and, a few days later, families were surprised to receive their letters,” explained fourth-grade teacher Colleen Traynor. “For our gratitude journals, we’re focusing on thinking deeply about all the things we’re grateful for, especially after the past two years. Everyone is grateful to be in school together again.”

In the spirit of gratitude, Pat McCarthy’s third-graders hosted a food drive to help home-bound residents who rely on meal deliveries through Rockland Meals on Wheels. When wintry weather prevents meals from being delivered, the “Blizzard Boxes” packed by students with non-perishable foods will help ensure that our neighbors in need have plenty to eat.

Pat McCarthy's third-grade class with Blizzard Box supplies