Community Engagement Team Deepens Partnerships

Hackley’s Community Engagement team has been busy deepening relationships with our community partners and volunteering at various community events!

The K-12 toys and coats drive yielded a collection of 471 toys and 56 $25 gift cards, as well as 343 new and gently used coats for our partners at Neighbors Link and 914Cares, respectively. On Tuesday, Dec. 12, PostAP: Language and Culture students traveled to the Day Spring Community Center in Yonkers to volunteer at Neighbors Link in support of their Mercados de Fiestas, which allows families to pick out toys and gift cards for their children while the children are entertained by volunteers. Students alternated between working with the adult clients, helping them choose and wrap gifts, and their children, spending time in the childcare center and making a seasonal craft. Since Neighbors Link serves a predominantly Spanish-speaking community, students also had the opportunity to use their language skills to connect with the visitors to the Mercado and spread some holiday cheer in the process.

Back in November, students from the Service Leadership for Social Impact course partnered with 914Cares for its “Westchester Reads” event, which helps to foster early childhood literacy. Students heard from 914Cares founder and CEO Jessica Reinmann P ’22, ’27 about how poverty manifests in Westchester County and how 914Cares addresses these issues through its varied programs. They also toured the headquarters in North White Plains before collaborating with the organization’s librarian, Miriam Minor, on reading and exploration of age-appropriate titles for students from the Peekskill and Ossining public school districts. Gabriela Nunes ’26, leader of the Hackley student book club, read to the full group of younger students, and the group of Hackley volunteers helped them pick out books and then read to them, as well. 

And on Dec. 10, Upper School students Linnéa Boettner ’26 and Ike Shaw ’24 presented to fifth grade volunteers and members of the Middle School Community Engagement club about food insecurity and their partnership with Art’s Kitchen in White Plains. The event was coordinated by Guillermo López-Prieto and Ashlin Halfnight, US and MS Community Engagement Coordinators, respectively, and HPA volunteers. Middle School students also baked desserts in the Johnson Center test kitchen and packed desserts in take-away bags.