Rippowam Cisqua School
Ninth Graders Participate in the Midnight Run
While most of us were warmly snuggled in our beds on the night of Friday, February 1st, the RCS ninth graders and their chaperones were traveling to Manhattan to participate in the annual Midnight Run. There was much work to be done before they even hit the road - making sandwiches and putting together sack suppers including hot soup and coffee, packaging up personal care items, sizing and grouping clothing, and packing up blankets.
For a number of years, RCS ninth graders have participated in the Midnight Run. This year, two of our ninth graders, Annabelle Nemeth and Alex Needham, took on the challenge of organizing the Midnight Run as part of their ninth grade Portfolio. The portfolio program is a wonderful opportunity for students to explore areas of interest. As leaders, Alex and Annabelle hosted a jeans days/bake sale to raise funds to purchase the supplies needed for the Run. Parents of the ninth graders volunteered to cook soup, make hard-boiled eggs, and bake meatloaf (a sandwich staple favored by many of the homeless).
A few days prior to the Run, Dale Williams shared his unique perspective on homelessness in New York City with our ninth graders. Now Executive Director of Midnight Run, Mr. Williams spent nearly three years on the streets in the late 1980s. A product of a middle class family with a college education, Mr. Williams spoke about not knowing the meaning of being cold, dirty, hungry, and lonely until he faced that stark reality of homelessness. Members of the ninth grade asked a myriad of questions as they listened to his story.
After an introduction to logistics by the Run leader, Vic Fried, the students piled into cars and headed out to the first stop. Over the course of the next three hours, they encountered a host of interesting characters, all appreciative of the donations, and most willing to chat with the kids. As the night progressed, the ninth graders came to appreciate the “homeless” as people with names and faces, people with more similarities to us than differences, and people who were experiencing rocky points in their lives.
A coeducational, independent country day school for students in grades PreKindergarten through Nine
Lower Campus: 325 West Patent Road, Mount Kisco, NY 10549 phone: (914) 244-1200 Upper Campus: 439 Cantitoe Street, Bedford, NY 10506 phone: (914) 244-1250