The Lower School is well-known for its active participation in community service. While the students understand the importance of neighbor helping neighbor, they are also are guided by Cornelia Connelly’s words, “I am cosmopolitan, the whole world is my country; and heaven is my home.”
Among several annual service opportunities and drives, our Lower School community helps the families of the Sacred Heart School in Jersey City who look forward to our Food Basket meals at Christmastime. The Student Council leads the Lower School in a service project each January in honor of Catholics School Week, and in fifth grade we learn about food insecurity when the class travels to the Morris County Interfaith Food Pantry. There, students and teachers roll up their sleeves and help, while gaining more knowledge about food insecurity — experienced in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States.
While we are very concerned about our local neighbors, we also show compassion for those in need outside of our vicinity. One of our annual projects is our “Soldier Project.” During one of our Prayer Family meetings, the entire Lower School community assembles Oak Knoll Cares packages for American soldiers serving overseas. Children include handwritten letters and notes, as well as items the soldiers may need or want, such as sunscreen, absorbent socks, handwipes, and delicious snacks.