The expression “hidden gem” is frequently applied to our local schools, with varying degrees of truth. On Wednesday, December 12th, PS 16 again proved worthy of that title at their most recent community service project.
Following the leadership of Principal Mary Renny, the school has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments, raising money for Ronald McDonald House, City Harvest, Penny Harvest, Pennies for Patients, Hurricane Sandy relief, Covenant House and to help send kids to school in Nepal, just to name a few.
Last January, the school began a crocheting club for its third, fourth and fifth graders. To encourage a community atmosphere, Principal Mary Renny invited kids, teachers and parents to join. Meetings grew from one hour to two and then three, Renny said (“nobody ever wants to go home), and as so often happens in the close-knit (pardon the pun) school, the talk turned to community service.
“We started making blankets and said ‘we’ll bring them to Woodhull for Mother’s Day,” said Renny. “When we came, we got such a good feeling. The kids loved it, the parents loved it and you could see how the hospital staff truly loved what we just did. We started crocheting like crazy to have enough blankets to come back for Christmas.”
On Wednesday, the school came back with 27 blankets for Woodhull’s neo-natal unit and stayed until all were distributed. As for the kids, “Oh my G-d, they’re thrilled,” said Renny. “They can’t stop talking about it. They tell anyone who will stop and listen.”
A large part of why this school has flown under the radar is because they generally eschew publicity. “We just want to do things for the community that are fun, and gets us all together,” explained the Principal. “We sit around and tell jokes [at the crocheting club], the parents are involved and we give back to the community.”
Renny is already yarn shopping for the club’s next project – wheelchair blankets for a VA hospital.