Thursday, December 9, 2010

Little Turkeys Trot for the CPC

At the New York League for Early Learning Gramercy School, excited preschoolers did more than run, skip and jump into Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season. They trotted!

Since 2005, Gramercy School has organized a Central Park Challenge fundraiser called the “Turkey Trot” where kids from each classroom take turns trotting through the hallways as their peers cheer them on. As they cross a finish line of colorful streamers, all of the children receive a Certificate of Accomplishment, a hug from their teachers and, of course, a big glass of water.

Bonnie O’Brien, art teacher at Gramercy, explained, “Families and friends sponsor their children and a donation is made towards the Central Park Challenge for each child who participates in the holiday run. It’s evolved into our most successful fundraiser each year because it involves both the kids and their families.”

In addition to the Trot itself, the kids play “pin-the-feather on the turkey” using feathers they made themselves in art class. The fundraiser culminates in song as the entire group claps their hands and sings about a happy turkey and an even happier Thanksgiving.

The annual Turkey Trot is an event that all of the children look forward to each November. But perhaps even more, it is an event that Gramercy staff appreciate and welcome with thankful arms.

“All of the kids love the chance to run around the whole school without there being an element of competition,” said Music Therapist Elizabeth Balzano. “But more than that, there is a finish line and a sense of accomplishment. The Turkey Trot is an activity that provides a very typical experience for our kids that they might not otherwise get.”

Aren’t these photos making you say “Awwww!” right now?

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