Woodmont Elementary School held its 15th Annual Giving Day Assembly on Thursday, December 5, 2019. The assembly, a highlight of the school’s pre-Winter Break programming, showcases students’ talents and cultural traditions.
“It’s about giving,” said School Nurse Janice Shingledecker, who has spearheaded the program since its inception.
Giving Day is a National movement that takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It is an initiative that encourages all people to give of themselves to help others. At Woodmont, Giving Day events take place all week. The elementary school’s Giving Day activities culminate with a lunch time assembly for grades K-2 and another for grades 3-5. All students are invited to perform, recite, demonstrate or share a cultural tradition or talent.
“It’s about giving in all different ways,” Shingledecker explained when discussing the school’s Giving Day events. “Giving of ourselves, being kind, sharing with each other, sharing our cultures so we can better understand each other, writing what KINDNESS means, donating a small amount of money to those in need to show that we will always help each other going forward; giving in all different ways.”
Throughout the Giving Day week Woodmont students make a Giving Chain. Each link bears the name of one of the school’s 296 students. Teachers’ and administrators’ names are also represented on the Giving Chain links.
“The chain is used to decorate the stage for the assembly,” Shingledecker said. “It is a visual reminder that we are all connected. Woodmont is a family and we support each other.”
The cultural sharing spanned the gamut of possibilities. Students performed songs, told jokes, explained cultural traditions, danced, played instruments and shared sentiments in other languages. 5th grade teacher Brian Quinn juggled while wearing a red holiday suit, and a band of teachers, called “Uke Can’t Always Get What You Want” played “Feliz Navidad” on ukuleles.
The talented acts can be viewed in two segments on the Montville Township Public Schools Facebook page. The first assembly was held during the K-2 lunch period, and the second was held during the 3-5 lunch period.
In preparation for the assembly, students also wrote notes about kindness and what it means to be kind, or ways that one can be kind. Additionally families made donations designated to helping Woodmont families in need of assistance. All gifts are given and shared anonymously. Shingledecker administers this important source of support in the Woodmont community.
“It’s a way to help members of our Woodmont community – members of our family – enjoy the season a little more easily.
Giving Day 2019 raised $960.
Named a National School of Character in 2016 by Character.org?, Woodmont Elementary School in Pine Brook, New Jersey, is a leader in Character Education. Woodmont initiatives, along with the dedication of all seven Montville Township Public Schools, helped the Montville Township Public Schools? district to receive the designation of National School of Character in 2018. Giving Day at Woodmont is one of the dozens of initiatives throughout the district, and throughout the year, that build character and support the community at large.