Penny Harvest NYC / Metro NY
Common Cents’ 2013 Run for Change! campaign is now underway and a date is set: the 3rd annual run, walk and rally celebrating the work of over 600 Penny Harvest Schools in the greater New York City area will commence on June 8th.
NYC Media Reporter and Producer Kéla Walker visited P.S. 104Q The Bays Water in Far Rockaway.
Across New York City, schools and students are dedicating this year's Penny Harvest to recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy. Hundreds of schools have already re-named the year-long program “Hurricane Harvest.”
Common Cents announced today the online release of a book created by thousands of New York City students reflecting on the meaning of September 11 in their lives and pledging service to make a better world.
It seems like it was just yesterday when thousands of students around the country came to their final Roundtable decisions, engaged their classmates and larger school communities in service projects, and hosted some pretty impressive check-award ceremonies and grant presentations. Building off last year’s excitement and successes of launching a new program model to the Penny Harvest called Legacy Service; we are excited to announce the launch of the 2012-2013 Penny Harvest this fall!
Sunday, April 29th, 2012, marked the second annual Run for Change! A 5k Walk, Run, Rally to celebrate the hard work of the thousands of students, teachers, and friends, who all work to help make the Penny Harvest the largest, and most successful, child-philanthropy program in the nation!
The Penny Harvest and Common Cents’ Executive Director Teddy Gross were featured in today’s New York Times. And we finally set the record straight: we’re not fundraisers, we raise children.
The roundtable of P.S. 48 William C. Wilcox immediately knew animal issues had to be one of the causes they donated to this year
When thinking about last year’s harvest, Penny Harvest coach Susan Tasso couldn’t help but feel disappointed. After many consecutive years of abundant harvests of 25 sacks or more, P.S. 46 in Staten Island had only managed to collect nine. Susan, a paraprofessional and 8 year Penny Harvest Coach, knew she had to make a change.
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of being on hand for a momentous occasion at JHS 190 Russell Sage in Forest Hills, Queens. It was the 1st annual Pasta Banquet, a glorious feast of five different pasta dishes, fresh French bread, enough soda to quench the thirst of a small army, and a plethora of delicious desserts.
Common Cents is proud to announce a whole fleet of new staff members!
On Saturday, April 30th, the first annual Penny Harvest Run for Change! kicked off with a day along Hudson River Park of honoring youth service as New York City students, teachers and supporters of Common Cents turned up in what has, in only twenty years, become the largest child philanthropy program in the country which emphasizes service-learning through school communities. Since 1991, Penny Harvest students have contributed $8.6 million to improve their neighborhoods in areas of health, environment, human rights, disaster relief, children and the elderly.
Common Cents, an educational organization specializing in hands-on learning announced today that it has launched a Times Square billboard to decry the school drop-out rate and link the fight to save our schools with its Penny Harvest program. The entire design work for the ad was created pro-bono by Definition 6, a unified marketing agency.
Starting this week, students at a thousand schools nationwide - nearly 500,000 students total - began scouring their homes and neighborhoods for idle pennies as part of the 19th Annual Penny Harvest. From now until Thanksgiving, Penny Harvesters will go door-to-door with their families asking neighbors to help them better their communities by donating spare change.
Penny Harvest schools in New York City work hard every year to bring philanthropy and service to their schools and communities. Some schools go above and beyond this duty— their actions and innovations lead to fresh ideas, lesson plans, and harvesting and teaching strategies, many of which may later become standard Penny Harvest practice, adopted into our core curriculum. These leaders are Penny Harvest Schools of Excellence.
Five talented storytellers took the stage last night at an event to benefit Common Cents and its popular service-learning program the Penny Harvest. Almost 300 friends and benefactors of Common Cents filled the cozy restaurant, City Winery, which was specially decorated for the occasion, to listen to the stories, sip wine, and participate in a silent auction.
Last week Penny Harvest students voted to donate $27,518, raised by more than 150 Penny Harvest schools across the country, to four organizations providing disaster relief in Haiti. The students participated in a National Penny Harvest Roundtable, which allowed them to democratically decide how to distribute the money amongst each organization.
On Monday, February 22nd, State Farm’s Youth Advisory Board presented $64,064 to Common Cents in support of the Penny Harvest Program. The check presentation ceremony took place at State Farm’s New York City Office.
Since the earthquake in Haiti two weeks ago, Common Cents has been flooded with phone calls and e-mails from concerned Penny Harvest coaches wondering how their schools can help the recovery efforts in Haiti. As Penny Harvest schools enter the second phase of the program, students have begun forming Philanthropy Roundtables at their schools. The Roundtables are a distinctive feature of the Penny Harvest which give children the power and the freedom to decide how to spend their harvest funds. A key issue for our students in the coming weeks will be exploring different ways to take action and help the people in Haiti.
Last December, Claire Streit, a Penny Harvest Coach at PS 85 in The Bronx, visited a food pantry with a group of her students. The particular group of students she brought to the pantry for a service project were notoriously difficult and had a reputation for being trouble rousers in the classroom. However, the moment they entered the pantry, Claire began to see a transformation in each of her kids. The students witnessed firsthand the need within their own community, and the dignity that the staff treated clients with as they served them hot meals. “They were being empowered to help, to do something real,” Claire said. “I just sat in the back of the room and cried, I could see my kids growing up in front me.”
At the beginning of December trucks will be rumbling through New York City carrying an unlikely load— hundreds of thousands of pounds of pennies. Last year the Penny Harvest collected about 700,000 dollars, primarily in copper (or zinc—pennies haven’t been primarily composed of copper since 1982). Though it only took about a month for students to collect the coins, and will take two weeks for Common Cents to pick them all up, it will take the bank four months to count and sort all the coins.
This October was the first time in several years Common Cents held a city-wide Penny Harvest professional development session. Common Cents periodically holds these sessions to bring together educators from across the city. The conference brought together new and experienced coaches from New York’s 5 boroughs to sit together and learn about the program, discuss Penny Harvest plans for the upcoming year, and share stories and lessons from their schools.
A few weeks ago Micah Gibbens and I, newly minted Common Cents Fellows, were invited to Queens Village for I.S. 109’s Orientation Fair, a back to school kick-off featuring several community organizations from a dentist’s office to a local music and arts studio. I haven’t been to many Orientation Fairs, but this one must have been special because there was a live D.J.; a violin performance by a group of four year olds; and even a New York State Senator, Frank Padavan, who raffled out door prizes. This was only our second time representing Common Cents in public, and we thought of it as a challenge— an opportunity to promote Common Cents’ mission, to offer valuable information, and to generally present ourselves in an official capacity as the Penny Harvest “experts” we had just become.
Common Cents is the new home to Marianne Cabe, Micah Gibbens, Layla Malavet, Magdalena Polec and Arvin Temkar, members of the first New York City Civic Corps, a service program launched in April of this year by Mayor Bloomberg. NYC Civic Corps members are placed in various local organizations for the duration of the 2009/2010 school year to help spread the message of New York City volunteerism in local communities.