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First-Graders Head into the New Year with a Deeper Understanding of Each other & the World

It all began with a unit on "family" where first graders learned about how families grow and change over time. 

From the homes they lived in and the food they ate then, to the clothing they wear and what they do for entertainment now, the lesson was about celebrating families and respecting past and present traditions. Students even created holiday "me" bags, pulling together items that represented their family's traditions and sharing them with each other.

"It was a great way for the kids to learn about each other and what a peaceful, accepting world looks like," said First Grade Team Leader Maria Gunther.

Transitioning to a larger lens, classes read We Dream of a World, an empowering book written by Pershing Accelerated School students that gives kids information on how to make the world a better place.

After reflecting on the lessons of the book, the elementary schoolers were asked: "What do we want OUR world to be like and how can we make that happen?"

To put their teachings into action, first-grade students and teachers organized a Food Drive & Sing-along. Families were invited to attend, and the food collected was donated to Hastings-on-Hudson's Community Center.

Watch a clip of the Sing-along below, where students sang Hillside's version of This Land is Our Land among other songs about peace and harmony.