School-wide celebrations honoring the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave Antilles students the chance Friday, January 13th to speak about their dreams, describe the impact his legacy has had on their lives and, in the spirit of service, make donations to local organizations that greatly help the V.I. community.
On the Middle and Upper School side, students included in their morning program a “Day of Giving” presentation that awarded to representatives from the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas, Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Society and the Salvation Army checks ranging from $200-$1,148. Funds were raised by the students throughout the year through various initiatives (see detail below).
The program also included a student reading of excerpts from Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, and a discussion of the impact that his legacy has had on their lives.
“Dr. King strived for what he believed in, but he did it in a way where it wasn’t to get revenge for something or to get back at someone for what people did to African Americans or people of color. He strived for consolation, he strived for compromise that shows we can be together and not be of the same race,” Sherdé Nicholas, an Antilles junior said Friday.
Speaking to the students, Antilles’ Head of School Liz Morrison added that the ideals of caring for the local community and providing service to others should always be a part of the Antilles experience:“If, in our lives, we can speak as eloquently as Dr. King did, fight against injustice with as much passion and conviction as he did, and live with the integrity, authenticity, and altruism that Dr. King did, we would certainly be in a position to change the world.
Our world needs you to be empathetic and kind and our environment needs you to be good stewards. That means caring for things outside of yourself and your community and giving of yourself with no expectation of getting something in return. You practice this when you reach out to a fellow student who is alone or having a difficult time, when you clean up a beach, when you donate toys and clothes for children, and when you raise money for organizations as you did this fall.
I am proud of all of you who have made it possible for us to donate to the Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Center, the Salvation Army, the Family Resource Center, Bethlehem House, the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas, and to reach out to the homeless with donations. One of my favorite quotes from Gandhi is, “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. One of our goals for you throughout your time at Antilles is to find yourself: what are your talents, your passions, and what do you value? Adolescence can be a time of trying on many different personas until you find one that feels right and fits.
And my advice to you, while you’re connected to thousands on Facebook, Snapchat, and Insta, is to find real connections with other humans – you know, the kind where you see each other’s eyes and facial expression – and to always give of yourselves to others who are less fortunate and those who can benefit from your time, care, and concern.
Thank you Middle School Student Council, Upper School Student Council, National Junior Honor Society, National Honor Society, Interact and International Thespian Society for taking the time to raise funds and to support for these local organizations. Care for our community and service to others is and needs to always be a part of the Antilles experience."
Antilles’ Early Learning Center and Lower School students also honored Dr. King during early morning programs featuring performances led by longtime Antilles music teacher Verna Araujo. In the ELC Sing a Long, the first graders sang a song about him for the younger children and they wore headbands stating their dreams for the world, which range from fighting homelessness to preserving the environment.
“Day of Giving” efforts recognized Friday included:
-Middle School Student Council sponsored Pink for the Cure, raising funds in order to give to the Charlotte Kimelman Cancer $1,148.00. -During the 2016 Giving Tree Drive, sponsored by Middle School Student Council, students from across the campus donated more than 100 children’s gifts to give to the Family Resource Center.
-Antilles School Chapter of National Junior Honor Society spearheaded efforts in order to give the Salvation Army $382.50.
-Antilles School Chapters of National Junior Honor Society and National Honor Society collaborated to hold a school-wide Thanksgiving Food Drive. Together, the Antilles community donated over 1000 non-perishable food items to the Salvation Army.
-The Antilles School Chapter of National Junior Honor Society raised $550 and Upper School Student Council raised $600 in order to purchase camera equipment, including a Canon Powershot, 2 Canon Rebels, a zoom lens, and a green screen, to support the Arts at Antilles.
-Upper School Student Council spearheaded fundraising efforts in order to give Bethlehem House $317.00
-With the funds Interact Club recently raised $504 sponsoring Dress for a Cause, they purchased supplies in order to create kits of essential items for the homeless.
-The International Thespian Society worked to raise $200 to give to the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas.