Members of the freshman class got more in return than they had hoped for. They created special bonds with others in the community when they visited children in residence at the Andrus Childrens Center, a nonprofit organization that provides care and support for children who are unable to live at home for a variety of reasons.
Under the leadership of freshman class president Tim Atkeson, the students planned a memorable Valentine’s Day party for the nine boys who live at the center’s Griffith Hall. Together, they created cards and painted a picture to keep as a special memory. The highlight of the event was a dance contest, where winners received Amazon gift cards from co-treasurer Liam Heraty, while vice presidents and twin brothers JP and Willy Swenson promised to purchase a speaker for the students to enable them to have additional dance contests on their own. The freshman class also provided the children with pizza, doughnuts, fruit, soda and candy.
“These ninth-graders had a great time entertaining the boys of Griffith Hall,” said Julie Clarke, the ninth-grade faculty advisor. “Although our Bronxville High School students gave their time and energy, the return benefit was far greater. Many of them developed special bonds with the children.”
Freshman class representative Liv O’Keefe said the children were excited to spend time together and invited them to return. Freshman Peter McSherry said he has written and sent a letter to a student he bonded with at the party. Freshman class secretary Avery Widen said she and her classmates look forward to the spring party they’re planning for students from the Andrus Childrens Center.
“This particular class was enthusiastic and willing to go the extra mile to give back to others, and I'm very proud of these students,” Clarke added.
This was the first year that Bronxville students have visited the Andrus Childrens Center. For the past 25 years, the freshman class has hosted a winter holiday party, among other events, for the children at Bronxville High School. Rodger Burton, the head of activities at the Center, said he was grateful for the many years of celebrations and fun activities that Bronxville students have made possible for their children.