“As the economy continued to struggle, Free and reduced lunch numbers grew in our District, we were asked to do more. We rose to the challenge and—thanks to you—were able to help more children in more ways this year,” said Jessica Seessel, chair of Dobbs Ferry’s SPRING Community Partners, a program that seeks to provide local students with the supplies and opportunities they need to thrive.
In an end-of-the-year "Thank You ceremony" Tuesday Seesel listed some of the year’s accomplishments and events including:
- A square Dance fundraiser
- A talent Show
- Partnerships with Family-to-family and that helped collect thousands of cans at to stock the food pantry.
- Awards for graduating seniors, a “SPRINGBoard” Award and an “In Our Backyard” Award
Though Seessel said it was impossible to quantify all of Spring’s successes, she said that know their hard work has paid off through a number of outlets, including their help in “sending an extremely shy little girl to camp [who] came home from her summer brimming with confidence and ready to take theatre classes.”
Other programs and volunteers Seessel thanked included:
- The "Help-a-Child 4 Seasons" sponsors, who helped provide warm winter clothes; swimsuits, sunblock and towels for the summer; birthday gifts on children's birthdays. Overall, they helped a total of 45 kids.
- Camp Sponsors, who helped assure that even kids who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it had the opportunity to go to camp. The program sponsored 69 kids' summer camp experiences in collaboration with the Dobbs Ferry Department of Recreation and several private camps.
- "Musical Muses," helped 24 children rent musical instruments.
- "School Supply Elves" coordinated sending kids with a backpack full of all the necessary supplies so helped purchase supplies for 80 students last year
- , Christian Preschool, Days of Wonder and Ardsley Methodist helped 9 children who would have otherwise entered kindergarten with no school experience have at least one year of preschool.
- Due to SPRING's partnership with AYSO and Little League, 30 children were registered for soccer and baseball programs.
- Donations of equipment, through the newly-launched “Bridging the Digital Divide Program” placed 10 refurbished computers in DF students’ homes.
- The “Kids Can program” helped stock the South Presbyterian Church food pantry and helped with other food needs.
- SPRING provided over $5,000 in emergency food relief funds.
- “SNACK FAIRIES,” in addition to bringing snacks for their own children, brought “some extras" to 25 to 30 children a day who would otherwise have had to make it through the school day only with lunch.
- The “Frocks and Smocks” program held two clothing boutiques, which distributed bags of gently-used clothing to families in need.
- SPRING's partnership with Cabrini Immigrant Services and Robin Larkins helped provide 17 students with regular after school help. SPRING also helped 20 children with the 2nd grade animal project and 4th grade science fair.
SPRING is currently looking to raise funds for:
- The School Supplies program, which will be providing school supplies to about 80 children next year. Depending on a student's grade, the cost of required supplies can range from $40 to $150, Seessel said.
- The Summer Camp program will be helping to send almost 60 children to local summer camps this year. As a result, their summer camp costs will be about $9,000 this year, compared to about $6,000 last year for roughly the same number of children.
Learn more about SPRING Community Partners' programs and initiatives here
- This year's recipient of the "SPRING into Action" Award was parent and PTSA President Lisa Ferrara. Learn more about Ferrara