EDS Begins 'Giving Tree' Campaign
In anticipation of the Episcopal Day School's 50th anniversary in 2009, EDS has begun a year-long campaign, "The Giving Tree."
Throughout the 2008/2009 school-year students will take an active role in giving back to their surrounding community. From planting apple trees at the Coalition, conducting a book drive for Head Start, expanding the EDS recycling program to collecting fruit for Backpack Pals, even the smallest child can participate.
"Episcopal Day School is committed to giving back to the community," says Jay St. John, headmaster of the school. "We have a great relationship with Penick Village. We support backpack pals and our troops. Ten percent of our students have a parent in the military. The Giving Tree will expand what we already do here at EDS."
The theme of the campaign is based on a classic children's story, "The Giving Tree," by Shel Silverstein. Silverstein's story inspires generosity and gives perspective on surrounding environment.
For 21 years Robin Foster has worked to instill the concept of giving within the kindergarteners she teaches at EDS.
"For many years my kindergarteners have collected mittens for children in Moore County," she says. "We have also collected shoes for Afghanistan children. It's a wonderful opportunity for children to experience giving and sharing. It allows them to see past their own community. Of all the places I could work, this it. This is where I truly belong."
For 31 years, the EDS PTA has hosted its annual Candlelight Tour of homes. Each year five different families deck their halls and welcome the public into their festive homes for refreshments, music and fellowship.
"We are so excited to continue our tradition of the EDSs Candlelight Tour," says Lynne Healy, chairman of this year's tour. "For year's the tour began with a bake sale in the Parish Hall of Emmanuel Episcopal Church. This year tour will begin in the Parish Hall, which will be transformed into Gingerbread Land and decorated by EDS's art club. Everyone can enjoy the gingerbread houses made by EDS students, light refreshments and holiday music by the music club."
Whether or not the Candlelight tour inspired the idea of an annual auction is unknown. Since 1993 the annual auction has grown to include more than 250 in attendance. The auction committee works all year searching out unique and beautiful items.
"With delicious food from Elliot's, hanging out with friends and live entertainment, holiday shopping has been made fun and relaxing." says Ellen Marcus, development coordinator.
Just maybe it's the strong sense of community that keeps EDSs alumni coming back.
"Our students might leave us after the fifth grade but they don't forget us," says Parker Dunahay, a mother of two preschoolers at EDS who is on the Board of Trustees. She was recently on Face Book where she found a college student at Appalachian State who had started the Episcopal Day School Alumni Group. He invited former students to discuss memories, experiences and catching up with old friends. So far 82 EDS alumni have made contact with the site, reminiscing happily about their elementary years and attending chapel.
"It is reassuring as a mother to know that during the formative years EDS has encouraged such strong roots in our children," says Dunahay. "Fifty years is a reminder of how truly blessed we are. And with that awareness, comes the responsibility to continue our mission of creating the strongest foundation for our children and our future."
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