Community Outreach Programs at The International Preschools

At the 86th Street location, children sorted dimes, nickels, quarters, and pennies for UNICEF.
At the 86th Street location, children sorted dimes, nickels, quarters, and pennies for UNICEF.

The holiday season has arrived, and with that comes a focus on community outreach programs here at The International Preschools. Every year, the parents, teachers, and children of our school work with several organizations to help those in need, be it here in New York City, elsewhere in the United States, and around the world.

The International Preschools was established more than 50 years ago as an outreach program itself; its goal was to help families who had just arrived in the United States to acclimate to life in New York City.  The ongoing focus on helping others is continued via the programs that we support throughout the year.  Every year, IPS chooses at least one child-based organization to donate to.  This year’s partnerships reach children worldwide (UNICEF), within our country (a holiday toy drive for H.E.L.P. USA), and in our city (food collection for the New York Common Pantry).  The selection of these organizations is deliberate; it teaches children that there are children in need of food, school supplies, and other items who live right here in New York City, as well as other parts of the country and world.

Students sorting food donations for the New York Common Pantry.
Students sorting food donations for the New York Common Pantry.

How do we, as teachers, parents, and friends, assist children in understanding why it is important to help others who are less fortunate?  Much as we do in our thematic units, the IPS students experience this concept via play-based learning and hands-on activities.  At all three locations, children engaged in basic arithmetic and science activities such as sorting (coins, types of foods); categorizing (fruits, vegetables); verbal identification (naming each coin, recognizing types of foods); and comparisons (which item did we collect the most/least of), to name a few.  In some classes, children learned exactly what the collected money would pay for; on the UNICEF website, students learned that $15 would pay for a school library to receive four local story books.  Through these activities, IPS students are able to personally participate by donating food, toys, and/or money, learn about who they are helping, and feel good about making a difference in the lives of others.

To learn more about how money donated to UNICEF will help others, click here.

Learn more about the New York Common Pantry by clicking here.

To volunteer for the IPS Holiday Toy Drive, click here.

To apply to New York’s Largest Extended Family, click here.


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