By Sophia Ricco
Half Hollow Hills students of all ages recently rolled out of bed and came to school in their pajamas for a good cause.
Students in all nine schools in the district participated by dressing in their favorite sleepwear, but at one request: they bring in a new pair of pajamas to donate.
The Pajama Day was a success with students donating over 1,650 pairs of pajamas to the Children’s Medical Center at NYU Winthrop Hospital.
“The Department of Pediatrics at NYU Winthrop is most appreciative of the students’ efforts to think beyond themselves and give back to our patients in such a special way,” Dr. Krilov, chairman of pediatrics at NYU Winthrop, said. “Families are often going through a trying time when they’re in the hospital, and this unique gesture is sure to bring comfort.”
Ashley Kalb and fellow eighth grader Morgan Mandel previously gathered donations of gift cards for pediatric patients. This time around, “after our success with a gift-card drive for pediatric patients, our superintendent challenged us to think about what we could do next,” Kalb said.
“So, we were inspired to dream even bigger.”
Mandel added, “We hope our pajama gifts put smiles on the faces of kids in the hospital. What’s also great about the drive is that it taught a lot of students that giving can be an awful lot of fun.”
The pajamas were personally delivered to the hospital on April 12 by five students who were,
naturally, dressed in pajamas. The students were joined by Hills Superintendent Dr. Patrick Harrigan.
The pajamas were accepted by Krilov and representatives from the hospital’s child life program, which is dedicated to helping children understand and cope with the hospital experience.
Certified Child Life Specialists utilize therapeutic play, arts and crafts, entertainment and other diversions to ensure that the hospital experience is as stress-free as possible for children and their families.
Also spearheading the pajama drive were the siblings of Morgan and Ashley, Matthew Mandel
and Hayley Kalb, both of whom are in grade 10; and Marissa Mandel, a sixth grader.
The district’s central office also contributed to the drive.