Community Schools

St. John School’s 8th Grade Students Visit “Cradles to Crayons”

Nine students from St. John School, in Boston’s North End, along with four adults, visited “Cradles to Crayons” on Thursday, January 30th.

Before their scheduled visit, St. John School held a clothing drive and collected 14 bags consisting of clothing, shoes, boots, new socks and underwear, pajamas, jackets, hats, gloves, and infant wear.

Upon our arrival, we were assigned to the “toy department”.  Our job was to roll up our sleeves and go through three bins of toys which consisted of puzzles, board games, trucks, battery operated toys, books and so much more.  We made sure each toy was Presentable, Reliable, and Liable.  For example, if an item was a puzzle or a board game, we counted to make sure that everything was there.  If you had a toy, you had to make sure it had no dents or scratches, in working order, and it was all together.  If it was, you had to clean it and make it look shiny and new.  If batteries were needed, you would add them too and then put the toy in a see through plastic bag.  Anything that didn’t look brand new was put into a bin for the Salvation Army.

At the end of our working time, we went to the wrap up room.  We met two other groups there.  One of the groups worked in the clothing department.  Their job was to put together a full package of clothing including a pair of shoes, socks, underwear, pajamas, one full outfit, hat, and gloves.  They helped 100 homeless children.  The other group worked in the shopping department. Their job was to put outfits together for boys and girls.  They helped 120 homeless children.  Our group helped 150 homeless children with the toys.  The other groups were very impressed with our SJS students and the number of children they helped.

Ms. Santarpio, Director of Advancement said, “It was a very gratifying experience!   I was so proud of our 8th grade students and how well they worked.  The students came away happy knowing that they helped so many children in need.”  To quote a few of the students and a parent …

  • Ashvin Singh – “Sharing is caring.”
  • Nico Alex – “What you don’t need, give to those in need.”
  • Isabella Rizzo – “Helping kids less fortunate made you feel good.”
  • Richard Dooley – “There are so many kids that go without.”
  • Noah Foley – “It was a good feeling knowing that we were helping others.”
  • Caroline Roman – “It was nice to know we were making other children happy.”
  • Mrs. Rizzo – “Every student worked so hard and was respectful towards our “Cradles to Crayons Volunteer”.  They all represented St. John School beautifully!  I had such a great time.”

There are over 30,000 homeless children in the state of Massachusetts.  Anyone can volunteer at “Cradles to Crayons”.  Donations are always accepted as long as the donations are new or look like new.  They are always short of new socks and new underwear for boys and girls, age 0 to 12 and there are several areas around if you would like to drop off donated items.  More information about “Cradles to Crayons” is available at

One Reply to “St. John School’s 8th Grade Students Visit “Cradles to Crayons”

  1. Great job 8th. Upon your return to SJS, you were so excited to tell the teachers about your day. That is part of our mission at SJS – reaching out to those less fortunate. A special thanks to Lisa S for planning this!

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