Spirituality & Service
At All Saints we believe that school should provide a place where children can experience a sense of belonging and purpose and that all members of the school community play an important role in the development of its children. Children need to know that their lives are important and that they can have a positive impact on the world around them.
At All Saints we strive to engage students in the “spiritual conversation” that affects all aspects of our lives – intellectual, physical, emotional, moral, artistic and social. This conversation is inspired by our innovative philosophy, curriculum and educational programs.
“Students who feel deeply connected don’t need danger to feel fully alive. They don’t need guns to feel powerful. They don’t want to hurt others or themselves. Out of connection grows compassion and passion – passion for people, for students’ goals and dreams, for life itself.”
Rachael Kessler, The Soul of Education
At All Saints Episcopal day school, we believe:
- Children are spiritual beings who naturally question their own existence, the creation of the Earth, and their place within the larger human family.
- Children benefit from opportunities to embrace the diversity of religious faiths and traditions present in our pluralistic school and world.
- The school community is enriched when students share their developing beliefs and family traditions.
- Children are genuinely compassionate beings who need little prompting to respond to the innocent suffering of others through social action and service.
- One’s religious foundation is the decision and responsibility of the family.
- The questions – and the opportunity to ask them – are ultimately more important than the answers.
At All Saints we strive to support the healthy development of the following:
- an appreciation for all faith traditions;
- the support of good moral and ethical decision making;
- a connection to our larger human family and the Earth;
- an actualization of individual spirituality through active service to others in the world;
- an ability to think about and discuss spiritual ideas and experiences in a critical, rational and reflective way;
- an open mind and a generous heart towards human differences;
- a personal connection to something larger than oneself.
Community Service is an integral part of the curriculum at All Saints. Students engage in ongoing opportunities to demonstrate their commitment to community through social action and service. Service projects include food and toy drives, emergency relief efforts, and the coordination of a community Empty Bowls project. All Saints’ Empty Bowls project is a good example of how the school weaves children’s understanding of food insecurity and homelessness throughout the curriculum. In Grade 4, for example, students read Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate which is a story about how food insecurity affects a young boy. Speakers from local community organizations help our students learn how they can make an impact against homelessness and hunger. Students in all grade levels make a bowl in their studio art classes with the older ones throwing, firing and glazing their bowls, while the youngest students decorate a ready-made wooden bowl. These objects, which are often treasured for years, serve as reminders of what our students have learned about the importance of community service. In May each year the students organize a Talent Show as a fundraiser to support local organizations dedicated to helping those facing homelessness and food insecurity, such as the Hoboken Community Center, the Hoboken Shelter and the Lunchtime Ministry at St. Matthews. Students showcase their talents, charge for breakfast cereal and coffee, and collect toiletries.
All Saints believes that even very young children benefit from the experience of making a difference in someone’s life.