"Stuff that bus! Stuff that bus!"
The energy was palpable at as Student Council members chanted while marching across the playground on Thursday afternoon.
Carrying bags full of donated pajamas and books, the Pleasantville students couldn't wait to hand over the items to Genevieve Pitturo, founder of nonprofit The Pajama Program.
"We're exhausted, but our muscles are building," she said enthusiastically, showing off the growing amount of goods filling the school bus.
Similarly, students couldn't contain their excitement at on Friday morning at a pep rally celebrating the end of "Stuff a Bus" week, where a gigantic pair of pajamas was unveiled after students said "Pajama power!" three times in unison.
Dressed in pajamas for the occasion, students and staff acknowledged the effort as part of the school-wide theme of empathy.
"Empathy is a quality that the world is increasingly in need of and to instill this in our very own citizens is our civic, educational and moral obligation," said Principal Nadine McDermott.
The Pajama Program collects new pajamas and books for children in need, while the "Stuff a Bus" program is in its fourth year. The bus, covered in colorful pajamas, travels around Westchester County to collect donations for a single week.
The goal of the program is to provide the comfort of a new book or clean pair of pjs to kids who "have never enjoyed the simple comfort of having a parent tuck them in at bedtime with warm, clean pajamas and a story," according to a statement from the organization.
In Pleasantville, Pitturo shared an enlarged hand-written note from a boy named Jason who said he received his first pair of pajamas ever from the organization.
Bedford Road School participated in the "Stuff a Bus" initiative for the second year and donated a total of 59 books and 97 sets of pajamas to the cause, according to Student Council Advisor Deirdre Vedovino.
So far, the Pajama Progam has delivered more than one million sets of pjs and books nationwide.
See here to learn more about the Pajama Program.