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Counting, counting, counting …

April 23, 2021 | Nathan Johnson

So very many 


Way back during Lent, the children worked hard, collecting coins.

This picture was taken during snack when our masks are off.



They knew the coins were to buy food for people in Hoboken who were hungry

— not just babies, they would often remind us,

but kids and grownups too!


But collecting was just the beginning …



After Easter, we opened up all our cans and there were so many kinds of coins!

We knew it was our job to count pennies, so first we had to SORT


Silver coins in one jar, gold in another, and paper money in a third…

And pennies?

Each child put pennies in their very own jar …

Once sorted, the children began to count.

They counted them out, one by one …

… using a Ten Frame

It is hard work to count to ten, touching each penny and making sure to say the next number only when we touch! 

Then each child nimbly slid each group of ten into a little cup

Until they had five cups!  Five cups of ten means we have 50 pennies!

Time to load them into the Penny Roll





…which means they had 


..which means each child, at long last, had made 



This, in addition to all our other coins and paper bills, along with all the other money the other classes collected will go towards feeding so many people.

Each child (even Tommy, who somehow eluded the camera during this process) worked so hard and is so proud of helping to feed their neighbors. 


Loving each other is hard work.

It is a good thing hard work is one thing the Rivers Class loves to do!



Nathan Johnson

Early Childhood & Lower School Visual Art Teacher

Nathan Johnson graduated in 2004 from Lenoir-Rhyne University with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts (focusing on Illustration, Art History, and Puppetry), Theatre, and Elementary Education, followed by further time in Europe studying Art, and in Nova Scotia working with adults with developmental differences.

Happily back at his Alma mater (MSS class of 1995) Nathan has passionately committed his career to preserving the dignity and wonder of childhood. As children are more and more burdened with technology and privilege, he believes that in order for children to learn and grow, they must be given freedom within structure, choices with guidance, allowed to play, struggle, get dirty, and above all, to be taught that they are a beloved child of God.

When not in the classroom, Nathan can be found kayaking, camping, hosting a game night, wandering around New York City, making friends with strangers, and spending time with his 11 nieces and nephews.

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