On my first day of school, I walked into the entrance and something on a board caught my eye. The board said, "P.S. 196 -- A School With a Heart." I was determined to find out why.

P.S. 196 has a variety of activities. Whether you like theater, art or chorus, it's all there for you to try out. Theater Arts is one of the many activities. kids dance and sing to Broadway shows. The theater production, run by our principal, Susan Migliano, has done shows such as "The Wizard of Oz" and "Cinderella." It gives us a chance to be someone or something that we might be too embarrassed to do in real life. It gives us confidence on stage. I was having such a good time, singing and dancing to songs with my friends, I barely realized that I was on stage.

The winter and spring concerts are held annually. Each year, there is one winter concert for kindergarten to second grade. The spring concert is the same thing, but third- through fifth-graders get to show off their talents. Once, I heard a Broadway star say, "A show may have great lights, but if the show does not have great sound, it will not work." I find this quote to be true.

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What makes this a school with a heart? Every year, the school donates to charity. We have a Penny Harvest every year. This is a fundraiser where students can donate money to a charity. The student council puts up posters around the school to inform students to donate money. Then, students from grades three to five go online and search for charities to donate to. Every year, we also have a food drive, where we donate to people who need food to eat. My school also helped raise money for people who lost their homes in superstorm Sandy.

After six years, I learned what makes P.S. 196 a school with a heart. It's the teachers, parents and school leaders who spend so much of their time and give so much loving care to the kids. It makes the school a great place for kids to learn, have fun and give back to the community.