For the past several years, groups of students and staff have gone to the Church of the Intercession for its annual reading of "The Night Before Christmas" by Clement C. Moore. Moore was a member of the school's Board of Managers from 1840 to 1850. There was also a candlelight procession to the grave of Mr. Moore.
Students participate in the program before a packed church. The students, under the direction of our Musical Director Naum Shulman, have always represented the school well and have often been the highlight of the program.
A key part of the program is the gathering of all the children at the steps to the altar and the Moore poem is read to them by a celebrity guest.
A little-known fact is that the cemetery that surrounds the church are the graves of about two dozen students of the New York Institute. A tall monument has the epitaph that reads: "In memory of the deceased pupils of The New York Institution for the Blind".
Many of the children were interred around 1849 when there was a cholera epidemic that killed thousands. The names of many of the children are easily readable but some have been erased by time.
The last name recorded on the stone is that of Daniel McClintock who died in 1930. He entered the school as a pupil in 1863 and served as a teacher of caning from 1872 to 1925.
The plot was donated to the Institute on January 11, 1849. It was located in a section of the cemetery where Broadway runs today. The remains of twenty-one bodies in the plot were transferred to its present location in 1869. The graves are easily located as they are very near to the side entrance of the church.