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Journal FALL 2015

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A MESSAGE FROM

Dr. Larry Weiss Head of School From the truly dedicated and enlightened work of the Brooklyn Friends School Board of Trustees, to the stewardship of the BFS administration, faculty, and staff, to the inspiration provided by our students and alumni – everyone came together to transform a longheld dream into reality. C O V E R P H O T O : A Blue Ribbon Day for Brooklyn Friends: from left, Board of Trustees Co-Chairs Bradford Mulder and Lara Holliday, Head of School Larry Weiss, Head of Upper School Sidney Bridges, and representing Forest City Ratner Companies, Senior Vice President Ali Esmaeilzadeh, celebrating the opening of the new Upper School at 116 Lawrence Street

The Brooklyn Friends School learning community began its 148th year this September with an event that marked the single most significant turning point in the School’s recent history — the opening and immediate occupancy of our new Upper School building at 116 Lawrence Street on the MetroTech campus, less than two blocks away from 375 Pearl Street. As Upper School classes began, students and their parents, as well as teachers and their colleagues, expressed surprise, happiness, and relief about how well the building had met their expectations and, more importantly, how well the building’s design and aesthetic meshed with our community’s values and hopes for the future. Since 1867, Brooklyn Friends School has been a vital part of downtown Brooklyn – fully committed to its growth and development. We are now most fortunate to be part of our community’s dynamic revitalization and redefinition. To find our new home in the middle of MetroTech, as a close neighbor of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, provides invaluable opportunities for collaborative partnerships in science and applied technology that promise to benefit our students and our academic program. The Upper School program has been thriving since its inception in 1907. Always strong in the humanities and sciences, our school developed special strengths in the arts from the 1970’s on. When we adopted the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program eight years ago, we began a comprehensive strengthening of our entire program, including new initiatives in the social sciences. Such improvements were all the more significant because they took place in spite of constraints in space and facilities. Now — at last — we have a facility that is worthy and supportive of our program. From the visual and performing arts disciplines, to technology, science, and the humanities — this building will house a brilliant future for our faculty and students. Our architects, contractors, and owner’s representative – our feet on the ground – have created an exceptionally beautiful and functional school facility that is on time and on budget. Our students are now studying, learning, and expressing their creativity in state-of-the-art science labs, classrooms, and art studios. Along with a black box theater, dance studio, fitness center, library, and cafeteria, the new space is more than double the size and comprehensiveness of our previous upper school building.

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Celebrating the new era at BFS are (from left) Upper School Head Sidney Bridges, Mechele Flaum ’68, Fern Gentile, Cynthia Cohen, Michael Nill, and Head of School Larry Weiss. Mechele, Fern, and Cynthia were longtime members of the Board of Trustees when planning began for the School’s expansion in the mid-2000s. Michael was Head of School from 2000 to 2010.

It took a village to build this new upper school. From the truly dedicated and enlightened work of the Brooklyn Friends School Board of Trustees, to the stewardship of the BFS administration, faculty, and staff, to the inspiration provided by our students and alumni – everyone came together to transform a long-held dream into reality. Parent volunteer leadership and financial support – which has a long and distinguished history at Brooklyn Friends – has been constant and unwavering. The opening of BFS’s new era follows a year of other significant accomplishments in our school community. The Class of 2015, the largest senior class in decades, was exceptionally successful in college admissions and in the number of graduates earning IB diplomas. AllSchool enrollment, (Family Center-Grade 12) which stood at 855 students in 2014-15 increased dramatically to 898 students as the 2015-16 academic year began. Our athletics program is thriving at every level, with our sports teams earning championship banners and garnering high levels of student participation. Young scholars continue to excel in the Scholastic Art and Writing awards competition, in the National Latin Exam and in competitive mathematics contests. Our technology program is top-flight, and our world languages program – which now includes Mandarin Chinese – continues to

evolve, as we become part of a global economy. In every area of academic and extracurricular life, BFS is on the move. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the generous support of the hundreds of donors to the Brooklyn Friends Fund and our Light the Way Capital Campaign — alumni, parents, grandparents, faculty and staff, Friends, and friends. Such generosity is all the more important as we seek to realize all of the potential that lies within our expanding student body and faculty and our new and existing facilities and programs. With deepest thanks for helping us to reach this new era and for your ongoing support for a growing and thriving Brooklyn Friends School, I remain most sincerely yours,

In friendship,

Fall 2015  BROOKLYN FRIENDS SCHOOL JOURNAL  3

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SEASON OF REJOICING: Brooklyn Friends Opens New Upper School in MetroTech by Joan Martin

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Three hundred people representing Brooklyn Friends School’s past, present and future celebrated the opening of the school’s new 40,000 square foot facility for the 9th through 12th grade Upper School at 116 Lawrence Street in downtown Brooklyn on Sept. 8. The early afternoon celebration had the feel of a family reunion. In attendance were students and parents from every grade, alumni from different generations, faculty and staff, Quakers from Brooklyn Monthly Meeting, and trustees both past and present. Former Head of School Michael Nill traveled from Austin, Texas with his wife Irene to join in the festivities. As Sidney Bridges, Head of Upper School, noted in his remarks: “It is said in the Talmud, “Anything that brings the world together is a blessing.” Indeed the outdoor gathering (followed by tours of the building) was a celebration, a blessing, and a call to action to preserve the School’s character and legacy while ensuring a strong future. “We now have a facility commensurate with our programmatic excellence and ideals that can transform them into action, exponentially,” Sidney said. “As teachers, advisors, mentors, coaches, and students of life ourselves, we will demonstrate, in this new building, our dedication, expertise, intellectual passion and desire to pursue truth. We are determined to see, respect, and empower our students to – in James Baldwin’s words – ‘find the sanction to become themselves.’” Head of School Larry Weiss added, “Having a new high school facility for BFS is a long-held dream which is finally being realized thanks to the enormous efforts of our School’s Board of Trustees and many other friends and supporters. That we were able to secure the space in MetroTech – a thriving center for commerce, academia, and government – brings all of us joy beyond measure.” continues on next page

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“T he Board of Trustees, both current and former members over the past ten years, played a central role in making this day possible. Seamus Henchy, chair of the Joint Committee on Expansion and Finance throughout this period, demonstrated creativity, tenacity, and resilience in his grand vision and attention to detail. Board Chairs Lara Holliday and Brad Mulder and their predecessors Lisa Sack, Karen Robinson-Cloete, Alice Pope and Benjamin Warnke played crucial leadership roles in this effort, as did former Board Treasurer Shelley Ullman. My predecessor, Michael Nill – who I’m thrilled to say has joined us here from his home in Austin, Texas – laid the groundwork for this project and the enrollment expansion that made it possible and necessary before I got the chance to return to BFS. We’re all so happy that you were able to join us today, Michael.” 

– HEAD OF SCHOOL LARRY WEISS

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New Upper School in MetroTech continued from previous page

The School signed a long-term lease for the property with Forest City Ratner Companies in October 2013, and construction began in September 2014. FX FOWLE Architects designed the building, and R.P. Brennan was the general contractor. FCRC provided infrastructure support for the facility’s construction.

“T his ribbon cutting is the culmination of more than 10 years of visionary planning and hard work on the part of so many in our community. The realization of this work is a true testament to the Quaker concept of way opening – we have hit so many hurdles along the way and still managed to exceed our own expectations. We are personally touched by how many members of the Quaker community are here today. Your presence is a reminder of the unshakable bonds between Brooklyn Monthly Meeting, New York Quarterly Meeting, and Brooklyn Friends School. Finally, from the day he started 5 years ago, the realization of this very moment has been Larry Weiss’s top priority. He has seen this through with the compassion, curiosity, and confidence we see in our graduates.  On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we want to thank Larry, who has worked tirelessly to make this day happen.” 

Spread across three floors, the academic space has more than 40 classrooms, seminar rooms and faculty offices, as well as four visual art studios, three music studio classrooms, four science laboratories, a black box theater classroom, a wet darkroom and digital media center, a dance studio, a fully-equipped fitness center, a high-tech library, and a café which can double as a community meeting space for almost 300 people. The entire space is wired for the Internet and every classroom has been designed with the latest-generation technology for teaching and learning. All BFS Upper School students have school-issued Chromebook computers and every classroom has interactive Abrielle Moore ’16 technologies. The new facility ­– the only one of its kind in MetroTech – has been designed to serve an enrollment of 240 students who have the opportunity to experience a world-class education culminating in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. Brooklyn Friends School is one of only 11 IB World Schools in New York City, and the school’s IB graduates have continued their education at colleges such as Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, and NYU, among many others. The project has been financed mainly through a loan from TD Bank. As was the school’s practice when it purchased the 375 Pearl Street building in the early 1970s, BFS is appealing to all constituency groups for contributions to help pay back the loan and build an endowment to secure the school’s future. A multi-year capital campaign, called “Light the Way” has already raised more than $2.5 million with support from BFS trustees, alumni, parents, grandparents, and community members.

– LARA HOLLIDAY AND BRADFORD MULDER ’83, CO-CHAIRS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES 6  BROOKLYN FRIENDS SCHOOL JOURNAL  Fall 2015

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“I have had the privilege of spending a great deal of time in this building over the past few weeks. Quite frankly it felt incomplete. After a great deal of reflection, I have come to realize that it should have felt incomplete, because the people who will make it whole have yet to walk through its doors— the students of Brooklyn Friends. I believe that it is the character of the Brooklyn Friends student that will bring out the new building’s true brilliance. BFS students now have the wonderful opportunity to grow with the space and mold it. We should take great pride in this space, so that those coming after us will also be able to understand just how special it is. I encourage all of my fellow students to keep an open mind about our new surroundings. Keep your eyes open for the unexpected opportunities it will bring to us. Most importantly, keep open hearts, so that we may support and encourage one another in the changes that are to come. In the times where change can feel overwhelming, let us find comfort in the fact that some things can never change, like the integrity and character of Brooklyn Friends.” – ABRIELLE MOORE ’16

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It’s Full STEAM Ahead with

DESTINATION IMAGINATION at Brooklyn Friends School by Christina Karvounis

Imagine: you are a fourth grader placed in a group of four to six peers. Your goal is to integrate science, technology, engineering, art, math and sheer perseverance to design a solution to a structural challenge.

independent schools: Brooklyn Heights Montessori, Packer Collegiate, Berkeley Carroll, Poly Prep and BFS. The other BFS coaches were Kate Minear, Hyo Kim, Elif Espinola-Engin and Laurice Hwang.

You are given four building materials: playing cards, glue, adhesive tape and wood. Your structure must not weigh more than 75 grams, but must be able to support the weight of ten full pounds. While your structure supports the ten pounds, you and your group will perform a skit in eight minutes that is related to the structure, integrating two special creative interludes to demonstrate your group’s spirit. All done without any adult interference other than to answer basic questions and provide a safe space to build. This is DESTINATION IMAGINATION (DI).

The journey to the competition began in the middle of the school year when we organized several individual school teams of no more than seven members. Each individual participant signed Interference Contracts (no adult assistance allowed!), and parsed challenge directions.

Destination Imagination is impossible to accurately describe to those who have never experienced it. This was BFS’s second year competing, and my first year as a coach. The Brooklyn Structure Showcase, which took place on May 2, 2015 at Poly Prep Lower School in Park Slope, welcomed fourth grade students from five Brooklyn

The weeks wore on. DI students met weekly with their team for 90 minutes to write scenes to skits and practice Instant Challenges (Here are 2 paperclips, a straw, five sheets of paper and a paper cup. Build a bridge that can bear four ping pong balls! GO!). Next, the students built and tested the structure and managed the organization of materials. That was the easy part. The real challenge lay in collaboration. Coaches guided students on communication, sharing and shifting ideas, accepting ideas, letting go of others, and then coming to consensus as a group on how to best proceed.

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RESULTS FOR THE BFS TEAMS THE ASTRONOMY CHEMISTRY COMEDY CATS second place overall

This was a multimodal, skill-layered social experience for our fourth graders: they were simultaneously negotiating skill sets with their contribution to the group and their communication skills. In a word: remarkable. BFS students demonstrated incredible growth both individually and as a group over the course of the DI experience. On May 2, Showcase Day, BFS students took to the stage with grace and confidence. They tested their structures and removed parts according to the rules. They supported one another in the audience with waves, cheers and smiles. They moved through the experience together as companions on a journey rather than competitors on a platform. This was especially evident when the results were announced: BFS students sat together as one group and sincerely cheered each other on as team placements were announced, even those from other schools. The day was clearly much more about the learning and excitement than how each team fared on a score sheet. The day was a bright reminder of how the layers of learning unfolding daily in our school truly blend to educate the whole person. Congratulations to our DI Fourth Grade Students! Christina Karvounis is a BFS Preschool and Lower School Librarian as well as a BFS Middle School parent.

CABIJ third place overall CT JEEP best overall team choice elements (two creative elements in the skit)

“DI was so much fun – to build something with my team, design a play about it and keep it all a secret until the challenge day! I also loved the Instant Challenges that we did!” – ARLA GRAHAM

Fall 2015  BROOKLYN FRIENDS SCHOOL JOURNAL  9

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ALUMNI Class Notes by Lekeia Varlack Judge ’99

1910s

Featured in the New York Times, the article “Invisible Hand That Nurtured an Author and a Literary Classic” is about Harper Lee’s editor, Therese von Hohoff Torrey, Class of 1915. Mrs. Torrey was posthumously acknowledged for the major role she played in the classic American novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Her contribution to this famed book has single handedly changed the face of American literature and is definitely a meaningful addition to Brooklyn Friends’ legacy.

1980s

Alum and former Director of Alumni Susan Price ’86 can now add business owner to her resume! Almost two years ago, Susan and her husband Scott moved from Brooklyn to Dubuque, Iowa where they had the idea to open a performance space to add to the budding music scene in the community. The Smokestack, which had its grand opening in July, is a place for artists, actors and musicians to perform, but is versatile enough to accommodate several different occasions. Congrats, Susan, best of luck!

1990s

Huge congratulations are in order for Keith Canton ’93 who was recently hired at JPMorgan Chase as the head of private capital markets, leading private financing for start up companies. In a statement by JPMorgan Chase featured in the New York Times, the company credits “his strong leadership skills and exceptional product expertise” as some of the reasons he was selected for this prestigious position. Great job, Keith! We are proud of your accomplishments.

Darren Canton ’96 currently lives in the Virgin Islands where he formed the Island Future Stars Baseball league. He attended BFS through 8th grade and still credits BFS for having “ such a positive influence” on him. Darren plans to visit Brooklyn Friends on his next trip to New York City.

2000s

It’s been a big year for Samia Zahran ’07. Not only did she graduate from MGH Institute of Health Professions, but she also got married and gave birth to her first child, a beautiful baby boy, Noah. Congrats on all the exciting developments in your life, Samia!

2010s

Recent Skidmore graduate and BFS alumna Samantha Rees ’11 is working for Vogue magazine as the Home Market Assistant. Congrats on your graduation Samantha and your exciting new position! For several years, Amina Ross ’11 has been passionately committed to working with the 3rd Language Queer Artists’ collective, which has printed several publications featuring the works of queer artists locally, nationally and abroad. She also developed curriculum for and taught two grant-winning workshop series. Visit 3rdlanguage.com to learn more about their mission and how you can support this worthy organization.

E-mail your news to alum@brooklynfriends.org or telephone 718-852-1029 x208

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

The Literary Life at Brooklyn Friends School by Susan Price '86 All good things are worth waiting for, and our literary magazines are no exception. At this time, the surviving BFS literary magazines from 1926 to 1974 are available in the Literary Magazine Collection of the Brooklyn Friends School Digital Archives (brooklynfriends.org/about/ history). Quite a few BFS alumni have gone on to notable careers in the arts and publishing, worlds they first entered at BFS, as shown in many BFS alumni profiles. The literary magazines in the earliest part of the collection are titled Friends School Life. Originally published from 1919 to 1931, Friends School Life contained school news and literary submissions. It was published quarterly in magazine format, with the final edition for Commencement (the BFS yearbook of the time). In October 1931, Friends School Life became a traditional newspaper titled The Life. This was published ten times a year and included occasional literary submissions. There was no dedicated literary magazine until the fall of 1935, when student interest resulted in the biannual literary publication also titled The Life, a magazine similar to the earlier one, yet devoted entirely to literary endeavors, and it replaced two editions of its newspaper sibling. A lesser known student publication, Junior Life, is also part of our literary magazine collection. Only the second edition of the Junior Life, from May 1930, is known to survive: published biannually from 1930 to at least 1942, Junior Life gives insight into lower school curriculum and activities of the time and was published by our oldest lower schoolers, the 6th grade (the BFS middle school was born in the 1968-1969 school year). The Class of 1936, as 6th graders, saw the possibility of a publication for the younger students of BFS and made it happen. In fact, they are the very same class that wanted and published our first true literary magazine, The Life

in 1935. Only the second edition from its first year of publication survives. Literary magazines of the period 1961 to 1964 evidence an enormous change in BFS history. From the late 1960s to the early 1970s, BFS shifted from a traditional college preparatory model to an incredibly progressive school. While many things led to this institutional shift at BFS, those most cited in the archives were direction from the New York Monthly Meeting Schools Committee, the Middle States Association's accreditations of BFS, and general interest in cutting-edge progressive education. This literary collection also contains a lesser-known student publication, the 1974 underground publication Friends Anonymous and its successor Friends Uncensored. This was an upper school publication, and contrary to its title, contributors revealed their identities. The Life (newspaper) was being published in 1974 and some might say it had a counter-culture feel, but Friends Anonymous/Uncensored took things to a very different level. Print has faded in sections, but issues remain readable overall. One lower school junior level magazine from 1973-1974 also survives in the BFS Archives. BFS literary magazines have gone through many titles since 1971. Today our literary magazines are annual publications which include Wordflirt for the Upper School, Scribe for the Middle School, and Write Now for the Lower School and Preschool. We look forward to digitally publishing the remainder of the BFS literary magazine collection in 2016. Please remember that the BFS Archives are incomplete: if you have copies of any BFS publications or class photos, please share them with the school by directly contacting Susan Price '86, BFS historian, sprice@brooklynfriends.org. Fall 2015  BROOKLYN FRIENDS SCHOOL JOURNAL  11

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ALUMNI PROFILE:

Dr. D. Crystal

Byndloss ’87 by Jeffrey Stanley

“West Indians, Black Americans, and a tight-knit Hasidic Jewish community lived in close proximity to one another,” Crystal recalled. “Korean shopkeepers ran the produce markets that sold Caribbean food products. Yet blacks and whites stayed to themselves, and at times you could feel the tension between the different racial groups. This was during the period leading up to the 1991 Crown Heights riots.”  Crystal, today Dr. D. Crystal Byndloss, entered BFS in the ninth grade and commuted every day from that storied Brooklyn neighborhood. She had attended Catholic schools all her life and fully intended on graduating from a Catholic high school but a curve ball came her way.  “I admit that I was a bit disappointed when I learned I would be going to a Quaker high school instead,” Crystal said.  An older cousin, William L. Brown ’85, was attending BFS and his mother, Crystal’s aunt, convinced Crystal’s mother to try BFS.  “Fortunately, it didn’t take long for me to feel at home.”  Crystal was soon volunteering–what the school would today call service learning–in the Lower School’s Afterschool program. It soon turned into a paid parttime position.  She also dived into what was then known as the Travelers Club in order to see the world.

From Crown Heights to Harvard, sociologist D. Crystal Byndloss, Ph.D. remains a crusader for broadened educational access for low-income, high-achieving students. She received the 2015 George Fox Distinguished Alum Award at BFS’ commencement ceremony.

She credits English teacher Dena Randolph for turning her on to works by African-American and multicultural writers.  “I’ve relocated a few times over the years,” said Crystal, “and several of the books I read during those classes remain on my bookshelf. While a bit worn, these are books that I continue to turn to for inspiration.”  She also recalls English teacher Ron Patterson as an inspiration.  Ron is credited with starting the school’s first formalized service learning program in the early 1980s just a few years before Crystal’s arrival.   “I remember Ron encouraging students to find a way to make a positive change in the community because it was the right thing to do.” Crystal concedes that the school’s Quaker values also directly influenced her career decisions. “As a lowincome student, I was always grateful for the scholarship support I’d received from BFS,” she said.  The tuition assistance also became an unexpected inspiration for her career choices.  “My BFS experience taught me what was possible for low-income students who were granted the privilege of gaining access to a good education. One of my mentors once said to me, ‘Those of us lucky

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enough to have access to higher education must use our talents, skills and resources, including the networks that we create and develop in these colleges and in our professional lives, to bear on larger societal issues. It’s not enough for us as a community to seek individual success. We’re all responsible for what happens to young people.’ I wholeheartedly agree and have tried to use my knowledge and skills to help others.” After BFS she attended Sarah Lawrence.  Planning at first for a career in academia, she went on to Harvard where she completed her Ph.D. in Sociology, but a new challenge came her way.  “By that time it was clear to me that being a college professor was not for me,” Crystal said.  She did, however, maintain a passion for research. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship at UNC-Chapel Hill she moved back to New York City to become a social policy researcher at MDRC, a major nonprofit that evaluates solutions to reducing poverty and boosting educational opportunities in the United States.  “I liked the fact that I would be engaged in research that had the potential to positively change lives.” Still, academia beckoned and finally made her an offer that seemed to fit with her ideals: Assistant Dean and Associate Director of an interdisciplinary center at the Temple University College of Education.  She eventually returned to social and educational research at MDRC. Today she’s a senior associate in the K-12 Education Policy Area.  “My research interests include understanding what works to help low-income, moderate and high-performing students make a successful transition between high school and four-year college enrollment,” she said.  “I’m passionate about providing opportunities for low-income students to access higher education.”  A few years ago, her part-time high school job in the BFS Lower School came full circle when she was able to visit Horizons at BFS.  “It was such a treat to return to 375 Pearl Street and learn about the school’s involvement in providing summer learning opportunities for young students in local public schools.”

BFS Graduation 2015: Crystal Byndloss and BFS teacher Marna Herrity

One of her career highlights while working at MDRC has been directing the College Match Program, which aims to help lowincome, moderate and high-performing students apply to and enroll in selective colleges. “The pilot program served 1,200 students in ten pubic high schools in Chicago and New York City,” she explained.  “Students were paired with trained recent college graduates who provided students with individualized support in the college search, application and choice process.”  The program also boosted college advisement in low-income high schools where counselors were overwhelmed and sometimes uninformed about a broad set of selective colleges as well as financial aid opportunities for highperforming students.  “It’s been a privilege to be able to lead a project in which students are encouraged to reach high and are actively supported throughout the college application process,” Crystal said.  “It’s my personal hope that the program improves the life chances of the students served.” As a part of the research, the MDRC recently published the free resource guide for high school teachers and guidance counselors, In Search of a Match: A Guide for Helping Students Make Informed College Choices.   “In many ways, I see my involvement in this work as an opportunity to provide students with the type of support I was fortunate enough to be able to access as a BFS student.” Today, Crystal commutes to the relative tranquility of southern New Jersey, a far cry from 1980s Crown Heights.  When she’s not busy working, she enjoys baking, the fruits of which she burns off periodically with plenty of exercise.  She completed her first halfmarathon in 2010. She’s also using her research superpowers to get a side project off the ground, which is of great personal importance.  “My younger sister has Down Syndrome and she and my mother have inspired me to one day establish an organization that provides respite opportunities for family caregivers of individuals with special needs.”

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Joyful & Deliberate Art-Making A Student Volunteer Reflects on a Horizons Summer by Hildi Gabel ’17 It’s 10:00 on a Monday and I hear a splat by the crowd of kindergarteners in the art room. A full cup of liquid blue paint has erupted over the floor and some of the cabinets, staining a wide area. Being an art teacher’s assistant at Horizons has its challenges, including the frequent cleaning up of messes. It is some of the most difficult work I have experienced, and yet because of that it is perhaps the most rewarding. This summer at Horizons opened my eyes to the full impact that art has on young students. I have volunteered with Horizons for the past two years. This year, I was an art teacher’s assistant and worked with the kindergarten, first grade, second grade, sixth grade, and seventh grade. As students come from varied artistic backgrounds, Horizons opens doors to new and important creative opportunities. Students this year used clay, watercolors, collage, and oil pastels to create art. They focused on making creatures – ocean animals, birds, and wild mixtures of the two. At one point, Tristan, a first grade student, proudly showed off his oil pastel creation of an alligator meets shark meets dragon meets lion, filled with color and movement. Personalities also emerged in the 6th and 7th grade final projects, which were stellar clay sculptures of real and mythical creatures. In the 7th grade, Maggie’s yelloweyed black cat evoked mystery, while Donald’s dragon head, adorned with spikes and artistic red designs, could have come straight from a fantasy film. I was amazed and gratified by the creativity I saw. The Horizons students have overflowing and impressively

clear imaginations that they are able to translate into art. Possibly the best example of artistic achievement at Horizons was the closing ceremony, a celebration where students present their work to parents and faculty. The visual arts are put on display in the lobby, and students give drumming, dance, recorder, band, and step performances. This year’s event was an explosive spectacle of pride and energy, one standout performance being the step team’s dance, which brought different grades together in impressive choreography. Many students were expected to perform solos, fostering confidence and self-expression. As evident from their excitement, each individual was proud of what they had learned and created over the program’s duration. Looking back, this year’s Horizons experience in the art room was bursting with success. There is nothing quite like a student’s creativity exceeding your own, or being blown away by their unique talents and insights. Creative work that is purposeful and deliberate is inherently difficult, but I have learned that when a struggle is present, the work is all the more important and rewarding. In a world where arts education is on the decline and the world is becoming increasingly heavy, Horizons’ dedication to the arts provides necessary relief. This year’s art experience built confidence, community, and an excitement towards learning at Horizons, and it is an effort that I am proud to be part of.

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Samantha Liebeskind ’15

Maret Smith Miller ’15

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Brooklyn Friends School 375 Pearl Street Brooklyn, NY 11201

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID S. Hackensack, NJ Permit # 79

Address Service Requested

Brooklyn Friends School Journal is published quarterly by the Advancement Office of Brooklyn Friends School for students, alumni/ae, parents, grandparents, and friends. 375 Pearl Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Tel: 718.852.1029 brooklynfriends.org Joan Martin, Editor Jeffrey Stanley, Staff Writer Gregg Martin, Staff Photographer

Kayla Nelson, Class of 2021 ➣

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BFS Journal Fall 2015  
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