Journal WINTER 2015
Head of School Larry Weiss addresses students at the traditional “Sing” before Winter Break.
school identity in our administrative and academic planning functions, we continually reflect on and innovate curricular content, methodologies, and best practices. This prepares our younger students well for the academic challenges that they will face in the Upper School and the world beyond. For all BFS students, the arts serve as a central focal point for creativity, communication, and emotional understanding of self and the larger society. The IB’s two-year arts course framework allows students and teachers to pursue technical, content, historical and analytical knowledge in the context of guiding students to produce the best and most individually expressive work in their chosen art forms. These accomplishments flow naturally from BFS’s renowned arts curriculum that begins in early childhood and grows organically in each subsequent divisional experience. Across all age groups, our extra-curricular, afterschool, and summer programs are areas in which we anticipate significant growth and development as facilities expand. The Upper School building has been intentionally designed to support after-class activities across many interest areas. These efforts will be enhanced by our presence on a university campus and the civic center of a dramatically changing and evolving downtown Brooklyn. The emphasis that our Quaker values, service learning program, and diversity curriculum place on justice, equity, and civic engagement will continue to shape the development of our program. In the hope that you enjoy the Journal’s glimpse into the BFS present and future, I share with the faculty and staff the deep gratitude we all feel for your ongoing interest in and support of Brooklyn Friends. In friendship,
Cover photo of Family Folk Dance by Nina Broeer
Jumoke Mc Duffie-Thurmond
AS BFS celebrates 2015, the year in which we will open our new Upper School facility on the MetroTech campus of NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, it provides a welcome opportunity to reflect on the school that Brooklyn Friends is becoming educationally as it continues to grow. The student profiles and other articles in this Journal reflect – in personal, grade-level, and divisional perspectives – the significant impacts that curricular improvement, professional learning, and innovation have had on the BFS educational program. The Upper School’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program represents BFS’ largest single curricular development over the past decade. The IB curriculum has played an indirect role in the strengthening of math, science, and technology throughout the school. Many of our Upper Schoolers who complete the IB Diploma Program most successfully have been BFS students since Preschool or Lower School. By emphasizing our one-
Message from Larry Weiss
Portraits of Young Friends by Jeffrey Stanley WRITER, ACTIVIST… THE NEXT HOWARD ZINN?
Jumoke Mc Duffie-Thurmond Senior year is under way, and BFS lifer Jumoke McDuffe-Thurmond is feeling the pain as graduation approaches. “Senior year has been very stressful,” he said. “I’m at the most important part of the college application process right now, and along with the intense amount of school work, it has been quite the challenge.” He finds solace in his new courses. In IB History, he is studying authoritarian rulers of the 20th century. “My teacher, Anna Grafton, is phenomenal. She’s constantly posing challenging questions that force us to really go deeper into our analysis of different events. It’s been an absolute pleasure.” An impassioned observer of world events, Jumoke also created a lunchtime meeting group for Upper School students called Advocates for Palestinian Solidarity and Peace with Israel (APSPI). Spurred by news coverage of the violence in Gaza over the summer, Jumoke says, “It was very important for our school community to really become engaged in conversations about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and explore different ways that we can stop being a part of the problem and really begin to be a part of the solution.” As a member of another student lunchtime group, Youth Action Project (YAP), he has also been vocal – as have many in the school community – about an added layer of stress this fall semester, the abrupt relocation of the school’s diversity director. Jumoke was so impassioned that he organized a
student Day of Silence over “the dismissal and the general lack of communication with students,” as he described it in an open letter to the Upper School faculty. Not surprisingly, this outspoken young activist and scholar is an editor and writer for the Upper School newspaper. “I encourage everyone to go to the BFS portal and read some articles! They are quite good.” He also writes short stories in his spare time, and plays flag football and basketball. Although college plans won’t be finalized for a few more months, Jumoke is set on being an author, and intends to pursue a degree in journalism.
SCHOLAR, SINGER, CLASSICAL MUSICIAN
Daisy Feddoes “I find I’ve been getting very little sleep,
and it’s been pretty stressful.” Daisy Feddoes ’15 is spending a part of her senior year trying new things before her time is up at BFS. Between IB classes and wrapping up college applications, she auditioned for the school musical for the first time since entering BFS in sixth grade. She has also been working with her peers “to really step up and make an impact before we leave.” Daisy is now Vice President of the new Anime Club and works actively with the student-run Youth Action Project, where, she says, “I enjoy talking to underclassmen and hearing their perspectives.” It doesn’t stop there. Daisy also plays in the school’s orchestra, and is a co-leader of the Diversity, Privilege and
Winter 2015 BROOKLYN FRIENDS SCHOOL JOURNAL
Leadership club. She studies Japanese, and still finds the energy to work part-time as a babysitter. “In my free time,” said the well-rounded powerhouse, “I really love to sing, draw and make crafts. In fact, when I get too stressed out I like to make bows and hair ornaments.” Her favorite classes are Biology, History and Theory of Knowledge. “I like learning about humans and why we do certain things,” said Daisy, “so our current unit on dictators [in IB History of the Americas] has been fascinating for me. Theory of Knowledge allows me to talk about pretty much every subject in relation to humans and our motivations or tendencies, so I really enjoy it.” Final college plans are still in the works but she hopes to major in either Psychology or Biology with a minor in Japanese or East Asian Studies.
SCHOLAR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE, TOTALITARIANISM, AND HIP HOP
Adam Wells Senior Adam Wells sees the world, and his future, on an epic scale. This BFS ‘lifer’ revels in intellectual discourse and the study of 20th century totalitarianism. He’s also a standout varsity basketball and baseball player who enjoys hip-hop, chess, and essay writing. “So far this fall, one of my favorite things was writing an original essay for my IB English Literature class,” he says. “I have the opportunity to engage in important discussions with my peers,” he said, “from racial inequality to the effects of heavy industrialization on climate change. Writing college supplements and keeping up with the extended essay process have been my biggest challenges, but the work ethic I’m developing will benefit me when I go off to college.” “Favorite” might not be the right word to use when learning about totalitarian dictators, but this history scholar also professes a passion for studying Hitler and Stalin in depth this
of the school’s Model UN team, and an avid cyclist. Last summer he got a part-time job working in a bike shop and continues working there when his schedule permits. “This spring I’ll also begin to race in amateur road races in Prospect Park and Central Park.” He plans to major in History in college and looks forward to joining Army ROTC. This may seem like an unusual decision for a BFS student, although Quaker warriors and pro-war politicians have made their marks on history. Richard Nixon, Daniel Boone, Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene – for whom Brooklyn’s Fort Greene is named – and 20th century Marine Major-General Smedley Butler were all Quakers. “Careerwise I would like to be a military adviser,” explained Otis. “It is truly my passion in life and I intend to get a doctoral degree in Military Science.”
HISTORIAN, CYCLIST AND STRATEGIC THINKER
FEMINIST, ARTIST, AND POLITICIAN
Otis Hatfield “It’s been very difficult. I think everyone has really narrowed down their priorities and only the essential activities have remained for seniors. Although it’s been challenging the reward is imminent so it’s what drives me forward.” The words of a goal-oriented senior in survival mode, Otis Hatfield ’15, sound inspirational. College is around the corner, along with goodbyes to family and friends, and for many, a relocation to a strange, new life where they must start over. Otis, a young man on a mission, is resigned to what it holds. “For me, the ultimate goal of everything I have done at BFS is leading up to college and afterwards. Being a senior means embracing what is to come, and I am excited for it.” He admits to wading through rivers of stress on a daily basis. “My hands are full,” he said. “That can be very overwhelming but compartmentalization is essential so I’ve been working on that skill.” In addition to his regular classes he’s been working on an independent study with Head of School Dr. Larry Weiss on Insurgency in the 20th Century. “It’s given me an opportunity to bring my interests to a more professional level,” Otis said about his studies of the Arab revolt over the Ottoman Empire, Mao in China, Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution, the Viet Cong, and the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan. Otis, who entered BFS in 8th grade, is also the head delegate ➤
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“For me, the ultimate goal of everything I have done at BFS is leading up to college and afterwards. Being a senior means embracing what is to come, and I am excited for it.”
fall. “I thoroughly enjoy examining the human condition during the gruesome times of these rulers,” he elaborated. “Some of the subtopics were Hitler’s use of propaganda, the opportunities he took to take full power, as well as Stalin’s means of collectivization, industrialization and purges.” IB Calculus has proven the greater challenge for Adam. Fortunately, English Lit provides some solace. “We studied the essays of Joan Didion, EB White, George Orwell and many others.” He then wrote an essay on love and longing, which “gave me the opportunity to talk about my inner feelings and emotions without any boundaries.” Adam also writes for the Upper School student newspaper, for which he recently reviewed the newest album from Ratking, a hip-hop group featuring BFS alum Patrick Morales. That Adam would select hip-hop for review is no surprise to his friends. “I have a huge passion for writing raps,” said the starry-eyed teen. “It’s been my dream for awhile to release my own project because being a rapper, or a least involved with the hip-hop genre, is what I fantasize about all the time... I should be releasing some tracks on Soundcloud in the coming months.” Adam is an avid BFS basketball player. “Basketball is an outlet for me,” he said. “It helps me get everything off of my mind. I’m really looking forward to our season.” He likes to play chess in his spare time, too.
Portraits of Young Friends continued
Eve Bromberg “There’s a certain pressure that comes
with senior year, not only to do your best, as that is true of every year, but to tie together loose ends.” Eve Bromberg ’15 is caught up in the senior year “whirlwind,” as she calls it, along with her classmates, but sees it all as a training run for college. “I try to think about the process,” she said, “and how I can make the work I’m doing more efficient and of better quality.” A natural leader, she helped create and still co-runs the Upper School’s Feminist Club with several classmates. She described it as a retooling of a previous club known as Women of Strength, which she also co-created. “Women of Strength was not inclusive for all genders,” she said. “Opening up the club to boys has led to conversations of greater importance and sophistication... Attendees leave with a better understanding of the topic that week... We all get so into it, we’re almost always out of the Friday meetings late.” Eve hopes the fruit of her vision of empowerment and discourse continues to thrive as her BFS legacy after she’s gone. “I look forward to coming back and seeing what the group has become, but with our dedicated attendees now I have little doubt the group will be strong.” A dedicated IB student, she appreciates how this rigorous two-year curriculum that starts in 11th grade allows for longterm projects. “There’s a certain comfort to continuing in classes and being able to start again where you left off,” she says. “It allows students to see how far they’ve progressed and what else they have to do.”
IB Biology is also “fantastic.” she says. “While challenging, and sometimes very challenging, I leave the class having learned something practically every time... There are many ‘Eureka’ moments.” She was equally effusive about IB History and her teacher, Anna Grafton. “Anna is the first female history teacher I’ve had since Lower School and that’s an inspiration for me as a history-inclined student.” Eve, who started BFS in sixth grade, continues to serve as a Student Ambassador for the BFS Admissions Office, which she has been doing since 10th grade. This year she is also working as a Capital Campaign Ambassador. “This has involved speaking with Lower School parents about the Upper School,” she explains. “It’s been a great experience all around. I enjoy being able to articulate my love for BFS, and I feel even better knowing my words have had an impact on parents.” Outside of school, Eve is interning in the district office of City Councilman Stephen Levin. She confesses to an obsession with President Lyndon Johnson and to loyally watching C-Span. She also held a summer internship on Capitol Hill in the office of her Congresswoman, Nydia Velázquez. In addition to seeing the inner workings of national politics up close (it’s nothing like House of Cards, she insists) and lunching in the Senate, “I got to go to Committee hearings and I saw Robert Kennedy’s grandson in a hearing on ISIS.” Eve hopes to double-major in Political Science and History, and is toying with the idea of a career in law. “I’m interested in being a prosecutor in a DA’s office,” she said. She became even more focused on that goal after recent events like the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown shootings, “and many, many others.”
Eve Bromberg ➤
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Around the School
Preparing for the IB Curriculum – The Academic Gold Standard
Leading the Charge on Sustainability
by Bob Bowman EVERY YEAR , families of prospective 9th
Upper School faculty member Kamaru Johnson (left) with IB Diploma graduate Max Gustafson ’14, now at Rochester Institute of Technology.
graders visit our Upper School and inquire about our Quaker values, our close-knit community, and yes, the homework load. But the majority of questions are about our academic program – in particular, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP). While the IBDP has a 45-year record of success, many still do not have a clear understanding of what it entails and how well it prepares students for college and beyond. More and more college admissions offices are calling IB the academic “gold standard” of high school education. What we believe is an incredible strength of Brooklyn Friends is not just this amazing program; it is the guidance and support we supply to each family as they progress through our upper school. IB courses are offered during the 11th and 12th grades. Yet, everything we do in our 9th and 10th grade classes is informed by the multitude of IB course offerings for juniors. The majority of our IB instructors, who undergo extensive, ongoing
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professional development, also teach freshmen and sophomores. We are committed to having our faculty teach across the curriculum, and we believe this continuity of instruction is essential in preparing students for success in their IB classes. Tenth grade is a pivotal year in creating the personalized curriculum for rising juniors that IB allows, and our work with students and families in this year is extensive. Before winter break, we have a group meeting for students and families where the IBDP is reviewed, and the choices for students, ranging from being a full Diploma student to taking several IB classes, are explained in detail. Next comes individual meetings that we believe set the tone for the final two years and demonstrates our commitment to each student and family. We invite every student and their parents to a student-led meeting that includes the Head of School, Dr. Larry Weiss; the IB Coordinator and Assistant Head of Upper School for Academics, Trefor Davies; one of our College Counselors – Terry Kung or Tiffany Huggins; the student’s advisor; and me in my role as Head of the Upper School. The gatherings are absolutely fantastic and are often referred to by families as one of the seminal moments of their upper school experience. Students discuss their academic successes and challenges, their extracurricular passions, their summer endeavors, and their hopes and dreams for their next two years and beyond. In addition, a gentle first conversation about the college process begins. It is an authentic conversation that often lasts for more than an hour, and throughout the meeting, an emphasis is placed on finding the proper balance between academics and other passions for each child. Parents are gratified and often amazed at the eloquence, joy, and drive expressed by their children when they talk about all that they have accomplished and what they hope their future holds. The dialogue results in an initial set of choices for the student’s next two years in the IB
by Jeffrey Stanley
program. It is a tremendously positive launching point for our soon-to-be 11th graders. It also gives our administrative team additional insight into each student – we adore these meetings. The support does not stop there, as students continue meeting with all of us, and most importantly their teachers, to review their progress through the next two years. There is no doubt that the IB program is extremely challenging, but we feel we give our students the support they need not only to succeed, but also to thrive. We constantly hear from our graduates about how well-equipped they were for college and how essential the IB program was in that preparation. Whether they choose a number of IB courses or strive for the IB Diploma, BFS students attain the essential skills of deep engagement, self-advocacy, and how to be an autodidact – all of which are indispensible in the 21st century.
Top, Upper School Head Bob Bowman with a group of students in their annual Chemistry Magic Show. Bottom, Michelle Li ’15 and Griffin Edwards ’15 in IB Mathematics class.
STEWARDSHIP and sustainability got a big boost in the Middle School this year when teacher and dean Karima Hassan was selected – from among 200 applicants – for a Japan-US Exchange Program on sustainable development. “It was awesome – such a great trip,” she said, describing a Fulbright-funded teacher exchange trip to Japan last summer and two joint conferences for 24 teachers from the United States and 24 from Japan. “It started as a joint project of both governments,” explained Karima, “and was meant as a cultural exchange. Over time it evolved into a conference on sustainability.” She joked that it also developed the tongue-twisting name, The Japan-US Teaching Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). “The Japanese teachers came to the US for two weeks in May; they visited schools in Nashville and Miami, observing how we teach sustainability to our kids - everything from recycling to having a garden on your roof,” said Karima. The teachers’ stay concluded with a three-day conference in San Francisco, where they met their 24 US counterparts for the first time. In June, the US contingent had a reciprocal study tour to Japan. “The goal of the program was for teachers to learn about Japanese culture and to bring some of their sustainability ideas into the classroom,” Karima said. “There are many differences in our educational systems. Ours is incredibly decentralized. Theirs is incredibly centralized. The Japanese government changed the curriculum to include sustainability as a way of fighting a pollution crisis, and so teachers had to start teaching it across the country. It’s top down.” In the US, such programs must evolve in fits and starts from varied quarters. Also, at BFS and other US schools, the concept of environmentalism has evolved to include a social justice aspect. “What America does has an impact Winter 2015 BROOKLYN FRIENDS SCHOOL JOURNAL
Around the School
continued on people around the globe. The people who will be hardest hit by climate change are the people who are hardest hit already,” Karima noted. While in Japan, the group spent much of its time on the island of Hokkaido north of Tokyo, staying with host families in order to better experience Japanese culture up close. “We learned about algae balls that only exist there, studied the crane population, and made other trips,” said Karima. At the end of their two-week stay the 48 teachers attended a conference in which they broke out into cross-cultural groups and created joint classroom projects. For one of the projects, explained Karima, “We exchanged video intros between our students focusing on ‘the four R’s –Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse.” In the video introductions, Karima’s students spoke in Japanese. Likewise, the Japanese students introduced themselves on video one by one in English. “The kids drew pictures of what they do now in terms of the 4 R’s, and shared these with each other.” The BFS students were amazed to learn that in Japan, students recycle their milk cartons in a unique way. They’re taken off-site, turned into toilet paper and sent back to the school. In line with the 2014-15 Middle School theme of stewardship, students have been eager to focus on the 4th R, Refuse, by refusing to bring plastic bottles into the school. “There are huge garbage piles of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean. We don’t want to contribute to that.” Students are also looking into the first R, Reduce. “A big problem is paper waste at our school and we’d like to reduce it,” she said. “The Student Council is working with the Recycling Club, who will report on the volume of paper they collect every week. We then want to work with the community to reduce this volume by the end of the year.”
Chocolate Bars and the Mysteries of Multiplication by Julia Smith and Ashley Barnes INTRODUCTION: Lower School Math
Top: Karima with her host family in Japan and Karima with a group of students at the People’s Climate March in September.
“Those who will be hardest hit by climate change are the people who are hardest hit already.”
The application process for ESD was rigorous. Karima wrote essays on her interests and experiences in teaching sustainability and in studying other cultures. Karima is widely traveled. She has a deep interest in Asia, and already actively participates in BFS Middle School sustainability endeavors. “I’ve traveled a bunch and I’ve lived abroad several times,” she explained. “I had never been to Asia but I’ve lived on every other continent. I wanted Japan to be my introduction because it has a distinct culture. I wanted to see a place not fully immersed in US culture, and that’s getting harder to find.” Karima also worked for PBS writing teachers’ guides for the popular series e2: The Economies of Being Environmentally Conscious.
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Specialists, Kate Minear and Jonathan Edmonds, along with classroom teachers Amy Hertz, Julia Smith, Anna Kotelchuck, Jill Fiengo, and Amanda Welch, presented three fabulous math workshops for parents this fall. Each workshop targeted a specific grade and provided parents with a context for both what we teach at each grade level, and how we teach mathematical concepts and skills. Third grade teachers Julia Smith and Ashley Barnes give a beautiful illustration of how we teach math, in the article below, which is an excerpt from their Class 3C Blog for parents and material from the third/fourth math workshop. – Jackie Condie, Head of Lower School Building a Conceptual Understanding of Multiplication As we are closing in on the end of our early multiplication unit, we wanted to give you a sense of what your children have been working on in math, including the various models for multiplication. We began this unit by introducing the concept of multiplication as equal groups. Using a variety of contexts, such as food in a grocery store and sets of stamps, children explored efficient ways to quickly count total items/values. These contexts supported the cognitive work of “unitizing,” seeing a group of 6 apples as both one group and 6 apples or one set of 6 stamps, each worth 4 cents as having a total value of 24 cents. This is an important cognitive jump for kids! Next, we met an eight-year-old named Antonio, who is 4 feet tall, lives in a big city, and wonders about the height of things around him. Kids worked with partners to use Antonio’s height to determine the height of buildings, lampposts, and trees. Many ended up making an “Antonio ruler,” and before they even knew it, they were saying things like, “The building with the awning is 5 Antonios,” and the tree is “two times the height of Antonio.” It was
here that – with awe – we made the connection for the children that they were, in fact, multiplying. Jaws dropped. Bridging the Concrete and the Abstract Building on this multiplicative thinking, children worked with partners to create “measuring strips.” First, they used connecting cubes in alternating colors to make 10 groups of 5, then 10 groups of 10, and so on, until they had created 10 groups of each number from 2-10. Using long strips of cashier’s tape, they marked each group and skip counted to label the number of cubes, for example, 5, 10, 15, 20, and so on. After working industriously to create these measuring strips, students had essentially created the model of an open number line as a way to represent multiplicative thinking. This gave way to our work with “number line mysteries,” in which kids focused on using the relationships between groups, and groups of groups, to fill in missing information on an open number line. Using a favorite context of many, the chocolate bar, we moved into thinking about how to create different chocolate bars with the same number of squares of chocolate. As a group, we started by thinking about the different chocolate bars that could be created with 8 squares of chocolate (1x8, 2x4). Kids then worked with partners, armed with color tiles and grid paper, to figure out (as a class) all the chocolate bars that could be created for the numbers 1-36.
In their study of multiplication, third graders work as partners to create their own measuring strips as a bridge between the concrete to the abstract.
Winter 2015 BROOKLYN FRIENDS SCHOOL JOURNAL
Around the School Go Green
A Quinceañera for the Family Folk Dance
• Standing more than 6 feet tall with a diameter of 2.5 feet, the BFS vertical tower garden provides fresh oxygen, water, and nutrients to the roots of the plants.
by Emily Cowles “ASK OTHERS to dance with you - even if you don’t know them.” This sentiment, listed as a rule for “How to Have Fun at the Family Folk Dance,” is at the heart of the beloved Lower School event that celebrated a “quinceañera” – its 15th anniversary on Saturday, January 10. The tradition was created by Performing Arts Chair/dance teacher Margaret Bary. She and her colleague Ellen Cookson envisioned a celebration that was both community-building and that served the dance curriculum. The Dance encourages children and adults of all ages to connect and enjoy each other’s company. With live music and dance, Margaret explains, “We naturally smile at one another and make new friends. It is a warm and welcoming experience for all.” The dances are based in the Anglo-American repertoire and include African-American singing games. Students learn to move in time to music and to hear phrasing. They learn partnering skills and how to move in formation. Each grade learns and then leads a specific dance. It’s gratifying for the students to see their guests quickly pick up the steps and smile and laugh across the dance floor. More than 200 students, parents, and friends filled the gym for Folk Dance 2015. We can’t wait for the “Sweet Sixteen.”
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• Because of the design of the Tower Garden® system, the crops grow faster than they would in soil, and need to be harvested on a regular basis.
Greeny and the Preschool
• The technology for the vertical tower garden was developed by NASA engineers.
by Maura Eden VISIT THE SECOND FLOOR at 375 Pearl School you might wonder what that large, strange looking tower glowing with light is all about. Children will be sure to tell you that it’s “Greeny,” the new preschool Tower Garden®. In the spirit of stewardship and sustainability the Preschool and Lower School are working with Lisa Suriano of Veggications and with Robin Stewart, our librarian (chief gardener) in learning to grow nutritious food indoors. They are growing edible plants such as cherry tomatoes, beans, lettuce, nasturtiums, peas, spinach and basil in the aeroponic garden tower. The children are learning that plants need light (the growing lights), water (the water is pumped up through the tower to periodically irrigate the roots) and soil – but in this case there is no soil. The nutrients are added to the water (the same nutrients that are found in soil) so that the plants are nourished. In keeping with the principles and values of our mission, through the “Greeny” Initiative, the children are learning that it is important to care for living things. It is a great challenge for little hands to learn to exercise restraint, to touch the plants gently, and to treat the tower with care. Planting the seedlings and watching them grow, harvesting the bounty and then eating the food they give us is a wonderful endeavor, full of learning.
Three Cheers for Afterschool by Rachel Webber WINTER, SPRING, summer or fall,
Auxiliary Programs at Brooklyn Friends School are a year-round experience. Our fall Afterschool program brimmed with 50 exciting and appealing enrichment classes for 340 students. There are 85 playgroup, study hall, specialty and music lesson teachers in Afterschool, and we are grateful that there is someone full of energy and vision at the helm! Our new Afterschool and Summer Camp Director, Eben Dower, has worn many hats in the education world, such as afterschool coordinator, classroom teacher, coach, trainer, mentor. As Senior National Trainer for Playworks, Eben worked with the BFS Afterschool staff last year, when he co-facilitated a workshop on healthy play and inclusive group management. Eben and the Afterschool staff have implemented key takeaways from the training this year, including organizing the roof boundaries with clear roles for teachers, and creating common rules to show that we are one community during Afterschool. Does your student know all four Afterschool rules? In addition, about 30 of our Horizons K-4th graders have been joining BFS students for fun and play in Afterschool. They have been hard at work completing their homework everyday, with the help of several BFS Upper School students, who volunteered in the summer and loved it so much, they are continuing their volunteer services during the school year. After homework is completed, Horizons students join in Playgroups and specialty classes. About 20 of our Horizons middle school students come every Wednesday for Jazz Band practice to continue the great strides they made during the summer program. For the Winter and Spring session, some very interesting specialty class offerings are under way for our Lower and Middle School students including two new classes in STEM: Makerspace, where students will use digital tools and 3D printing in open ended creations, and Computer Programming, where students will learn programming fundamentals while controlling robots, creating video games, or coding interactive stories.
Hundreds of children participate in Auxiliary Programs at Brooklyn Friends School. From top, soccer, sewing, and the Horizons jazz band.
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Around the School
There’s a New Look in Town DIY Dough In a large pan so the children can stir without too much spilling: 1. Measure and pour 2 cups of flour 2. Measure/Add 2 cups of water, observing what happens as the water pours onto the flour 3. Measure/Add 1 cup of salt 4. Measure/Add 4 tablespoons of oil
by Joan Martin BROOKLYN IS BOOMING and so too
is Brooklyn Friends School. In early November 2014, the School introduced a new visual identity designed to illuminate the brilliance and excellence of a Brooklyn Friends education. The change was initiated in anticipation of launching a new school website in September 2015 and the opening of the new Upper School facility in MetroTech. The visual identity connects the historic, the contemporary, and the future of BFS. The star placed within the banner is a symbol that has special meaning for Quakers and the School. The BFS seal that was used from the early 1900’s contains five stars, and the Pearl Street building uses the star motif in its architecture. The eight-point star was first
worn by British Quaker relief workers during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 and was later adopted as a visual mark by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning American Friends Service Committee in 1917. The star is a visual representation of the Quaker belief of the inner light in every person; in an academic setting, it is a symbol for knowledge. BFS has engaged a Brooklyn business, SMKK Studios, to work on the visual identity system and website, and all school constituency groups and stakeholders have been involved in the process. A two-minute video introducing the change was also prepared and can be viewed at www.brooklynfriends.org/ community. As the video states, “It’s a new day. Watch us shine.”
5. Measure/Add 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar
Ready, Set, Mix – and Learn! by Sara Soll “ACADEMICS” in the Family Center may
sound like a contradiction, but pre-reading, math, science and social studies are happening daily in an integrated and very interactive approach. A wonderful illustration of this viewpoint occurs when we make playdough. There are a number of skills that can be gained from a cooking project. By following a recipe with pictures and a few words and numbers, children see how words and numbers represent real-life objects (reading). The children measure, count, and follow a sequence (math). They use their fine motor skills when filling cups, pouring, and stirring. The children are listening and following directions (attention and focus) as they take turns and work closely together (social development). When ingredients are mixed or cooked they change in appearance or texture (science). There are many questions to ask during the process that will help the children to observe
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and think about what is happening. Playdough is created from a number of ingredients that look alike – flour, salt, cream of tartar – and children can see that things that look alike may feel and taste different. What happens when two or three colors are combined? When the ingredients are on the heat, the children can observe the changes from liquid to solid. First, read the recipe with your child, following the steps in sequence and noting the ingredients to be used. With each addition, pause to look and see what is happening. There is so much learning in this one activity, and the end product is an adventure on its own. Playdough is easy to manipulate and it can be shaped with hands, rolled with a rolling pin, and cut into shapes with safe plastic knives or cookie cutters.
A new BFS website will launch in September 2015 to coincide with the opening of the new 40,000 square foot Upper School facility in MetroTech.
6. Measure/Add food coloring 7. Stir until all ingredients are blended. Observe what is changing. Does it change all at once, or gradually? 8. Heat on stove (medium) stirring constantly until it thickens and begins to come together and then falls away from the sides. 9. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container or ziplock bag.
BFS gave T-shirts with the new identity to all students, faculty and staff. The shirts were immediately – and proudly – worn by everyone, including these children working in the Lower School Science Laboratory.
Winter 2015 BROOKLYN FRIENDS SCHOOL JOURNAL
growth forest where the possibilities for environmental place-based education are almost limitless. For the holidays, some lucky folks were able to see JEFFREY MANDELBAUM’S ’91 performance of Heinrich Schutz’s lovely Weihnachtshistorie in Musica Nuova, Parthenia & the Weckmann Project present: Schutz’s Christmas Oratorio at Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brooklyn Heights. Keep singing Jeff, we’ll be listening! Top photos (from left, Lekeia Varlack Judge ’99 with Meredith Cole Erickson ’95 at the Net at Night event on Oct. 29, and right, Karim Camara ’88, named by Gov. Cuomo to lead the Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services. Above left, Ken Adams ’78, who was recently appointed commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, and right Beth Burns Punzi ’82 at the Net at Night event.
INSPIRED BY his experi-
ence with Quaker education, SAM SOLISH ’75 and his wife now live in Portland, Maine and have become involved with starting Friends School of Portland (FSP) nine years ago. FSP is a pre-k through grade 8 school with more than 90 students. This year FSP has begun construction of an ambitious project to build their own Net Zero, Passive House-Certified energy efficient school building in Cumberland, Maine. It will be located on 21 acres of old
Congrats are in order to PAUL SHARP ’98, who married Krystal Forde over the summer. We wish them a lifetime of happiness! For dinner, why not check out MARVIN BARKSDALE’S ’98 new restaurant, Seoul Chicken in the Lower East Side. The cuisine is described as Korean, Soul fusion. The restaurant opened to rave reviews with features in The New York Times, The Village Voice and Rolling Stone. Congrats Marvin – save us a table!!
Do you have some great news you want to share? Have you been promoted at work? Getting married? Or maybe you just want to let your classmates know how you are doing... BFS would love to help you spread the word! To contribute to Class Notes, contact the Alumni Office at firstname.lastname@example.org and be featured in our next journal! 12
BROOKLYN FRIENDS SCHOOL JOURNAL Winter 2014
Double congrats to IAN THOMAS ’03 for recently marrying Lauren Elizabeth and obtaining his law license in Washington, DC. Best of luck!! After several years of teaching in South Korea, MATHEW KENNEDY ’03 is a New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching English as a Second Language at Landmarks High School in Manhattan, while getting his (second) Master’s degree in the evening. Impressive work, Mathew! Who doesn’t love dessert?? If pie satisfies your sweet tooth, PERRIE WILKOF ’05 has you covered. Stationed in Columbus, Ohio, she recently opened Dough Mama Pie & Pastry that serves up everything from Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie to Beef Brisket and Stilton pie. The results are mouthwatering goodness! JORDAN ROSS ’11 is currently studying in Canada and working on a science-based documentary Genetically Modified Information, about the uses of GMOs and their effects on the agriculture industry. This film will feature experts from the biotechnology, food policy and global food security fields to discuss these issues that affect us all. Thank you Jordan, for creating a discussion about such an important issue. by Lekeia Varlack Judge ’99 Photos this page upper left; lower right and facing page: Ingrid Ramos Nakamura / Triangle Below Canal
Net at Night by Lekeia Varlack Judge ’99 THREE CEOS WALK into an art gallery… No, this isn’t the start of a really bad joke, but rather the beginning of a really great night. Alumni from Brooklyn Friends, Friends Seminary and Sidwell Friends gathered together on October 29, 2014, at The Dillon Gallery for Net at Night, a discussion and networking event about creating and maintaining an ethical business in today’s economy. The theme of the night was “entrepreneurship with a conscience,” designed to highlight alumni in our communities that are successful business owners who have still held onto the Quaker values of honesty, integrity and equality. Each school had a representative on a panel in which they discussed the motivation for their company, their journey as an entrepreneur and how a Quaker education has helped mold their business model. The panelists were BFS alum Peter Laughter, CEO of the financial consultant staffing firm Wall Street Services and founding member of Conscious Capitalism; Neil Blumenthal, CEO of the designer eyewear brand Warby Parker from Friends Seminary; and alum of Sidwell Friends, Jessica Holsey, CEO of the sustainable and decorative tablewear brand, Susty Party. The night began with the mixer for alums from the three schools to network with one another over refreshments.
(l to r) Friends Seminary alum Marshall Heinberg ’75 moderates the discussion about ethical entrepreneurship with Sidwell Friends alum and Susty Party co -CEO Jessica Holsey ’03, Friends Seminary alum and Warby Parker CEO Neil Blumenthal ’98 and Brooklyn Friends alum and CEO of Wall Street Services and founding member of the New York City Chapter of Conscious Capitalism Peter Laughter ’89.
Next, the three panelists discussed their businesses and answered questions from the moderator about the trials and tribulations of developing a company in this economy and how they were able to maintain their Quaker values while still managing a thriving business. Afterwards, the panelists answered questions from the audience and further discussed the importance of ethical entrepreneurship in today’s society. Despite the CEOs all having vastly different businesses in various industries, one thing rang true - the Quaker values that were instilled in them while attending a Friends school were still guiding them long after graduation. In these days of economic distress and corporate cutthroat competitiveness, it’s reassuring to know that people can still be successful while maintaining their
moral compass. This event was extremely enlightening and encouraging to both present and future entrepreneurs and will be one of many collaborations between Brooklyn Friends, Friends Seminary and Sidwell Friends. In the spring, we will be hosting another networking event, designed to bring us together as one Quaker alumni community.
“The Quaker values that were instilled in them while attending a Friends school were still guiding them long after graduation.”
Save the date for Alumni Day! Join us on Saturday, May 30th for our
alumni basketball game, tour of our new Upper School facility and reunion of Friends and faculty! Come one, come all!
Brooklyn Friends School 375 Pearl Street Brooklyn, NY 11201
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Brooklyn Friends School Journal is published quarterly by the Advancement Office of Brooklyn Friends School for students, alumni, parents, grandparents, andÂ friends. 375 Pearl Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Tel: 718.852.1029 brooklynfriends.org Joan Martin, Editor