Word on the Street Spring 2021

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WORD on the STREET N EWS LETTER FO R A LUM NI A ND F RI E NDS O F GREENE S T REET FRI ENDS S CHO O L

I NSI D E

Reflection from Ed . . . . . . . . . .

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Moments of Joy . .

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Horizons Update .

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S PRIN G 2021

Moments of Joy BY EDWARD MARSHALL, HEAD OF SCHOOL

Joy is not a word that I have seen in too many publications from the past year, and for good reason. The past year was a tumultuous and painful year for so many of us, from the ongoing impact of COVID-19 to the never-ending racial oppression that has brought America’s deep, ugly roots of racism and its grasping branches into clear focus. And so, it is not surprising that so many letters I received from organizations over the past year began with sentences like, “This is an unprecedented time…” This is most certainly an unprecedented time, but within these moments, we have also had moments of joy to celebrate. For our spring issue of Word on the Street, you will read about ways that faculty, staff, Board members, and alumni have found joy in the past year. Maybe some of you will find yourselves in their stories of celebrating your heritage and identity, of nurturing a newfound garden, of finding moments to be still and present. Personally, two of the biggest joys of my life happened last fall—watching the marriages of

both of my sons—even if on Zoom. Another monumental moment of joy happened on Monday, October 12th. As I have on so many mornings in the past 26 years, I walked downstairs from my office in Hargroves, over the labyrinth, and stood on the ramp to the Pre-Kindergarten classrooms. Soon I heard a sound not found on campus since March of the previous school year—children’s laughter. Students, who had been only virtual up to that point, ran up the ramp, excited to see their teachers and friends in person. I greeted each one with a huge smile on my face and overwhelming joy in my heart. More students and staff would return to campus over the next few months until finally everyone was invited back for 5 day, in-person instruction. We are wrapping up the 2020-2021 academic year and it would be the height of naivete to claim purely moments of joy. At the same time, these glimmers of joy, like that moment on the ramp, have sustained me through the most challenging days. I hope that you enjoy reading a bit about where our community found joy over the past year.

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Over the past year, like so many I struggled with understanding exactly what was happening in the world; pandemic, multiple Black lives being lost, juggling working from home, and assisting my children with virtual school.

The only plant I ever had before the pandemic was a cactus. And I killed it. Said cactus came home with me from science camp in 3rd Grade, with the promise that it would be extraordinarily difficult to kill. Maybe for others, but not for nine year-old Lindsay. This pattern of plant promise, struggle, and demise continued through my childhood and adolescence, straight into adulthood. Somewhere in my mid-20’s I gave up on green things entirely, resigned to accept the things I could not change. I was a plant killer.

By May, I was OVER IT!! I felt myself slipping into this dark funky place of confusion, sadness, missing my friends and family, and just a sense of being overwhelmed…...until May 16, 2020. While going on our very first hike as a family, I felt this complete sense of peace and joy being out in nature. That hour-long walk triggered this wanting to be more in nature, but also wanting to feel that calm, that peace, that joy every day. As a result of that hike and some real soul searching, I made a commitment to myself to begin my wellness journey. It started out with downloading the Peloton app and riding my little bike I bought off Amazon. I started exploring the app and found the yoga and meditation tabs. I never considered doing meditation ever. The idea of sitting still for any amount of time was foreign to me. Until I tried a 5-minute meditation and realized I was completely overthinking this “meditation thing”. One class a week turned into twice which now is two meditation practices twice a day. I just celebrated my 100th meditation class with peloton two weeks ago.

So, it filled me with great anxiety when a friend dropped off an aloe plant along with homemade face masks and other small gifts on my back porch last April. Why would my friend do such a thing? Didn’t they know my history with plants? This was a highly irresponsible gift. In any other year, I would have happily re-gifted this aloe to someone else. In April of 2020, this wasn’t an option as my entire family was home and my two children saw this aloe plant and became very excited. My then 4 yearold asked if we could keep it and why we didn’t have any other plants at home. My almost 2 year-old just wanted to hug this little aloe and carry it around the house. I couldn’t deny the joy in their faces and the welcomed distraction for all of us about 3 weeks into the pandemic, so the plant stayed.

The start of this wellness journey led me to do a holiday project called “wellness for the holidays” where I supplied women and children from a shelter with yoga mats, journals, and other wellness/self-care items. After that was over, I still wanted to do more so I launched The Wellness Project, an online space that provides tips for healing and embracing the wellness journey for the mind, body, and spirit. Never in a million years did I see myself on this journey to wellness, but realizing this journey isn’t just about me. It is about all of those who desire to better themselves mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Covid 19 has caused so much heartache and destruction on all fronts, but in the midst of all of that, I have found a spark that has allowed me to light a fire. A fire of healing, peace, light, and love for all. #Namaste

Spoiler alert: We did not kill the aloe plant. In fact, our one little aloe plant has now grown into three little aloe babies, one Christmas cactus, a dancing bones cactus, and one spider plant. Google tells me these are relatively easily plants to grow, but just about one year after nervously staring down that aloe plant, we have a kitchen windowsill full of happy, green little friends that make me smile each morning. Each Saturday I’m gifted more moments of joy as my daughters give our aloe plants ice cubes (one a week, less in the winter) and encourage them to keep growing big and strong- great advice for plants and myself. LINDSAY BARRETT-ADLER, STAFF

JAIMEE NELSON, STAFF

MOMENTS OF JOY

MOMENTS OF JOY

MOMENTS OF JOY

MOMENTS OF JOY

MOMENTS OF JOY

Sometimes it is hard to think of joy during the midst of a Pandemic that has lasted over a year alongside ongoing social unrest; however, if asked to look for just moments, I am sure we can all find some. I find joy in being able to have moments where I am fully present. Now that I work from home, I no longer have the hustle and bustle of a morning and evening commute. The joy of being able to slow down has allowed me to know what truly matters and that is having family and being loved and appreciated by them. My moments of joy look like taking naps in the middle of the day with my husband, it is no longer eating on the go but cooking meals together and eating healthier. It’s finishing my quilting projects using colorful African prints. I get to see my family, who live out of town, more frequently via zoom. We have had many game nights; however; it was the murder of George Floyd and the social unrest, pain, and trauma when I created 30-minute art breaks which I host once a month via zoom with family and friends to help us heal and to introduce us to black artists and their works that represent black identity and images of black joy that we experience (i.e. Carrie Mae Weems’ photography: Kitchen Table Series) but often times not depicted in media. It brings me joy to see family photos and my coffee table books of black art in my home that I get to browse through whenever I want and need to see the black aesthetics helping me to remember that I am more than my trauma bringing me joy in that moment. It is that kind of joy I want to share particularly with our black children to help them celebrate and affirm who they are. VALERIE ANDERSON, MEMBER, GSFS BOARD OF TRUSTEES

MOMENTS OF JOY

MOMENTS OF JOY

RD WO on the STREET HEA D OF SCH OOL

Edward W. Marshall ASSO CIAT E HEA D OF SCH OOL

Ryan Kimmet

T DIRE CTO R OF DEV ELOP MEN

Maani Waldor EDIT OR

Maani Waldor COP Y EDIT ORS

Lindsay Barrett-Adler Leanne Clancy Natalie Coney CON TRIB UTO RS

Valerie Anderson Lindsay Barrett-Adler Ed Marshall Malia Neal Jaimee Nelson Khidir Webster ‘19 GSFS Faculty and Staff PHO TOG R APH Y

Valerie Anderson Lindsay Barrett-Adler Leanne Clancy Edward Marshall Malia Neal Jaimee Nelson Khidir Webster ‘19

MOMENTS OF JOY

MOMENTS OF JOY

MOMENTS OF JOY

It’s no secret that the pandemic has brought a lot of different hardships and challenges to all of our lives in big and small ways. This moment in history has been chaotic, forceful, and even painful at times. However, the silver lining of it all was/is the chance to rebuild. During this past year, I think I’ve spent more time with myself than I ever had and probably ever will. When everything first shut down I, along with the rest of the world truly believed it would only last a few weeks and life would return back to the way we knew it best. Nevertheless, I couldn’t have been further from the truth, and no amount of Netflix originals and Beyonce music videos was going to change that fact. It was necessary for me to learn how to live with the hurricane of restlessness and emotions that ensued in my body while also making sure that I didn’t become indifferent. So, I dug back into my Greene Street roots and incorporated a lesson that my secondgrade self probably rejected. I began to meditate and become more aligned with my thoughts, my actions, my mind, and my spirit. I allowed myself to let go of the noise and regain mindfulness and purpose back into my being. The pandemic has no doubt brought worldwide destruction and hysteria, but when you start to settle into yourself the opportunity for renewal opens up. So, I would say meditation got me through the pandemic. KHIDIR WEBSTER '19

CON TAC T

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WORD ON THE STREET SPRING 2021

greenestreetfriends.org rg lbarrettadler@greenestreetfriends.o 215-438-7000 x120

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DIRECTOR OF ANNUAL GIVING

FIRST GRADE TEACHER

SCIENCE TEACHER

DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

THIRD GRADE TEACHING ASSOCIATE

SIXTH GRADE TEACHER

HUMAN RESOURCES ASSOCIATE

DIRECTOR OF ANNUAL GIVING

FIFTH GRADE TEACHER

FOURTH GRADE TEACHER

GRADES 1-8 ART TEACHER

ART STUDENT TEACHER

MATH TEACHER

LOWER SCHOOL DEAN

DIRECTOR OF ANNUAL GIVING

ADMINISTRATIVE & RECEPTIONIST ASSOCIATE

MIDDLE SCHOOL DEAN

PRE-KINDERGARTEN TEACHING ASSOCIATE

LEARNING SUPPORT SPECIALIST

DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE

SECOND GRADE TEACHING ASSOCIATE

LOWER SCHOOL DEAN

THIRD GRADE TEACHER

LOWER SCHOOL DEAN

GRADES 6-8 SPANISH TEACHER

GRADES 7-8 COHORT ASSISTANT

ASSOCIATE HEAD OF SCHOOL


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ADMINISTRATIVE & RECEPTIONIST ASSOCIATE

SECOND GRADE TEACHER

FIRST GRADE TEACHER

ASSISTANT TO THE HEAD OF SCHOOL

THIRD GRADE TEACHER

PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER

FIRST GRADE TEACHER

FIFTH GRADE TEACHER

KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

Speaking of joy, Horizons at Greene Street Friends is gearing up for yet another fantastic summer. While our program ran virtually last year, we are hopeful that we will be able to bring all our scholars back to campus at Greene Street Friends this year. Our program will certainly look different this year as we follow social distancing and health guidelines from the CDC, but our emphasis on fun and learning will be more robust than ever. Running from June 28 through July 30 this year, students will enjoy the same program components as years past, engaging in classroom instruction, reading and math tutoring, special assemblies, and swimming. Being mindful of COVID restrictions, our field trips will be hyper local this year, focusing on notable destinations in Germantown. For instance, students will have an opportunity to visit landmarks like Grumblethorpe House and Gardens, as well as neighborhood farms like Germantown Kitchen Garden. Using the Greene Street Friends School Health and Safety Plan as a guide, we are excited to offer a summer experience that is safe for our scholars and families. We will be using Project ACE-IT (Assisting Childhood Education through Increased Testing) to provide voluntary weekly testing for students, which will help to ensure that maintain a healthy environment. We are eager to begin the program and need lots of helping hands to makes things run smoothly. Last year, we were fortune to have 64 volunteers lending their time and talent to the program, and we hope that we can continue to create meaningful and fun service experiences this year. We will need volunteers in the following positions: • Guest reader • Free swim Friday chaperone • Meal prep assistant

• Classroom assistant • Field trip chaperone

It is a pivotal and bittersweet year for our program; in addition to serving more students than ever before, we will honoring our current Board Chair and Horizons Hero, Leah Kimmet, as she prepares to leave the region and begin a new chapter in life. Leah has been a tremendous champion of Horizons and has been influential in its expansion in Greater Philadelphia. As founding Board member of HGSFS, Leah offered her expertise as an educator and former Executive Director of Horizons New Canaan to help our program establish roots and grow. Six year later, we are grateful and better for Leah’s ongoing support and infectious enthusiasm. We wish her well in her new endeavors and know that wherever she is, she’s a shining beacon for Horizons!

TOP: FIRST GRADES STUDENTS EN ROUTE TO SEE THE LION KING MIDDLE: SWIM LESSONS AT GERMANTOWN LIFE ENRICHMENT CENTER BOT TOM: COOLING OFF DURING OUR ICE CREAM SOCIAL (ALL PHOTOS FROM SUMMER 2019)

For more information about Horizons at Greene Street Friends School, or to discuss additional ways you can get involved, contact Malia Neal, Executive Director, at mneal@greenestreetfriends.org or (302) 981-1467.

LOWER SCHOOL DEAN

FOURTH GRADE TEACHER

EIGHTH GRADE TEACHER

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G REEN E ST RE E T F RI E N D S SC H O O L 5 5 1 1 GREEN E S T REET P HI L AD EL P HI A PA 1914 4 -2805 Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage

PAID Philadelphia, PA Permit No. 6831

CLASS OF 2021 HIGH SCHOOL CHOICES CLASS OF 2021 Alix Brave Casey Christopher Colour

Divya Elan Eleanor Elliot Evan

Grant Hazel Imara Isaiah Jackson

Jacob N. Jennteale Kayla Koby F. Lena

Lily Luke Namiyah Nicholas Salim

Taleah Zachary D. Zachary N. Zane Zianni

HIGH SCHOOL SELECTIONS Abington Friends School (4)

Mount Lebanon Senior High School

Academy at Palumbo (2)

Philadelphia High School for Girls

Bodine High School

Science Leadership Academy (6)

Central High School (8)

The Crefeld School

Friends’ Central School

The Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (4)

Mercy Career and Technical High School