What's New at 610 Henry?

A message from your BNS/BCS unity committee April 2015

Reading in the Round

On Wednesday evening, March 18, over 50 BCS & BNS families came together to kick off the Reading in the Round: What’s Your Story—a three-part series that focuses on how families honor and celebrate stories and reading.

The evening began with a Dinner Theater performances by 6th graders who shared excerpts from their personal narrative writings completed in their ELA classes as well as songs and rhythmic schemes created in their Selective classes. The performances ended with 4th, 5th, and 6th graders enrolled in the BCS/BNS Musical Theater After School program singing a rousing rendition of "It's all for the best."

Torrey Maldonado, educator and author of acclaimed novel, Secret Saturdays, concluded the evening with an inspiring and frank talk about the impact that stories had on his life growing up in Red Hook, which is the setting of the novel. Torrey spoke about how stories in his family---those shared and withheld—shaped him. Adults and students alike were captivated by Torrey's compelling stories and engaged by the excerpt he read from Secret Saturdays.

BCS provided families with an autographed copy of Torrey’s novel as a gift.

The next Reading in the Round series is on Wednesday, April 22nd at 5:30 p.m.

Brooklyn Arts Exchange Collaboration

BNS and BCS have an amazing opportunity through BAX this spring. BAX Teaching Artist Jose Garcia is providing in ­school residency workshops to BCS 6th grade classes, working closely with the full­time music staff to supplement existing programming with singing and musical theater enrichment. These classes will take place weekly and serve every student in the 6th grade (90 students). Additionally, led by BAX Teaching Artist, Jose Garcia, a new after school musical theater enrichment program is being offered February­ through June, once a week, for self-selected 4th, 5th and 6th grade students. This is an opportunity for motivated students, straddling both schools, who are interested in expanding their experiences in musical theater, including singing, dancing,performance, story­telling and instrument­ playing, to develop an original work. This work will be shared with an audience as part of an end of year informal share among teachers, families and peers.

We are so excited for this collaboration between our 4th, 5th and 6th graders! To learn about the work BAX does click here: http://youth.bax.org/home/

Political Action at 610 Henry!

BNS and BCS families, teachers and students joined forces this month to protect our school. We joined hands surrounding to the building taking a stand against Cuomo's recent attacks on our schools.

Many families at both schools have also chosen to take a stand against high stakes testing as well by opting out of this years state tests. So far over 400 families from both schools have made this statement. The PAC committee has been hard at work to make sure families throughout the whole district make an informed choice about the tests.

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Celebrating Dr Seuss's Birthday

Magen, a BCS spanish teacher, leads a group of students for the Global Voices Lunch Club at BCS. The mission of the club is to amplify youth voices with global awareness and community service. The group works together to conceive and take action in our local NYC community through art projects and community service opportunities.

As Global Voices had an incredibly successful first community project, they continued their efforts in our own learning community. Dr. Seuss Day was on March 2nd and Global Voices paid tribute to the world famous author! BCS students gathered to create bag full of love and reading and visited Jennifer's class at BNS. The students shared and demonstrated the importance and fun of reading by facilitating a reading of Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat Comes Back.” The Global Voices presenters concluded their visit by giving the students a Dr. Seuss bag with bookmarks, erasers and other small reading supplies to promote the love of reading.

Fredrick Douglass Book Groups

Every year, the 11th grade US History class at BCS reads the powerful slave narrative: "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass." In book groups students explore the theme of resistance.

To help the conversation be as rich as possible additional adults our brought in to facilitate small book groups. Reading this book with our students has always been incredibly powerful and even transformative for many of our young people and yet it is also very challenging for many. The more support we have, the better they do with it. Small reading groups led by adults makes a world of difference!

This year this has been another example of school-wide collaboration. Elizabeth Daniel parent of a 3rd grader, Mylinda Hull parent of 1st and 3rd grader, Jose Joaquin Garcia BAX teaching artist, current BNS 5th grade parent and parent of BCS alum, and Amy Plattsmier parent of BNS 5th grader have all helped out facilitating book groups.

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BCS 10th Graders and BNS Kindergartners: Bringing Books Alive!

In last month's issue we wrote about a collaboration between the K and 10th grade classes here. This partnership is also featured on the BNS/BCS library blog. Check it out here: http://bnsbcslibrary.org/2015/03/30/bcs-10th-graders-and-bns-kindergartners-bringing-books-alive/
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