What's New at 610 Henry

December 2014

What's this newsletter about again?

Dear 610 Henry Community,

There's so much exciting collaboration going on that we wanted to share with all of you. The past few months have been filled with activity at BNS and BCS. As a reminder, we'll be sending out this newsletter periodically to highlight our efforts to strengthen the pre-K - 12 collaboration and unity in our school building. Each month we will share with you some highlights of the exciting project based work going on in classrooms across the whole building and will also highlight examples of collaboration between BNS and BCS students. If you would like to be involved in the work we are doing or if you have news for a future newsletter, please e-mail Amy (amysumner@bns146.org) or Amanda (amandab@bcs448.org).

The College March!

On Friday, December 12 the BCS seniors participated in a college march. Part of a Nationwide movement, the students marched down Henry and Rapelye Streets to a USPS mail truck, and every graduating senior mailed at least one college application. This march celebrated the fact that our seniors are 100% college bound!

As the seniors marched, students in grades 3-11 cheered them on. We were a sea of positivity, surrounding the seniors with cheers and love. The march was a symbol of all the hard work it takes to build a college-bound culture and to support students in academic achievements to make them college-ready.

In the week leading up to the march, seniors went downstairs to BNS and spoke to students in grades 3-5 about college. Some of the seniors are BNS alumni. Not only were they able to share with the students but they were able to share with their former teachers as well.

Our Kindness Campaign

Karmela's 10th grade crew is studying kindness and how books can demonstrate this core value to young children. They have discussed research on early childhood literacy, human development and the value of reading aloud. National Book Award winner and BNS parent, Jacqueline Woodson, provided articles for students to consider. Marianna Souto-Manning, a professor at Teachers College, also offered excerpts of her research on cultural and linguistic diversity in the early childhood classroom.

Our librarians Susan and Amanda have created a series of literacy learning experiences with resources from our school library and MyLibraryNYC. Students have learned how to use the BNS/BCS library database and searched for picture books that address kindness. They are also learning about human development in order to determine which titles are most appropriate for a Kindergarten student.

The 10th graders loved reading to Kori's class and can't wait to go back. We're teaming up with Jennifer to read to her students too.

Our book recommendations will be ready by mid-December!

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BNS/BCS Collaboration through the Afghan Woman's Writing Project

BCS teacher Stephen worked with songwriter Shevy Smith in his upper grades “Human Rights on Film” elective course in his four-week case study. Students read and analyzed poetry written by Afghani women, studied the cultural landscape in Afghanistan and injustices against women in the region, and then created original music, with the support of Shevy and BCS music teacher Christine P, ultimately composing a tribute in song in honor of each woman’s powerful story. Shevy also partnered with Laurie and Amanda's 5th grade class at BNS to bring more song and voice to these stories.

During the creation process, students also Skyped with the women in safehouses in Afghanistan, sharing what they had set in music. The moving event involved the reading of the original poems and then musical tributes to their words.

New and Exciting Possibilities

We have applied for an arts grant that would let us expand our arts programming and building more collaboration between our two schools.

If we get the grant, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) will provide an after school musical theater program for 30 students in grades 4, 5 and 6.

In addition, 6th graders will have the opportunity to participate in a residency with BAX teaching artist Jose Joaquin Garcia. For more information about BAX, here is their website: http://youth.bax.org/home/

Middle School Admissions Update

During MS admissions season all BNS students who wanted to were given the opportunity to visit BCS and participate in the tours. Almost every 5th grader took advantage of this opportunity.

In addition to the tours, 5th graders were invited up to BCS for a special Q and A with the 6th grade teachers. While sipping some hot chocolate, they were able to ask questions about electives, lunch, recess and anything else they wanted to know.

We look forward to the ways we can continue to build our 610 Henry community.

Happy Holidays! Look for the newsletter in the new year.