Weekly Letter 10.2.17

Dear Families:

 

Everyday at 11:10, academics ends and the entire school (except for pre-k) goes to lunch and recess.  Our kindergarten and first grade have the opportunity to play in one of the schoolyards while our second grade goes to the ballfield.  When the little ones are playing, third to fifth graders eat lunch in the cafeteria.  Halfway through the period, this switches and the big kids go out to play as the younger ones come in to eat.  

 

In addition to this period being a time to eat and play, lunch can also be a n opportunity for special projects and meetings.  This year that is happening in more ways than one.  

 

Last week for example, fifty third to fifth graders went to the second-ever meeting of the BNS GSA, a beautiful expression of allyship in action! A group of fifth graders took the lead at the meeting, with third and fourth graders participating as well.  Quite a few teachers stopped in to listen to the kids scheming about how to change the world. The children discussed a quote from the author's note of Who Are You? The kid's guide to gender identity. People experience gender in so many ways. Some grown-ups may worry that children are too young to talk about gender diversity. But it is all around us.  Kids are already talking about it.  There will be more meetings open to interested 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in the coming months.  Thanks to fifth grade teacher, Jessica, for organizing this.

 

Today a group of third to fifth grade children chose to go upstairs during lunch to third grade teacher,  Malika’s classroom to join in Conversations of Color.  Students of color should have a safe space to talk about the current events happening in our country as well as life in our school community  related to issues around race and racism. Conversations of Color is that space. Students who identify as being a person of color from grades 3, 4 & 5 can come to Conversations of Color to be heard, supported, get/give advice, give/receive encouragement, or just be present.

 

Twice a week during lunch starting Wednesday, twelve fifth graders will come together under José’s direction to use Brazilian theatre artist Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed model to develop an original dramatic script that explores experiences of bias and bigotry and engages audiences in ways of interrupting those experiences and empowering individuals. The starting point will be INCIDENT by Countee Cullen. Students will have a chance to share this work with peer and family audiences in the BNS auditorium as well as in a culminating public presentation in the BAX Theater as part of a youth theater exchange with Epic Theatre Ensemble.

 

As you can see, it’s not just recess and lunch between 11:10 and 12:00.  It’s a lot more.  

Just as we want students to engage together, so too do we want our parents to engage.  We encourage you to join in our first mini parent led parent workshop.  We begin on Wednesday morning in the ballfield on Hicks Street.  Come participate an exercise session led by our very own PTA Co-president, Anna Catherine.  It sounds healthy and fun!

Please join us tomorrow for our first Parents As Learning Partners session all about Library Love. Come first period to the library in room 401.  

 

All for now,

 

Anna



Quote of the Week:


A recent exchange between three fifth graders who were watching two bees pollinate a large sunflower is the perfect anecdote to include. One child remarked to the others that they should give the bees names.  The second child naturally shared a noticing: “The bees are working hard for the rest of the community.”  The third child declared, “Then we should name them Anna and Diane!”