Center for Entrepreneurship Featured at PACK Coffee Connection

Posted on February 16th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

At this week’s PACK (Parents of Allendale Columbia Kids) Coffee Connection, Amy Oliveri, Director of the new AC Center for Entrepreneurship, discussed her vision for the Center. Though she was only hired for the position at the beginning of this school year, she’s making good progress in helping students not only learn about entrepreneurism but actually become entrepreneurs.

The vision for the new Center is for it to be “a hub for entrepreneurship that will create opportunities for our students/participants to make an impact on the world at an unprecedented level by learning to adapt to a constantly evolving world, connecting globally, and carving their own path. This authentic way of thinking and working develops a universally applicable and transferable mindset and skill set.”

One of the visible changes she’s brought forward is having students run the AC school store, the Wolf Den. Students manage inventory, do marketing, and work as clerks, having learned the Square point-of-sale system that they use in the store and in the new online store at wolfden.allendalecolumbia.org.

Another effort is engaging with the AC Center for Global Engagement on such things as the Senegal trip that has students partnering with an organization to solve real-world problems in Senegal, and with the AC Invent Center on things like TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool. There are also connections to local businesses, such as the Mindset to Skillset program where students pitch ideas to local entrepreneur judges.

Of course, there are many curricular impacts. Lower School offers Junior Achievement and Innovation Day. Middle School students can take such classes as Business and the Entrepreneurial Mind; Entrepreneurship: Makers and Problem Solving; Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, and B Corps; and Modes of Persuasion. And Upper School has a huge range of opportunities, including courses in Behavioral Science, Social Innovation, and the Act of Solving Problems and Having Influence; Innovation and Design; Professional Writing; Financial Literacy: Personal and Business Finance; and Digital Design and Illustration.

If you missed the talk, you can take a look at the slides by clicking on the image, and contact Amy Oliveri with any questions, comments, or opportunities.

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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Entrepreneurship, Global Engagement, Highlights, Invent, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, The Birches, Upper School, US Birches

AC Student-run TEDx Brings Ideas, Learning

Posted on February 16th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Learning occurred on multiple levels at TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool on February 3rd. You may already be familiar with TED talks, and TEDx events are local versions of those talks. What makes this TEDx event different from most is that it was planned and produced from start to finish by AC students.

TED events are all about sharing ideas, and, as one would expect, the sold-out audience gained a lot of insights from a stellar selection of presenters:

  • Sam Thomson, Student, Boston University, and CEO, Bluum
  • 17 School 17 Student Council
  • Alan Raskin, Student, Calkins Road Middle School
  • Anderson Allen, Assistant Educational Coordinator, Boys, and Girls Club of Rochester
  • Natalie Northrup, Student, Honeoye Falls-Lima High School
  • Andrew Brady, President & Chief Evolutionary Officer, The XLR8 Team, Inc. and Conscious Capitalism ROC
  • Emily Atieh, Senior, Allendale Columbia School
  • Brian Roets, Practice Lead: Infrastructure and End-User Computing, SMP Corp
  • Carmen Gumina, Superintendent, Webster School District

But the learning behind the scenes by students in the TEDx class and club that produced the event will probably have the biggest, longest impacts, according to faculty advisors Amy Oliveri and Tony Tepedino. We posed some questions to three of the students who led the effort, Rachel Sherin ’19, Marissa Frenett ’19, and Fiona Lutz ’20.

Q: What were some of your objectives for this year’s TEDx event? Did you meet those objectives?
Rachel:  For this year’s TEDx event, we wanted it more geared towards kids. In the past, more of the older community was present at the event. This year we had one speaker from Allendale and two other students from different schools present at the event. We also had a good turnout of student attendees and volunteers.
Marissa: One of our very most important objectives was to get many sponsors from local people. We tried to get all dinner items from local restaurants. With plenty of work, we successfully got a salad from Headwater Food Hub, pizza from Salvatore’s, and mac and cheese from Macarollin!

Q: TEDx is about ideas worth spreading. Does that stop with the event, or how do you plan to continue spreading the ideas presented going forward?
Fiona: Because our event brings in a lot of members from outside the Allendale community, the goal for our TEDx is to leave people thinking about new ideas they might not have considering before and to share them with their peers. Especially with this year’s theme about restarting, we hope that people can apply the topics presented to their everyday life. Not only do we hope that our event’s talks and topics will inspire others in the community, but these talks are also shared online as well which can then be seen by virtually anyone.

Q: How has your experience with TEDx impacted you, either with the ideas presented or in the production of the event?
Marissa: TEDx has impacted me a lot. I think specifically the last speaker was very inspiring. He helped me realize that finding a good combination between academics and happiness is very important and should be done. That talk sort of changed the way I approach things now.
Fiona: Before becoming a part of the TEDx class, I attended the event for several years prior, but this year when I joined the class and actually got to work hands on with something I was genuinely interested in, it was very rewarding. As a part of the class, I was able to be a speaker coach for Samuel Thompson, who spoke about striving for progress over perfection. Seeing Sam’s talk come together over the few months I worked with him and then actually being able to see his talk live on the TEDx stage was great because not only had we both worked so hard on preparing him for the event, but Sam’s talk was personally relatable to me, since even during the semester, I struggled on working towards my goals and often times wanted perfection so badly, but was disappointed when things didn’t work as planned. His talk gave me a different perspective.

Q: What one thing do you want to carry forward from the event?
Rachel: Everyone worked so hard together to put the event together. I would like to carry that passion and positive energy throughout life.
Marissa: I thought that teamwork played a huge role in the success of this event. We all had to find speakers, sponsors, and a bunch of other stuff. That is what made our event as great as it was. I want to carry that, being open to work with people I wouldn’t usually.

You can see more photos from TEDx on Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr.

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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Global Engagement, Highlights, Invent, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

Fearless Friday: Sweet Potato Throwdown

Posted on February 16th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Super Chef Yessie Roman and Chief Chef Laura Reynolds-Gorsuch faced off on Fearless Friday in a Sweet Potato Throwdown! Usually on Fearless Friday at Lower School lunch, Super Chef makes a vegetable dish for Chef Laura (who doesn’t typically like vegetables) and some student volunteers to try.

This time, the two chefs did a throwdown using sweet potatoes as the main vegetable ingredient. Super Chef made Sweet Potato Fries (no recipe, just sweet potatoes, olive oil, and seasoning), and Chef Laura made a Vegan Sweet Potato Bread. Students were the judges in the taste test, and the winner was…Chef Laura’s Sweet Potato Bread! (It’s difficult to compete with sugar.)

Recipe: Vegan Sweet Potato Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 mashed, ripe bananas
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (or canned sweet potatoes)

Directions

  1. Combine sugar and oil; beat well. Add eggs and sweet potatoes and beat. In a
    separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir flour
    mixture into egg mixture with the water.
  2. Pour batter into greased 9×5 inch loaf pan (or 2 small loaf pans). Bake at 350
    degrees for about one hour.
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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, US Birches

Fearless Friday: Caramelized Turnips

Posted on February 9th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Today’s Fearless Friday vegetable preparation in Lower School is Caramelized Turnips. AC Lunch Lady Patty Babcock did the honors with Super Chef Yessie Roman. Did everyone like it? Watch the video, then try the recipe for yourself!

Recipe: Caramelized Turnips

Ingredients:

3 cups small diced peeled turnips
1/4 cup of water
1 cup of veggie broth
1 Tbs butter, or more as needed
 1 Tbs Extra Virgin olive oil
2 Tbs sugar

Preparation:

  1. Place Turnips into skillet with water and broth over medium heat, and simmer until the water evaporated and turnips are tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the oil, and sprinkle on the sugar.
  3. Gently cook the turnips they are a little brown and sticky coating on the turnips, about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve hot. Enjoy.
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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, US Birches

Next Steps Programs Ease Transitions

Posted on February 9th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

It’s February and already time to begin thinking about the next school year. Allendale Columbia students and parents transitioning from grade to grade in Lower School, from Lower School to Middle School and Middle School to Upper School have many questions about the changes they’ll experience, so AC’s Next Steps programs help address those questions and make the transitions easier.

Ms. Duver met with 5th graders

Because of the close-knit community and smaller class sizes at AC, the transition from Lower School to Middle School isn’t as traumatic as it might be in larger schools, since many of the students and teachers know each other already. But there are still many changes, in addition to learning where things are in a different wing of the building and switching from being with one teacher most of the day to having different teachers and classrooms for each subject. After some introductory discussions with Head of Middle School Tina Duver and others, the Next Steps program paired sixth grade ambassadors with fifth grade students to guide them through a typical day’s routines, giving an introduction to teachers, classrooms, and schedules.

Students found they will have more independence from teachers and parents in the decisions they can make at school and in having to advocate for themselves and take advantage of the abundant support opportunities when needed. With that independence comes responsibility to get homework and projects done, manage their time well, and keep a key fob to get in and out of the buildings on campus. They enjoyed the idea of choice in electives that increases over time and in choosing (and creating!) clubs to join. By the end of the day, the fifth graders seemed ready and excited for the change.

A panel of Upper School students offered tips and answered questions to 8th graders

The transition to Upper School elevates those same characteristics of independence, responsibility, and choice to another level. Head of Upper School Ryan Burke talked about that, in particular pointing out the increased independence and responsibility includes forging their identities and making choices about their friends, relationships, getting the support they need, and use of time. In a panel discussion, current Upper Schoolers shared their experiences with the eighth graders, answered questions, and gave tips, with a lot of interest on time management, workload, scheduling, and preparing for college.

Eighth graders also experienced some of the variety of courses they will be able to take come September when they enter ninth grade. Some of these courses include Astrophysics, Behavioral Science, Biochemistry, Environmental Science and Sustainability, Creative Writing, Modern Middle East, Studio Music Production, and Painting and World Art, in addition to more traditional subjects like History, English, Algebra, and Geometry.

Parents with children transitioning from grade to grade in Lower School are also doing a Next Steps program today, with an introduction and Q&A with Head of School and Acting Head of Lower School Mick Gee and visits to classrooms for the grades they will be moving up to. Students experience a similar walk-through of their next classrooms which is always a wondrous experience for them.

The buzz of transitioning to a new grade and a new Division is often tempered with concerns, but AC’s Next Steps programs help ease anxieties early on to best prepare students and their families for what lies ahead. One of the most exciting parts of the program for all involved is to see the students’ natural curiosity, wonder, and excitement of gaining new choices, independence, and responsibility.

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Posted in: Eighth Grade, Fifth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, The Birches, US Birches

“Sleepy” Students Start Pajama Drive

Posted on February 8th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Lower School students in grades one through five are bringing community service into their annual musical, which will take place on Thursday, February 15th, at 7:00 p.m. This year’s show, I’m Not Sleepy…Yet, tells the story of a large sleepover party in the Lower School, where the teachers try desperately to get the students to fall asleep. Needless to say, they are not terribly successful.

Students start pajama driveWe always look for opportunities for our students to develop a sense of responsibility to self and others and to engage globally and in the community around us to make a positive impact, key elements of our mission and vision statements. So, fitting with the sleepover theme, the cast and production team are excited to host a pajama drive in conjunction with the show to support the Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (RAIHN).  

The Lower School will be collecting new pajamas of any type and for any age. All pajama donations can be placed in collection boxes throughout the Lower School, in the dining commons, near the front desk, and by the Allendale entrance. Pajamas will be collected February 8th through February 15th. We will then take all the PJs collected to the RAIHN Day Center, which is the central location for the organization and for homeless families.

RAIHN serves homeless families in Rochester by organizing temporary shelters and meals all across the region and by assisting families in finding permanent homes in the Rochester area. In 2017, RAIHN served over 100 individuals including 57 children. Since all families entering the RAIHN program receive a free pair of pajamas upon their arrival, we thought Allendale Columbia students and their families could help make a positive impact on this incredibly important organization serving youth and their families. 

If you have questions, please contact Rachael Sanguinetti at rsanguinetti@allendalecolumbia.org.

Kristin Cocquyt

Rachael Sanguinetti

Rachael is in her second year teaching music at AC. A recent graduate of the Eastman School of Music with majors in Music Education and Musical Arts with a minor in Psychology and an Arts Leadership Certificate, she's working toward a masters degree at Ithaca College. She brings experience teaching kindergarten-8th grade music in Rochester, 6th-8th grade general music and choir at Burger Middle School, and 2-3 year olds as part of the Eastman Community School Early Childhood Music Program.
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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, US Birches