8th Graders Welcome Honor Flight Veterans

Posted on April 20th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Members of the 8th grade greeted veterans from Honor Flight Mission 58 at Rochester International Airport last Sunday, part of a collaborative Capstone Project between History, English, and Science centered on World War II.

Honor Flight is a non-profit organization that flies WWII and now Korean and Vietnam vets to Washington, D.C., to see the WWII, Korean, Vietnam, and other memorials. For many of these vets, now in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, this will be the last opportunity to see the memorials built in their honor.

(Photos by Andrew Ragan et al. Additional photos and video are available in this Google Photos album.)

Our students wrote over 120 personalized letters to the more than 50 Honor Flight Mission 58 vets. When the flight reaches 20,000 feet, the vets will experience their first “mail call” since their service days. According to Honor Flight representatives who have spoken to our students, the reading of students’ letters is one of the most emotional times of the trip for our veterans.

Honor Flight Rochester invited our eighth graders to a “Welcome Home” celebration at Rochester International Airport on Sunday, April 15th. Our students joined hundreds of people cheering on the returning vets and met and took photos with the recipients of their letters. It was a great way to show these military members of the “Greatest Generation,” the “Forgotten War” (Korea), the Cold War, and Vietnam how much we appreciate their service. They are “living history” that we must embrace while we can.

According to the Honor Flight Rochester website, this is the Rochester hub’s 10th year. AC has been involved since their second year, making this our 9th year of writing letters. We started after Juliana Levinson ’14 volunteered with Honor Flight back when she was in Upper School and asked if 8th graders could write letters. The Capstone Project combines 8th grade History, English, and Science and explores how the science and technology of World War II influences our lives today. It culminates in a science-fair-style Exhibition Night on May 14th with formal presentations to share their research paper findings.

 

Kristin Cocquyt

Andrew Ragan

Andrew came to teach Middle School History at Allendale Columbia School after 20 years in educational publishing and living in Pittsburgh, New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, and the Adirondacks. He began writing for young people at Junior Scholastic magazine and has since published hundreds of articles in such magazines as JS, Scholastic News, Disney Adventures, Creative Classroom, and more. After teaching freshman composition at the University of Southern California for several years, Andrew served as the Senior Editor for Disney Adventures Magazine. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Communications, with honors, from Carnegie Mellon University and his master's degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Highlights, Middle School, MS Birches, Partnerships, The Birches, Uncategorized

Students Develop Entrepreneurship Skills in Senegal Collaboration

Posted on April 13th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Ariane Baer-Harper, Director of the AC Center for Global Engagement

During Spring Break in 2018, 12 Allendale Columbia students went to Dakar, Senegal, to participate in an entrepreneurship program entitled, Developing Entrepreneurship Skills through Intercultural Collaboration. This eight-day program was created by the AC Center for Global Engagement, the AC Center for Entrepreneurship, and Baobab Consulting, a company based in New York City and Dakar which specializes in facilitating collaboration between cultures through innovation. Throughout the program, AC students were paired with Senegalese high school students and were tasked to come up with an innovative social entrepreneurship idea.

WROC News 8 interviewed two students and Director of the AC Center for Global Engagement, Ariane Baer-Harper.

(Photos by Garrett Wilson ’21, Anna Mihalyov ’19, and John Palomaki)

All students, with trip leaders Ariane Baer-Harper (Director of Global Engagement) and Gabe Costanzo (Music and Band instructor), stayed at the Tostan Training Facility in Thiès, about 40 km outside of Dakar. Tostan is an international NGO focusing on human rights issues in Senegal, particularly women’s rights. The group also had the opportunity to spend some time in Dakar, the capital, and St. Louis, a city north of the country which was once the colonial capital of Senegal.

(more…)

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

Game of Empire Immerses 7th Graders in Colonial Economics

Posted on April 13th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Andrew Ragan, Middle School History Teacher

Seventh Graders recently tackled the “Game of Empire” to immerse themselves in the economics of Colonial America. Imitating Europe’s mercantile system of the 18th century, teams of students representing the Southern Planters, New England Merchants, European Merchants, Colonial Farmers, and British West Indian Planters competed to gain the largest percentage of goods they needed to prosper. Students checked their inventories, bargained with traders from other groups, procured shipping, and sailed loaded ships across the sea to deliver their goods.

Ship journeys were not always successful, however: storms sank ships, pirates seized cargo, and the British Navy stopped many vessels to check whether goods were being smuggled. Apparently, the Navy was open to bribery, as it ended the game with an inexplicably large amount of hard cash. Some teams made a killing when they realized that they held monopolies on certain goods that other teams had to have. Students raced around the room in great bursts of energy during four trading rounds, each begun and ended with a “royal flourish” from a tuba and trumpet player.

After the last round, each team tabulated its purchases and sales and calculated what percentage of goods they had acquired. All the seventh graders “won” in the end by learning just how complicated the mercantile trading system was in the Colonial Age and how much fun it is to simulate that in the “Game of Empire.”

Click here for more photos and video of the action.

 

Kristin Cocquyt

Andrew Ragan

Andrew came to teach Middle School History at Allendale Columbia School after 20 years in educational publishing and living in Pittsburgh, New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, and the Adirondacks. He began writing for young people at Junior Scholastic magazine and has since published hundreds of articles in such magazines as JS, Scholastic News, Disney Adventures, Creative Classroom, and more. After teaching freshman composition at the University of Southern California for several years, Andrew served as the Senior Editor for Disney Adventures Magazine. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Communications, with honors, from Carnegie Mellon University and his master's degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Middle School, MS Birches, Seventh Grade, The Birches

Nursery/Pre-K Hop-A-Thon Raises $2K for MDA

Posted on March 29th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Tammy Crowe, Lisa Crandall, and Donna Kwiatkowski

Allendale Columbia Nursery and Pre-K students hopped and raised $2,150.00 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in the MDA Hop-A-Thon on Wednesday, March 28th. The MDA disability awareness program helps children to learn about awareness, acceptance, and assistance. We were joined this year by Heather Powers, MDA Regional Fundraising Coordinator, who honored us with her praise of the students’ enthusiastic participation.

Our 4th grade friends join us for this special event every year. The 4th graders are the “counters”, and the Nursery and Pre-K students are the “hoppers”. We hop for 2 minutes! This is our class community service project.

Leading up to the project, the class watched some short videos and learned “hands-on” how to move in a wheelchair. We also learned that:

  1. Everybody is different, nobody is perfect…But all of us are special!
  2. Our bodies are amazing and can do lots of things. Every person has different abilities.
  3. When somebody has a lot of trouble doing something — no matter how hard they try or how old they get — they have a “disability”.
  4. There are many kinds of disabilities. People don’t have disabilities because they are bad or lazy. You can’t “catch” a disability the way you catch a cold.
  5. Some kids have a disability in their muscles caused by a disease called muscular dystrophy. They might use leg braces or wheelchairs, but they still like to play and be friends.
  6. Doctors and scientists are working to help kids and adults with muscular dystrophy. We can help, too, by being in the MDA Hop-a-Thon!

Thank you to all of our Nursery & Pre-K “Hoppers”, our 4th grade “counters” and all of the family and friends who sponsored our students.

 

Kristin Cocquyt

Tammy Crowe

Tammy joined Allendale Columbia over 15 years ago working in the Pre-Primary School and Rainbow Room after school program before becoming a pre-kindergarten teacher full-time. Prior to AC, Tammy taught in a variety of educational settings including creative arts, the YMCA, and daycare programs. She's a graduate of SUNY Brockport where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Arts for Children. Tammy was honored with the Virginia and Fred Gordon Chair in Elementary Education in 2007.
Kristin Cocquyt

Lisa Crandall

Lisa has been working at Allendale Columbia School since 1996, starting in our Admissions Department as the Admissions Assistant as well as a substitute teacher before securing her current role as a Pre-K teacher in 2002. Prior to joining AC she worked at Monroe Community College as the Student Association Secretary where she supervised office operations for the Student Senate, and at Progressive Childcare Center as a preschool teacher. Lisa is a graduate of Nazareth College where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in English Literature with a concentration in Elementary Education.
Kristin Cocquyt

Donna Kwiatkowski

Donna has been teaching nursery school at Allendale Columbia for 30 years! Prior to teaching at AC, Donna was a Graduate Assistant at the Early Childhood Research Center at the University of Buffalo while getting her master's degree in Elementary Education with Specialization in Early Childhood Education. She is also New York State certified in nursery through grade six and holds two bachelor's degrees in Early Childhood Education and Psychology.

 

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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, Nursery, Partnerships, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten, The Birches

Club Honors Local Women of Distinction in US Assembly

Posted on March 29th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Alison Zell ’18 and Indy Maring ’18

Guests Trelawney McCoy, Safi Osman, Sarah Rutherford, and KaeLyn Rich with members of the Social Inclusivity Club.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Social Inclusivity Club at Allendale Columbia School organized an Upper School assembly to highlight and honor the contribution of local women in the Rochester community. The club’s co-chairs were moved by a project called Her Voice Carries that they discovered through an exhibit at the Memorial Art Gallery.

Her Voice Carries, by local mural artist Sarah Rutherford, features five local, empowered women and the inspiring work that they do to support their local communities and to “lift up the voices of others.” Sarah collaborated with the women to design and paint five murals of them in different communities throughout Rochester. From there, the club chairs decided that the AC community would get a lot out of Sarah and her work and knew they needed to share her story and project with everyone.

The AC community was extremely fortunate to have three of the women, Trelawney McCoy, Safi Osman, and KaeLyn Rich, join Sarah to talk about the important work they’re doing.

  • Trelawney McCoy, active in Rochester’s Northeast Quadrant, is the foster and biological mother to nine children. She works full time as a project counselor at the University of Rochester helping young mothers gain their independence. Trelawney believes that every child deserves love, and she has dedicated her life to that mission.
  • Safi Osman is active in the Southwest Quadrant of Rochester. She is originally from Somalia, has lived in the United States for 2-3 years, and is an emergency translator. Safi also provides transport to refugees in need through Refugees Helping Refugees, an organization that she helped found.
  • KaeLyn Rich is active in the Southeast Quadrant. She is a queer feminist who is an active writer and direct action organizer. She is the Assistant Advocacy Director with the New York Civil Liberties Union, a staff writer for Autostraddle, and also maintains a blog that focuses on parenting and family-making. KaeLyn’s new book, Girls Resist!: A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution, is up for preorder, to be released in August.

The women shared more about their passions and efforts in the Rochester community, then the panel opened for questions.

The assembly resonated with many at Allendale Columbia who felt that the stories of these women were inspirational to them, as they often feel as though they have little control over their world. This assembly showed these students that their voices matter and that they have the power to make a difference in world, which, at times such as these, is critical.

If you would like to learn more about Sarah Rutherford’s Her Voice Carries, visit https://hervoicecarries.blog/ where you can find more information about the artist, the project, and the different mural locations.

The Social Inclusivity Club works to promote awareness and acceptance to the problems of  marginalized people in our community. Learn more about the club on their blog, https://sicblogac.wordpress.com .

 

Kristin Cocquyt

Alison Zell

Alison Zell, Co-chair of the Social Inclusivity Club, is a senior at Allendale Columbia School. This is her 3rd year as Co-Chair of the club. Alison enjoys running track, baking, playing the trombone, and spending time with her family, including her bunny, Bunzo Dunzo, and her dog, Kali Zell. Alison is going to study nursing next year.
Kristin Cocquyt

Indiia Maring

Indy Maring, Co-chair of the Social Inclusivity Club, is a senior at AC. Indy has been a member of SIC for 3 years, and this is their first year as chair. They enjoy throwing discus, learning about cults, and playing with their cousin Riley. Next year, Indy plans on studying Political Science at the University of Rochester.
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Global Engagement, Highlights, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

Creativity Abounds at Evening of the Arts

Posted on March 27th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Creativity knows no bounds, as Allendale Columbia School students demonstrated at the biennial Evening of the Arts event on Friday, March 23rd. The exhibition featured over a hundred works of art from students in grades N – 12 displayed throughout the school. This year’s theme was “Art Around the World”.

Honors and Portfolio Seminar Art students plied their craft in the Bruce B. Bates Design and Innovation Lab, previewing their work for the upcoming spring thesis exhibition in April. Senior Madison DeCory appreciated the opportunity to help stimulate artistic creativity in younger students, as she mentioned in an interview with News 8 Rochester: “What we want to do tonight is showcase what we’ve been doing, showcase our talents, and get other students interested in the artwork that we’re doing.”

“It’s a variety of work all the way from photography — we have a black and white darkroom which is incredible for our students to have that experience — to printmaking, painting, drawing, design, digital work, and hands on work,” said Amy Oliveri, AC art teacher and Director of the AC Center for Entrepreneurship. A group of 5th graders even demonstrated their “crankie” from the Lower School musical, “I’m Not Sleepy…Yet!”.

Students working in the Global Engagement Diploma program also participated in a bit of social entrepreneurism, selling handmade baskets from a women’s collective and shade-grown coffee to benefit the program’s partners in El Sauce, Nicaragua.

News 8 Rochester summarized the event on their evening news show.

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Posted in: AC in the News, Alumni News, Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Global Engagement, Highlights, Invent, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Nursery, Partnerships, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches