May Term Produces Authentic Learning – Part 1

Posted on June 1st, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Every year at the end of the spring semester, Middle and Upper School students at Allendale Columbia complete their usual curriculum and begin May Term. May Term exists to provide educational opportunities outside of the normal structures of the school year to support intellectual discovery, encourage collaboration, and foster community involvement.

Here are some May Term highlights so far this year:

  • Students learned about honey bees, built a beehive, planted flora that bees love, and installed a starter colony of bees at the school garden in the “Buds and Bees” course led by Mrs. Guzzetta and Mr. Costanzo. Students will continue to monitor the hive and harvest honey in the fall.
  • A panel of judges from the AC Kitchen and maintenance evaluated student culinary creations in a Master Chef-type competition, with students presenting the science behind the creation of those food items in the “Science of Cooking” course led by Ms. Crosby and senior Gio Martino.
  • In “Human Impacts on the Environment”, AC students worked with students from the World of Inquiry School 58 at a Water Quality Summit in Rochester to understand the Genesee River ecosystem, which was featured on WROC and WXXI. Mrs. Lisi and Mr. Godkin led this session.
  • In “Life Underwater”, students explored the flora and fauna in Corbett’s Glen with Mrs. Guzzetta.
         
  • Students visited the Women’s Rights Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls as part of “Nevertheless, She Persisted” (above) with Mr. Neeley

Other topics included:

  • Positive Psychology
  • The Great Outdoors
  • Console Wars: The History of Video Gaming
  • Be Here Now: Mindfulness as a Practice
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • What would Susan and Frederick Think? The Legacy of Rochester’s Agitators
  • Muse: Making a Magazine
  • Bilingual Theatre
  • Building, flying and using drones for media production
  • Nicaragua
  • Music with Kids
  • Confidence & Courage: Dare to Show Up, Be Seen, & Be Brave
  • Wheelin’ Through Rochester’s History
  • Stigma and Mental Health: Issues and Interventions
  • Ornithology Science and Art
  • Ableism
  • Exhibition Night Planning
  • Grow Your Own Food
  • Social Impact Filmmaking
  • Day Trading and Cryptocurrency Lab
  • Making Community Service a Way of Life
  • 2019 College Workshop
  • The AC Genome Project
  • Innocence and Guilt: Learning about the Law

We’ll have additional updates as May Term progresses. Everyone is also welcome to participate in an interactive May Term Exhibition Night where students will discuss their projects on Thursday, May 7th from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

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

First Graders Seek to Save Amazon Rainforest

Posted on May 4th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Annie King and Stephanie Williford

As part of a Project Based Learning (PBL) unit focusing on the Amazon Rainforest, Allendale Columbia’s first graders continued their research on the rich biodiversity of this amazing natural resource. We have been studying the rainforest and its creatures all year long and have discovered many troubling facts about the 28,000 species that live there.

This information gave us the idea to begin our campaign to raise $1,200 so that we can adopt 30 acres of land in the Amazon Rainforest — the same size as our Allendale campus! Allendale Columbia’s 1st grade Rainforest Rescuers launched their own GoFundMe page with the hopes of raising $1,200 for the Amazon Aid Foundation. After just 4 hours, they had raised $555, and they have already surpassed their goal! This group’s love and passion for the Amazon Rainforest is truly making an impact on our world.

Our 1st graders are truly experts about many of the animals in this area. We Skyped with Sarah DuPont, the president of Amazon Aid Foundation. The first graders worked hard to come up with thoughtful questions for Sarah, and she was impressed with their commitment to saving the Amazon Rainforest. Sarah was also able to teach us much about the challenges facing the Amazon Rainforest and the crucial work her organization is doing.

In math, we continued working on measurement this week by practicing drawing lines and crafting bookmarks to spread the word about the plight of the Amazon Rainforest. The bookmarks will be going on sale soon so stay tuned!

Next Thursday, May 10th, the first graders will be performing a puppet show they wrote based on the book The Great Kapok Tree by Lynn Cherry, and they will be singing a song they wrote based on nursery rhyme titled The Rainforest Grows All Around.
Kristin Cocquyt

Ann King

After pursing her passion for teaching, Ann became a long-term substitute at Allendale Columbia before beginning to teach first grade full-time at AC. Prior to beginning her teaching career, Ann was in the financial industry as an Assistant Vice President, Financial Analyst, and Corporate Trainer at two different regional banks. Ann earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from Penn State College and her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Roberts Wesleyan College.
Kristin Cocquyt

Stephanie Williford

Stephanie joined Allendale Columbia in the fall of 2012. She holds an associate's degree with a concentration in Psychology, a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a concentration in Inclusive Education, as well as Quad-Inclusive Teacher Certification for grades 1-9. Prior to coming to AC, Stephanie served as a kindergarten teacher at Children's Creative Learning Center and supervised the Child Care and Preschool Summer Fun Camp at Pittsford Recreation Center.
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Posted in: Entrepreneurship, First Grade, Global Engagement, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, The Birches, Uncategorized

Social Entrepreneurship Class Collaborates on Blended Burger Project

Posted on May 4th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

By Fiona Lutz and Indiia Maring

Students in the Making the Impact: Social Entrepreneurship class are working with Headwater Food Hub to research and market their Blended Burger Project submissions. The Blended Burger is a combination of ground beef, onions, and mushrooms, and its mission is to reimagine the iconic burger in a sustainable and healthier way that is more accessible for everyone.

The students have split into two groups to tackle their objectives more efficiently. The research team is working to collect data about the quality and taste of the Blended Burger in order to see how it would work for the Allendale community and Rochester community. They sponsored a taste survey during school lunches last week. The marketing team is collaborating with Ryn Adkins, manager of the Blended Burger project, to create advertisement material to use with Headwater’s partners.

Kristin Cocquyt

Fiona Lutz

Fiona Lutz is a sophomore at Allendale Columbia. She plays tennis for HAC and loves being involved with programs at school such as the global engagement and ambassador programs.
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, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Seventh Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

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

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