Cultural Connections at Heritage Night 2018

Posted on October 12th, 2018 by cnickels

Heritage Night 2018 brought together nearly 100 people to learn, eat, and celebrate the heritage of our AC community. Although Allendale Columbia is a small school, students recognized that there are still a lot of differences that can separate us. The Heritage Night dinner helps people learn things about others that they may not have known before.

One student shared the story of her grandparents’ arranged marriage in India while another talked about the difference between his life in Korea and America. A student shared his experience as a Native American, another as an African American, and a third explained what Jewish traditions are all about. Other students performed a musical number as part of the program. Faculty were also featured as speakers and shared stories of growing up in Cuba and French music. One faculty member talked about her time living and teaching abroad in Kuwait saying, “We can’t always believe what we see on the news or read in the papers. Kuwait, although in the Middle East, is not a war-torn country. I had a wonderful experience teaching there and met some amazing friends with whom I still communicate to this day.”

Finally, the entire group came together over a potluck dinner celebrating the food of many cultures. Talented cooks, including Mr. Gee, shared Shepherd’s Pie, tres leches cake, arroz con gandules, and potato latkes, among other delicious dishes. As someone once said, “Food is the ingredient that binds us together.”

The second-annual event was sponsored by the Global Engagement Club and the Social Inclusivity Club as a way to celebrate different ethnicities through performance and food.

 

 

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Posted in: Eleventh Grade, Global Engagement, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

AC provides opportunity for Iraqi and local students to form lasting connections

Posted on August 29th, 2018 by Amelia Fitzsimmons

For the second summer, local Allendale Columbia students participated in the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) here in Rochester. IYLEP* is a four-week exchange program for promising Iraqi students to visit different U.S. cities and learn about leadership, peacebuilding, and civic engagement. Rochester is the only host city that has American students participate in the IYLEP program for the full two weeks, which allows them to build a strong bond and further break down stereotypes and misconceptions.

“Before this program, what I thought and knew of Iraq was based off what I see in the news, and sure, we have our differences, but we have way more in common than I thought,” said AC student Garrett Wilson.

During their time in Rochester, Iraqi and AC students visited an array of places, ranging from workshops at the M.K. Gandhi Institute, site visits to Rochester International Academy, a service project at Foodlink, and a night out at a Red Wings game.

 

On August 16th, students, host parents, and members of the community gathered in the Curtis Performance Center for the IYLEP Student Showcase. As guests trickled in, IYLEP participants laughed, sang NSYNC, and posed for selfies together, further proving that teenagers are teenagers, no matter where they’re from.

 

“Just because we’re from different places, it doesn’t mean we have different kinds of hearts.” – Mikayla Gross ‘19

 

Showcase presentations included a student-produced video highlighting the activities and friendships formed over the course of the two weeks in Rochester; a skit depicting some of the cultural differences identified between American and Iraqi students; and a touching thank you video to the host families. Many participants spoke about the lasting impact of the program, including the simple experiences like living with pets or riding a bike.

The evening concluded with the presentation of awards to the IYLEP participants by RGC Executive Director, Cecelia Hencke, and Program Facilitator, Mary Beth Moyer, followed by a friendly mix and mingle over refreshments in the Dining Commons.

 

“The lasting impact of this program is the person-to-person connection formed between people from diverse backgrounds,” said Hencke. “It increases international understanding and promotes positive U.S. foreign relations and a more peaceful and prosperous world. The program has a multiplier effect because the students are now ambassadors of one another’s country and will help further breakdown the stereotypes or misconceptions.”

 

Allendale Columbia School has been involved with IYLEP since 2017, when the AC Center for Global Engagement partnered with Rochester Global Connections (RGC), a local nonprofit organization that promotes cultural exchange,  to bring this opportunity to our community. Local high school students who participate in the program are eligible to receive accreditation from AC’s Center for Global Engagement. This year’s participants included 11 high school students and one adult mentor from Iraq and eight local Allendale Columbia students.

Since the program’s founding in 2007, IYLEP has brought more than 2,300 promising Iraqi high school and undergraduate students to the U.S. In addition to promoting mutual understanding between the people of Iraq and the U.S., IYLEP also fosters relationships within the diverse group of Iraqi participants, who represent a broad range of ethnic, religious, and geographic backgrounds.

During their program, IYLEP participants visit two to three U.S. cities where they engage in experiential learning activities and cultural exchange. Upon their return to Iraq, they implement projects in their communities, such as organizing peace festivals and providing relief services to refugees and orphans. As an investment in global understanding and peace, IYLEP has created a cadre of future leaders of Iraq.

It is clear this program benefits both American and Iraqi students alike. Together, it prepares them to become global leaders- to learn global empathy, compassion, and humility. They learn leadership skills- such as working with people from diverse backgrounds, problem solving, teamwork, dialogue, and self confidence. From this experience, students are prepared to be successful in our global and diverse society and be empowered to make a positive difference in our community and communities around the world.

“We hope to continue this program on an annual basis, so I encourage local students to apply!” said Hencke.

 

GET INVOLVED

Apply for next year’s program! (students ages 15-17) 

Become a host family

Learn more about the AC Center for Global Engagement

*IYLEP is sponsored and funded by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by World Learning.

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Posted in: Global Engagement, Highlights, Partnerships

Host Families Needed for Authentic Cultural Experience

Posted on June 7th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School
Looking for an authentic cultural experience?

The AC Center for Global Engagement and Rochester Global Connections is looking for host families for two weeks in August! From August 5th – 19th, AC Global Connections Leadership Academy will have 13 Iraqi students on campus to work with our students on leadership and civic engagement. These Iraqi teenagers have been selected by World Vision and the US Department of State as being the most promising future leaders of their country. They will be in the Leadership Academy weekdays from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and our wish is that, during the evenings and weekends, the host student gains an authentic cultural experience by participating in family activities. While this is a volunteer experience, it is an extremely enriching multi-cultural opportunity for both your family and the host student and creates a life-long friendship. If you, or anyone you know, are interested in finding out more information about your family hosting a student, please contact hospitality@rocglobal.org or abaerharper@allendalecolumbia.org

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Posted in: Global Engagement, Partnerships

Discovery, Collaboration, and Community in the 2018 May Term

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: Authentic Learning, Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Global Engagement, Highlights, Invent, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

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, 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, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

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, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

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, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Nursery, Partnerships, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School