by Randy Northrup, 5th Grade Teacher
Students from Nursery through Grade 5 gathered in the Curtis Performance Center (CPC) for a Read-A-Thon Kick-off. Mrs. Michelle Feiss, Head of Lower School, noticed all sorts of camping equipment on the stage and, along with the students, figured that AC mascot, Wolfie, was up to something.
Sure enough, Wolfie shared that he was missing all the fun he had at Camp Howl-A-Lot last summer and was trying to recreate the experience. After talking about all of the fun activities he enjoyed at camp, Wolfie asked what students at AC like to do.
Mrs. Feiss explained that two of the things AC Lower School students like to do, READ and HELP OTHERS, were why they were gathered. She explained that our students can read for 100 minutes on May 10th to raise money to support literacy activities at AC Summer LEAP. Ms. Lindsey Brown, Director of Summer LEAP, shared information about Summer LEAP, a six-week academic and character education initiative that provides students in grades K-5 from School No. 17 in the Rochester City School District with an opportunity to continue to strengthen their reading and math skills during the summer months.
Wolfie returned with a great idea. Why don’t we call this Camp Read-A-Lot and read together in camping fashion because reading is “in tents!”? Wolfie signed Mrs. Feiss up as Camp Director with her own ranger hat.
Just as Wolfie wondered whether the students would be able to find enough books to read, the AC Reading Fairy, Ms. Amanda Gianinny, showed up via video to share an inspiring song.
With everyone in the mood to sing, Ms. Lynn Grossman and Ms. Linsay Alexander taught the students a “Camp Read-A-Lot Song” in a rousing sing-along. Wolfie will be sending messages to students at lunch to keep up the enthusiasm.
Families and friends are invited to sponsor students per minute, as the Lower School children will read and participate in reading activities for ONE HUNDRED MINUTES. Pledging is not required for students to participate in this fun activity. Pledge forms must be returned to your child’s homeroom teacher by Monday, April 8th.
Richard NorthrupRandy, a fifth-grade teacher currently, always knew that he would teach. He has been in the field of education for 40 years and at Allendale Columbia School for 36 years. Randy holds both a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master of Science Degree in Education from the College at Brockport. He is the father of four AC â€œLifersâ€ (Kaitlin â€™99, Zachary â€™01, Gus â€™03, and Hannah â€™05). He was the David M. Pynchon Chair in the Visual and Performing Arts in 1999.
Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Nursery, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten, Second Grade, Summer LEAP, Third Grade
August 15th marked the end of another successful summer, here at AC Summer LEAP! Students, parents, and faculty came together to celebrate the hard-work and dedication of this year’s participants in an interactive, up-beat Student Showcase.
After opening remarks from AC Summer LEAP’s Program Director, Lindsey Brown, and LEAP’s PTO President, Leticia Castro, LOLSuperstar and School No. 17 music teacher, Chaz Bruce took, center stage with partner Toshman Powell. Together, “ChazNDash” led the audience through an uplifting and enthusiastic call-and-response song that got the whole auditorium singing and clapping along.
This year’s AC Summer LEAP theme was “Wonders of Wakanda,” based on the recent popularity of Marvel’s Black Panther movie and comics. Through this theme, culturally relevant instruction was created, and each grade was assigned a topic to present at the Showcase as a “tribe.” Topics included, safety, entrepreneurship, leadership, and technology, and presentation styles ranged from home-made videos and fidget spinners to fashion shows, spoken word, and dance.
Established in 2014, AC Summer LEAP is a six-week summer enrichment program that seeks to close our community’s opportunity gap by offering high-quality summer learning experiences to low-income children from the Rochester City School District. Studies show that low-income students can lose up to three months of academic gains when they are out of school for the summer, which by 5th grade, can account for a 2.5-3 year achievement difference between low-and middle-income students. AC Summer LEAP is here to help fill that gap!
WHAT WE’VE ACCOMPLISHED SINCE 2014
362 students served 329 families served 1,800 books distributed
37 community speakers 12,400 meals served 60 field trips taken
WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
Director of AC Summer LEAP
Lindsey BrownLindsey earned her bachelor's degree in Spanish and master's degree in Creative Writing at SUNY Brockport and holds New York State Teacher Certifications in Primary Education with a Bilingual Extension, Spanish (7-12), and English (7-12). She has been in the field of education for nine years, and at Allendale Columbia School for six, where she teaches Spanish 6, 7, and 8. Before coming to Allendale Columbia, Lindsey worked in community health and taught in the Upward Bound Program at the University of Rochester. She teaches Middle School Spanish and is Director of AC's Summer LEAP program.
Community members and supporters recently stopped in to see Allendale Columbia School’s Summer LEAP program in action! After a brief introduction by Head of School Mick Gee and Executive Director of AC’s program, Lindsey Brown, guests toured campus, visited in classrooms, and spoke with faculty and parents to see first-hand the impact of Summer LEAP.
Summer LEAP is a six-week summer enrichment program that seeks to close our community’s opportunity gap by offering high-quality summer learning experiences to low-income children from the Rochester City School District. Studies show that low-income students can lose up to three months of academic gains when they are out of school for the summer, which by 5th grade, can account for a 2.5-3 year achievement difference between low-and middle-income students. AC Summer LEAP is here to help fill that gap!
Throughout the day, it was clear that AC Summer LEAP is a vital program targeting the area of greatest need in the Rochester City School District. AC partners with a community school, Enrico Fermi School No. 17 and its principal Caterina Leone-Mannino, helping to lift it out of receivership. School 17 and AC’s LEAP program serve a high proportion of Spanish-dominant Latino students, including some who arrived in Rochester post hurricane Maria.
AC’s Summer LEAP program is unique in many ways. It features bilingual balanced literacy, a comprehensive restorative justice program that helps students develop positive conflict resolution skills and maximizes academic time for all students, a wellness program in partnership with the JCC, and family-style lunches with locally-sourced food.
This year, LEAP is using the theme “Wonders of Wakanda”, based on the recent popularity ofMarvel’s Black Panther movie and comics, to emphasize culturally relevant instruction. An amazing 84% of faculty are teachers of color, more closely matching the student population than any other school in the city. Students are choosing projects related to innovation, the arts, and leadership. AC Summer LEAP’s 5th graders are reading the Black Panther graphic novel and writing their own graphic novel origin stories that emphasize self-awareness, cultural pride, and themes of leadership.
VIPs in attendance included: Jan August of the Office of Major Gifts at the United Way; Jerome Underwood, CEO of Action for a Better Community; Simeon Bannister, Interim Vice President of Community Programs at the Rochester Area Community Foundation. Several members of AC’s Summer LEAP Advisory Committee participated, including Jori Cincotta, Ebets Judson, and Jill Wynn.
“As a longstanding partner to School #17, we’re thrilled to celebrate this accomplishment with them,” said Allendale Columbia Head of School Mick Gee.
AC Summer LEAP has been part of the school improvement plan for School #17 since 2015. “We provide 182 hours of additional high-quality academic enrichment for students from School #17,” explained Lindsey Brown, Director of AC Summer LEAP. “Through authentic engagement with parents, students, teachers and partners we have been able to establish a robust cohort of students who commit to summer learning over the long term.”
Since it’s start in 2015, AC Summer LEAP has experienced continued success among it’s School #17 participants, particularly in the areas of literacy and daily attendance.
AC Summer LEAP 2018 Accomplishments
- Cohort size increased 62% (from 68 to 110)
- Students, on average, gained 4 weeks of literacy progress
- Average daily attendance was up (75% in 2017, 85% in 2018)
“The progress made at School #17 is one indicator that our enrichment model is successful,” said Lindsey. “We are now partnering with EnCompass Resources for Learning to pilot a year-round model for enrichment to further align school year learning with summer support.”
AC Summer LEAP has a long-term commitment to supporting students across Rochester. “As educators, witnessing the growth and success of School #17 students has been a reminder of why we do what we do,” said Mick. “We’re excited to continue our work with School #17 to collaborate to build a stronger future for youth in Rochester.”