February is Jump Rope for Heart month dedicated to victims affected by heart disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) runs a program that AC has participated in for the past several years called Jump Rope for Heart. Our students participate by raising money for a great foundation while also jumping their way through the month for exercise and fun!
I’ve received some questions about the process of Jump Rope for Heart and when money students raise is due as well as when fundraising prizes from the American Heart Association are distributed so I wanted to share the details of this process.
If your child is fundraising using the packet he/she received, he/she should hold onto the money raised until the end of the event. If your student has registered online or has handed in the $5 cut out, he/she will be given one of the instant prizes provided by the American Heart Association on Friday in PE class. At the end of the event, the American Heart Association then orders all other prizes based on the amount the student has raised and the prize level earned.
Packets will be collected on Tuesday, February 27th, and Wednesday, February 28th, during PE class. If you have any questions, please email me. Thank you for your donations, and Happy Jump Rope for Heart month!
Kate SullivanKate holds teaching certifications in both Physical Education and Health Education, having earned an Associate's Degree in Physical Education Studies from Monroe Community College and a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education and Health Education from the SUNY College at Brockport. She student taught in the Spencerport School District, where she worked with students in kindergarten through 8th grade, and brings experience serving as a lead counselor at Creative Themes Day Camp. At AC, Kate teaches Physical Education to Lower and Middle School students as well as a few sections of Health to Upper School students.
Lower School students in Grades 1-5 should rest well now, having thrilled audiences with their musical, “I’m Not Sleepy…Yet!” Last performed when this year’s seniors were in 5th grade, this home-grown story mixes popular lullabies and a theme song written by an alumnus with the background of a sleepover at school and students’ playful attempts to resist the teachers’ plans to have them get to sleep.
Students acted, sang, played instruments, and even became puppeteers for memorable songs like “Puff the Magic Dragon” and a spectacular black-light rendition of “All the Pretty Little Horses”. And what’s a sleepover without a pillow fight?
“Sleepy” was written and directed by 5th grade teacher and Artistic Director Randy Northrup, with musical direction from music teachers Lynn Grossman and Rachael Sanguinetti and assistance from all of the Lower School faculty. The main song was composed by AC alumnus Carson Cooman ’00! A professional composer now, he is a graduate of Harvard University and Carnegie Mellon University and currently serves as the Composer in Residence at the Memorial Church at Harvard.
Students also conducted a pajama drive, collecting 100 pairs of PJs that will be delivered to the Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (RAIHN)!
Posted in: Alumni News, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade
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.
We 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 email@example.com.
Rachael SanguinettiRachael 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.
Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, US Birches
Annie King and Linsay Alexander, 1st grade teachers
What happens when you combine children’s love for animals, fascination with buying and selling, and treats? Authentic, project-based learning – this week in the form of a social entrepreneurship venture making and selling dog biscuits to raise money for a local animal shelter.As we approached ways to make our math money unit a more practical, authentic learning opportunity, we revived an idea from Annie’s first year at AC. What is the most realistic way of obtaining and counting change? Selling a product!
If you’ve seen our classroom, with our resident rabbit, bearded dragon and array of bird feeders, it is evident that our children love animals. Several of our students have a passion for pet dogs, so we decided to make dog biscuits to sell. We spent our Monday morning in the Rainbow Room café baking biscuits (see recipe below). The baking process alone is rich in authentic learning, with students engaged in hands-on counting, simple fractions, units of measure, proportions, temperature, time, texture, shapes, material reuse, germs and cleanliness; in addition to digestion and allergy issues (since many dogs, like many people, do not tolerate wheat).
Once the baking was complete, students focused on marketing, which included making posters to advertise around AC and handouts to take home. This process involves writing, spelling, drawing, penmanship, spatial relations, and design. Sales teams interacted with customers on Tuesday and Wednesday morning from 8:00 to 8:20 a.m.: greeting guests, making eye contact, explaining the process and purpose of their project, practicing persuasion, answering questions, and expressing gratitude.
Out of the kindness and generosity of our students, when discussing where proceeds should be donated, they decided “To help poor animals who don’t have a family,” as one child stated. Students used their computers to research three local animal shelters, advancing their skills in internet searching, typing, reading, listening, and fact-finding. They each submitted a ballot, so, as one student explains, “If Lollypop Farm gets nine votes and the other shelters get seven votes, then we would give the money to Lollypop Farm, because it got the most votes.”
Students weighed the total change earned and made estimates based on their knowledge of coin values thus far in our money unit. Earlier in the week, we worked with a group of students proficient in counting mixed coins, coaching them on how to count large amounts of coins. They, in turn, taught their classmates how to count our sum of money received on Tuesday and Wednesday. When students are involved in helping to teach their peers, everyone wins.
In the end, we raised $181.87, and first graders decided to split the donations between Lollypop Farm, Verona Street Shelter, and Animal Service League. In turn, students developed a variety of foundational skills that will stick with them, as they utilized a variety of their senses to make learning more tangible. Throughout the process, first graders didn’t just learn about baking and business; they experienced what it was to be a baker, marketer, salesperson, accountant, and social entrepreneur.
After totaling the change and voting on which shelters to donate to, we asked our first graders what they enjoyed most about this venture, with Callahan summing it up best: “Everything – I loved everything about this project!”
Recipe: Cleo’s Dog Biscuits
Preheat oven to 350.
In large bowl, whisk together eggs and pumpkin to smooth. Stir in dry milk, sea salt, and dried parsley (if using, optional). Add brown rice flour gradually, combining with spatula or hands to form a stiff, dry dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface (can use the brown rice flour) and if dough is still rough, briefly knead and press to combine.
Roll dough between 1/4 – 1/2″ – depending on your dog’s chew preferences, ask first – and use biscuit or other shape cutter to punch shapes, gathering and re-rolling scraps as you go. Place shapes on cookie sheet, no greasing or paper necessary. If desired, press fork pattern on biscuits before baking, a quick up-and-down movement with fork, lightly pressing down halfway through dough. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn biscuits over, then bake additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely on rack before feeding to dog.
Makes up to 75 small (1″) biscuits or 50 medium biscuits
* Brown rice flour gives the biscuits crunch and promotes better dog digestion. Many dogs have touchy stomachs or allergies, and do not, like many people we know, tolerate wheat.
Ann KingAfter 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.
Linsay AlexanderLinsay is an educator with a Master of Science for Teachers degree in Art Education from Rochester Institute of Technology and has nearly 10 years experience in the field. She has taught in both large classrooms and small studio settings and has successfully created arts curricula for students in both public and private schools. As a member of the Rainbow Room team, Linsay works with both Pre-Primary and Lower School students at AC. Linsay has also filled in admirably as a long-term sub in first grade this year.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Entrepreneurship, First Grade, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, The Birches
by Tina Duver
Adolescence is a time where teenagers can struggle with the navigation through the rough waters of social interactions, academics, independence, and self-doubt. Here at Allendale Columbia, we are a responsive community who constantly engages our students in dialogue around topics of community and inclusivity. That dialogue in middle school has led to our participation in the KIND Schools Challenge.
Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert defines happiness as “frequent positive feelings accompanied by an overall sense that one’s life has meaning.” In the Leadership and Experience Lab elective, students clued into this and spent some time discussing what it meant to be happy while being a middle school student at Allendale Columbia. They learned that psychology research has shown a very strong connection between happiness and success in the workplace for adults. Why couldn’t this apply to life as a student, and what would that look like? For our students, words such as belonging, inclusivity, connection, respect, understanding, and relationships came up repeatedly.
When the students in the Leadership and Experience Lab elective came across the KIND Schools Challenge, they sensed an opportunity to create dialogue to continue discussion and for students to truly think about inclusivity and happiness within the middle school and actually put it into action. Knowing that kindness has the power to unite school communities and undermine common issues such as bullying and harassment, Making Caring Common was created. It’s a joint project from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and The KIND Foundation who have partnered to launch the KIND Schools Challenge. Students across the country were invited to envision a project which brought kindness and inclusivity into their schools, budget for it, and have a plan to put it into action.
The Leadership elective went to work and submitted three separate projects. In the end, one project, entitled, B.R.I.C.K., caught the attention of the KIND Schools Challenge organizers and was selected as a top 10 finalist from over 200 approved applications. The concept behind B.R.I.C.K. was the fact that walls are often symbols or barriers or exclusion. For the students in the B.R.I.C.K. group (Josh Nozik, Joelle Blankenship, Sean Li, Keria Donnelly, and Chris Smoker), it meant something much more. Walls can be built to protect and to keep things in, such as along a river or to protect wildlife. B.R.I.C.K. stands for Building Respect, Inclusivity, Community, and Kindness), and their idea was for every student in our community to paint a brick that represents them. The bricks would be discussed in advisory, and students would learn more about each other and encourage a feeling of inclusivity. Then, the bricks would be assembled together in the middle school hallway to represent that every brick of a wall is important, and if one of the students were not part of a community, an empty place would be left behind, making the wall weaker.
Through the generosity of the KIND Foundation and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the project is being funded and supported to be considered for completion to be considered for the grand prize. The students have been engaged in check-in calls with Harvard and The KIND Foundation to make sure they feel supported and to answer any questions. Students are currently working on painting bricks with not only the middle school community, but staff, faculty, and Upper and Lower School students as well. In April, they will submit their impact report to the Foundation.
Tina DuverAt Allendale Columbia, Tina serves as the Head of Middle School. She has taught Science and Leadership at AC for over 15 years. Tina earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Sciences with a concentration in Environmental Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She brings her natural curiosity, energy, and excitement to education. Tina is also a die-hard Red Sox fan.
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Highlights, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, The Birches, US Birches
This week, Cloverwood Senior Living was alive with the Sound of Music. On January 9th, a select group of cast members made a trip to visit the residents and share some selections from Allendale Columbia School’s Fall Upper School musical. Cast members included Catherine Kennedy (Maria), Gabe Rosen (Captain von Trapp), Rebecca McQuilken (Mother Abbess), and almost all of the children, played by Ella Hocker, Maya and Mark Voloshin, Lilah and Thea Costanzo, and Luca Palomaki. While visiting, students performed favorite songs such as “Do Re Mi” and “Edelweiss”, and shared some special treats made by our AC Kitchen team. This trip, organized by the Development Office and the Music Team, is hopefully the first of many. We hope to organize future trips to help bring our wonderful AC Theater productions to those who cannot make it to campus.
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches