After a successful inaugural “Advisory Day” last year, Allendale Columbia continued using Friday of the first week of school for Middle School students to participate in a meaningful bonding experience with their advisors and fellow classmates. On September 7th, students engaged in various on-campus and off-campus experiences to begin their year-long work focusing on each of their class themes.
This year, the 8th grade spent their advisory retreat at Mount Hope Cemetery where they performed community service and learned about many legacies of the Mount Hope “residents” from guide Pat Corcoran. Ms. Corcoran was very impressed and grateful for the enthusiasm and energy the 8th graders put into clearing brush, digging up weeds, and “picking up” around several sections of the cemetery. Students also learned new things about Mount Hope’s famous residents, such as how many people visited Susan B. Anthony’s grave during the 2008 presidential election and the legacies left by Frederick Douglass’s wives. They also learned cool facts about many others buried at the cemetery, including Margaret Woodbury Strong, Hiram Sibley, and Emma Sibley Watson. This day helped set the stage for a year-long exploration of their own leadership within the Middle School and the legacy they want to leave behind as they move into the Upper School only a short ten months from now. At the end of 8th grade, a capstone project in their physics, history, and English will highlight all the work and progress these students have made over the course of the year. This retreat also served as a springboard for the students to think about their goals and look ahead to the 8th grade trip to Gettysburg and Washington DC.
The 7th grade partnered with Best Buddies and School of the Holy Childhood this school year. Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). On Friday, students were introduced to Best Buddies and spent the day at Charlotte Beach with a group of students from School of the Holy Childhood.
The theme of the 6th grade year in advisory is ”independence.” Sixth grade is a perfect time to introduce topics of independence as students transition from Lower School to Middle School. Students spent advisory day on campus focusing on community building as a class and within advisory groups. Advisory groups were tasked with creating, designing, and building their own “origin worlds”. Similar to writing a science-fiction story, students were asked to think about their own unusual powers and create a fictional world from which they came. These worlds included geography, traditions, language, and supernatural elements. Students then designed and created these worlds out of gingerbread. This task asked students to think about themselves both as individuals and as members of the Middle School community. Self-advocacy, accountability, and individuality are key parts of this day and the 6th grade advisory program.
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Highlights, Middle School, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade
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
- 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
- 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.
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
A Red Cross blood drive hosted by Allendale Columbia’s Community Service Club helped save lives on April 25th, surpassing the goal of 21 units of blood with 28 donors and 24 units collected. Several students became blood donors for the first time.
Students in Middle School were too young to give blood, so their Student Council held a bake sale that morning for the Greater Rochester Red Cross, raising $177.75. The money is designated for Comfort Kits provided to victims requiring shelter following disasters that displace them from their homes.
Many thanks to all who participated, including Allendale alumnus Leal Smith ’63, who was assisting on the Red Cross team. Also of note, AC alumna Diana Clarkson ’99 serves as the Chair of the Greater Rochester Chapter’s Board of Directors.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches
You can be a life saver! Please consider supporting the Allendale Columbia School Community Service Club’s upcoming Blood Drive on Wednesday, April 25th, from 12:00 noon – 5:00 p.m. in the AC Alumni Gym, 519 Allens Creek Road in Rochester.
CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment using the sponsor keyword allendalecolumbia, or call the Red Cross at 1-800-Red-Cross. In only about an hour, donors can give a pint of whole blood or “Power Red”. A Power Red donation collects the red cells but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor. These donors must meet specific eligibility requirements and have type A Neg, B Neg, or O blood.
Those who donate will receive a free Red Cross t-shirt (while supplies last). Middle School students will also support the Red Cross with a bake sale at 10:30 a.m. in the Dining Commons.
Posted in: Alumni News, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches
Posted in: LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches, US Birches
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.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Global Engagement, Highlights, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper 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:
- Everybody is different, nobody is perfect…But all of us are special!
- Our bodies are amazing and can do lots of things. Every person has different abilities.
- When somebody has a lot of trouble doing something — no matter how hard they try or how old they get — they have a “disability”.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Tammy CroweTammy 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.
Lisa CrandallLisa 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.
Donna KwiatkowskiDonna 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.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, Nursery, Partnerships, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten
by Alison Zell ’18 and Indy Maring ’18
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 .
Alison ZellAlison 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.
Indiia MaringIndy 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.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Global Engagement, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School