Box Tops for Education Due March 1st

Posted on February 14th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Please keep your Box Tops for Education coming! Thanks to you, we have earned over $320 from the Box Tops for Education program. AC can earn up to $20,000 each year and we are free to use the money for anything we need. To make it easier, you can print out the collection sheet here to collect your box tops. Each completed sheet is worth $5! You can also turn in loose box tops to the Welcome Desk. Contact AC parent Kristin Rorapaugh with any questions.

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Change Provides Car for Afghan Hero

Posted on January 15th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School
Ellen Smith (NOLB Rochester Chapter Head) and Abdul Wali Akrami receive a ceremonial check from Change We Can Believe In leader Elina Natarajan '22.

Ellen Smith (NOLB Rochester Chapter Head) and Abdul Wali Akrami receive a ceremonial check from Change We Can Believe In leader Elina Natarajan ’22.

Abdul Wali Akrami, a humble hero who helped U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan, received a car and insurance to help him resettle in Rochester as a result of AC ninth-grader, Elina Natarajan’s inspired “Change You Can Count On” fundraiser at Allendale Columbia School.

Natarajan rallied the Community Service Club to help with the project, in which students in each grade and faculty sought to fill 2-liter bottles with loose change. All those coins added up to $743.00 to support No One Left Behind (NOLB), an organization that helps resettle the Afghan and Iraqi heroes who assisted the U.S. as drivers, interpreters, and special assistants.

“I was inspired when I met Matt Zeller and Janis Shinwari after a discussion at school,” Natarajan explained. AC alumnus and 2018 CNN Hero, Matt Zeller ’00, is a co-founder of NOLB with his Afghan translator Janis Shinwari. “I heard Ellen Smith (the Rochester Chapter Head) talk in the evening forum about raising money to help provide vehicles to these relocated helpers, and I thought, we can do that!”

“Wali” and his family fled his home country of Afghanistan to go to Pakistan when it became too dangerous under the Taliban. He returned when U.S. forces arrived to, as he put it, “help restore our country”. He became the trusted driver and special assistant to Fulton Jones, DynCorp International’s Deputy Program Manager for the Ministry of Interior’s Mentoring Program working with the Afghan National Police. Jones is the one who sponsored Wali’s visa. “On two occasions while we were traveling in my vehicle around Kabul, nearby coalition military bases or Afghan governmental institutions were attacked by Taliban insurgents. Wali quickly assessed the situation and realized that we were in danger of being hit,” Jones wrote in his letter of recommendation, and related how Wali got them to safety. “Wali risks his life daily just coming to work…but firmly believes what he is doing is right and worth the risk.”

Wali’s son, Aleem, related some of his father’s story to the packed Curtis Performance Center at AC, while tears of gratitude streamed down Wali’s face. A family friend, Jawad Tawakali, who moved here as a child, translated Wali’s thanks to the group. “It feels good to know we could help,” said Natarajan, who also noticed the tears. “It was a very emotional moment.”


Interested in supporting No One Left Behind? Send donations to:

No One Left Behind, Inc.
888 Pittsford Mendon Center Road
Pittsford, NY 14534

You can also email Irwin Solomon at

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Posted in: Alumni News, Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Global Engagement, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

AC Holiday Book Fair at Barnes & Noble Dec. 13th

Posted on November 28th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Support Allendale Columbia School by Shopping at Barnes & Noble in Pittsford on December 13th!

Enjoy caroling, guest story readers, student musical performances, arts and crafts, and more! Just mention “Allendale Columbia” at the register and a portion of your purchase will be donated to support our students!


Thursday, December 13th
Barnes & Noble in Pittsford Plaza
3349 Monroe Ave.
Student performances, arts and crafts from 3:00 – 9:00 p.m.



Volunteers Needed

Parents of Allendale Columbia Kids (PACK) invites parents, guardians, and grandparents to help make the AC Book Fair a success by volunteering! Shifts are 30-60 minutes long and include set up, staffing the welcome table, and helping with the craft table.

Sign up to be a volunteer here. (sign in to MyAC required)


Performance Schedule

The AC community will be onsite at Barnes & Noble spreading holiday cheer. Plan to be there to hear musical performances or a story from Mick!

  • 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.: Brass Ensemble and Chorus perform
  • 5:00 – 5:30 p.m.: Solo Performances
  • 6:00 p.m.: A Story with Mr. Gee, Penguin and Pinecone
  • 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.: Brass Ensemble and Chorus perform


Gift Wrapping (Complimentary!)

Now you can buy your gifts AND get them wrapped! Parents and AC staff will be there to wrap your gifts and tag them with AC cheer. Gift wrapping is free but donations to the Allendale Columbia Book Fair are always appreciated!


Cheesecake Sales

You can also order a delicious Cheesecake Factory dessert through the B&N Cafe and a portion of the purchase will be donated to AC. The Winter 2018 menu includes Hershey’s® Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cheesecake, Plain Cheesecake, Cinnabon® Cheesecake, and Carrot Cake. (Hungry, yet?!) Order now through Dec. 18th by downloading the order form.

  • Pay by cash or check made out to Barnes & Noble.
  • Drop off your order form and payment at the AC Welcome Desk anytime before Dec. 13th or bring orders directly to the Barnes & Noble where you’d like to pick up your cheesecake. Orders submitted directly to Barnes & Noble must be brought in between Dec. 13th-18th to count toward the AC Book Fair.
  • Pay by credit card in the store by simply bringing your completed order form to the B&N Cafe.
  • Pick up your cheesecake at the store where you ordered any time Barnes & Noble is open. They stay open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve!
  • Cheesecakes are frozen so allow a day or two in between your pick up date and your enjoy date.
  • AC Book Fair pricing is only good for cheesecake orders placed and paid for by December 18th, 2018.


Can’t attend in person?

Visit Dec. 13th – 18th and enter our Bookfair ID 12392049 on the payment page at checkout.



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Posted in: LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches, US Birches

Skills and Connections Needed for Gala Committee

Posted on February 9th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School
Do you or someone you know have a special skill or community connections to help increase support for AC through sponsorships and auction items at this year’s Make Your Mark Gala? We’d love your help. Please contact Kayla Himelein by phone 585.641.5288 or email, and join us for the following committee dates on campus in Conference Room A:
  • Tuesday, February 13th, 8-8:45 a.m. Kickoff!
  • Wednesday, March 7th, 8-8:45 a.m.
  • Thursday, April 12th, 8-8:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday, April 24th, 8-8:45 a.m.
  • May TBD with evening options
Do you have questions? Or would you like to know how else you could get involved with the school? Contact Kayla with the contact information above.
If you’re interested in sponsoring the Make Your Mark Gala, please contact Kayla or go to
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AmazonSmile + Affiliate Link = More for AC

Posted on January 24th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School
Amazon - Shop. Connect. Enjoy. All from Earth's Biggest Selection.

Start your Amazon shopping by clicking on this image to get bigger donations for AC.

If you shop online, you can help Allendale Columbia when you shop at Many of you have heard of or use AmazonSmile to direct donations to AC or another charitable organization. But you can have Amazon send an even bigger donation if you shop through our Amazon Affiliate link with AmazonSmile. AC gets a donation from Amazon at no additional cost to you!

  • Step 1: Sign up for Amazon Smile, where you can name a charity (like AC!) to receive 0.5% of your purchase total. Just go to, and under the search box, it should show the organization you’re supporting, if any. If you click on it, you’ll either see how much you’ve helped raise, or you can click on Change to change the charity you’re supporting to “Allendale Columbia School”.
  • Step 2: Always start your shopping through our affiliate link, or by clicking on the image on the right. Since we’re an Amazon Affiliate, we earn a larger percentage on your purchase at no additional cost to you, up to 16 times as much as on Amazon Smile. To make it easier to shop, click on the image and then bookmark the page you arrive at, and start your shopping from that bookmark. The link includes both Smile and Affiliate codes.
    NOTE: Shopping through the Amazon app on your phone or tablet does NOT provide AmazonSmile or Affiliate donations. You can add items to your cart through the app, but then go through your browser with the affiliate link to checkout.

    We also get the following bonuses when you sign up for Amazon programs through our links:
  • $3 for Amazon Prime 30-day free trial
  • $3 for Amazon FreeTime Unlimited 30-day free trial (Unlimited access to 13,000 kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games.)
  • $3 for Amazon Music Unlimited or Amazon Prime Music streaming trials
  • $3 for Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-day free trial
  • $5 for Amazon Prime gift memberships
  • $5 for Audible audiobooks 30-day free trials and $10 for Audible Gold sign-ups
  • $3 for Amazon Student free trials (college students can get Prime for 50% discount)
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Lower School Entrepreneur Day

Posted on May 8th, 2013 by Tony Tepedino

The second annual Entrepreneur Day at Allendale Columbia School took place on Friday, May 3rd. John Sullivan, Lower School Director, and Martha Bjorklund, Enrichment Specialist, were in charge of the event. Third, Fourth, and Fifth grade students set up businesses and sold their handmade products to the school community. Profits from the day will be donated to Crosby’s Fund, a local charity for pediatric cancer research at the Wilmot Cancer Center and Golisano Children’s Hospital at The University of Rochester, NY. This charity was chosen by the participating students. This day provided many opportunities for our students. It gave them a chance to understand how a business is built and how it runs. It next allowed the students to be creative and original in their thinking as they develop products for their business. Finally, it afforded them the opportunity to feel the gift of giving to an organization that benefits other people.

In preparation for Entrepreneur Day students were required to complete a business plan, decide either to be a sole proprietor or form a partnership, and spend time making their products in preparations for the event. Four local Entrepreneurs came to speak to the students before Entrepreneur Day.

Each speaker offered their advise, shared their expertise on how to run a successful business, and told the students many stories about starting and running their own businesses.

Entrepreneur Day gave the Allendale Columbia Lower School students the experience of what it is like to own and operate a business. It was a wonderfully creative day with so many original items being made and sold.

“The learning that takes place is exciting and authentic, and that is what we are all about at Allendale Columbia.” said Martha Bjorklund, Enrichment Specialist.

Over $1000.00 dollars were raised for Crosby’s Fund, and everyone in the school community enjoyed the experience.

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Posted in: Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Lower School, Third Grade