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.
Posted in: Eleventh Grade, Global Engagement, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School
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.
*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.
Posted in: Global Engagement, Highlights, Partnerships
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 email@example.com or abaerharper@allendalecolumbia.
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 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
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.
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
Learning occurred on multiple levels at TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool on February 3rd. You may already be familiar with TED talks, and TEDx events are local versions of those talks. What makes this TEDx event different from most is that it was planned and produced from start to finish by AC students.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Global Engagement, Highlights, Invent, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School
Conducted by Wilderness Medical Associates International, this is the best and most comprehensive course of its kind, offering relevant and realistic ﬁrst aid training for seasonal outdoor activities or short term wilderness endeavors and pursuits.
Wilderness First Aid is a two-day introduction to general medical concepts and basic life support skills. It is targeted to the outdoor enthusiast on day trips or short adventures. The course is taught by professional instructors with significant patient care and backcountry experience. This course is traditionally scheduled for two days or 16 hours of instructional and practice time. Upon successful completion, students will receive certification in Wilderness First Aid and Adult CPR.
For those signing up by January 31st, the cost of the training session is $225.00. On February 1, the registration fee increases to $250.00. Classes run approx. 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Certification is good for 3 years. Participants must be age 18 or older.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Global Engagement, Highlights, Partnerships, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches