Seeing Injustice Through the Eyes of Children

Posted on February 14th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

No one points out injustice quite like a child does. And no one gives us more hope than our children do.

Beginning with their preparations for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and their annual Kindergarten Breakfast, Allendale Columbia Kindergarten students learned about the life and legacy of Dr. King and the outstanding contributions of African American authors, artists, statesman, and scientists.

But while their research told them about these great people in our history and of today, the most difficult questions began with “why.”


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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School

Kindergarteners Present MLK, Oceans at Performance and Art Show

Posted on January 25th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School
Kindergarten students put on a small Ocean Performance and Art Show on Thursday, Januaary 25th. In the Curtis Performance Center, the children sang some ocean songs they were taught in music class with Lynn Grossman. They also sang a few songs inspired by their study of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that they were taught by their Kindergarten teachers Amy Mealey and Barbie King, including a recitation of a portion of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the song “We Shall Overcome” with sign language (see the video below). Then the children took their parents on an ocean scavenger hunt to find all their wonderful ocean creature art projects from their Ocean Adventure Project Based Learning unit.
Kindergarten MLK/Oceans Collage
Additional photos and videos are available in this Google Photos Album.
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Posted in: Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, The Birches

Music and Stories Bring Tradition to Life at Holiday Breakfast

Posted on December 21st, 2017 by Allendale Columbia School

Bountiful music and touching stories brought one of Allendale Columbia’s oldest and dearest traditions, Holiday Breakfast, to life on Friday, December 15th, kicking off the winter break.

The AC Brass Ensemble greeted family members with holiday songs, the Kindergarten children thrilled all with their traditional number, choruses sang, and joyful tunes from students across the school joined together for a rousing finale.

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In between, students spoke of heritage, history, and the future, and the “Lifers” (students who have attended AC since Kindergarten — and some since Nursery!) regaled the crowd with humorous and heart-felt tales of their experiences at AC. Head of School Mick Gee continued the tradition of reading a story. This year, he told the tale of “The Penguin and the Pinecone”, complete with prop penguins, a giant pinecone, and scarf-wrapped trees, reminding us all of the importance of nurturing friendship and kindness.

Please enjoy the gallery below of some highlights from the event, and have a very merry holiday break!

Want 300 more photos? Click here to open the Holiday Breakfast Google Photos Gallery.

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Posted in: Alumni News, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, The Birches, Uncategorized, Upper School, US Birches

Kindergarten New Year’s Celebrations

Posted on February 15th, 2014 by erineder

The Allendale Columbia kindergarteners spent time in January talking about New Year’s in several forms. We kicked off the year by discussing what a resolution meant and making our own New Year’s resolutions to put up on our kindergarten bulletin board. The kids wrote their resolutions on paper party hats and drew their faces underneath, then attached paper “noisemakers” to finish the look. The resolutions ran the gamut of “I will be nicer to my brother” to “I will eat healthy food.”  We hope they are upholding all of their resolutions!

At the end of January, our thoughts turned to the Lunar New Year celebrated in Korea. One of our parents graciously agreed to come in to talk about Korean customs and to tell us how the Lunar New Year is celebrated in Korea, as well as locally here in Rochester. She brought in wonderful items to share with the kids and the children all received a ‘goodie bag’ with chopsticks, a paper fan, and a bookmark.

On the first day of Chinese New Year we had another parent come to talk to us. We learned about the Chinese Zodiac and other interesting facts about this holiday. The children also received red envelopes with Chinese money inside. What fun!

To prepare for Chinese New Year, we read books, learned to count to ten in Chinese, did math using Chinese numbers, learned a New Year song in music, made paper dragons, wrote about Chinese New Year, and built a Chinese New Year bulletin board.

A special snack of Mandarin oranges, steamed rice, and fortune cookies was a fun way to celebrate Chinese New Year at school. We also paraded a Chinese dragon at each of the school’s lunch periods.

The older kids really got a kick out of our Chinese Dragon Dance!  Here’s a little video

We wish everyone a happy new year!!!


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Posted in: Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School

AC Kindergarten Makes $1,225.43!

Posted on December 11th, 2013 by erineder

Yesterday the kindergarten hosted the annual Kindergarten Bake Sale to benefit the Hillside Special Santas program. This event, which has been in existence for over 30 years, is a favorite among current and former students, faculty, staff and parents. The kindergarten collects donations of baked goods and sells them to the AC community to earn money for a shopping trip to Target. The kindergarteners put together lists of things that kids their age might need and want and use those lists, and the money they earned, to buy items for children in need. The Hillside Special Santas program helps thousands in our community and we are honored to be a small part of this effort.

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Posted in: Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School

Owl Pellets – A Collaborative Project

Posted on December 6th, 2013 by erineder

Last week, our kindergarteners partnered with seventh grade life science students to study owl pellets. The kindergarten brought the owl pellets back from a field trip to Mendon Ponds Park to visit Wild Wings, a non-profit organization that cares for injured birds and runs educational programs.

The seventh graders, under the direction of AC science teacher Beth Guzzetta, prepared identification sheets and other information that was helpful for the project. They also loaded an owl pellet app from Carolina Biological Supply Company to use on their iPads. The app not only has skeleton diagrams and owl natural history, but also an interactive database where the kids could add their findings and look at what others have found in owl pellets from different regions of the country.

After the kindergarteners and their seventh grade partners dissected the pellets and extracted the bones, they set about laying the bones on the identification chart. They taped the bones down and then constructed paper plate owls and read books together. It was a great experience for all!

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Posted in: Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Middle School, Seventh Grade

Garden Gnomes

Posted on October 19th, 2013 by erineder

On September, 19th the Allendale Columbia kindergartners joined Gabe Costanzo in the AC garden to harvest vegetables. We had a great time picking the produce and snacking on beans fresh from the garden. The squash, onions, green beans, wax beans, tomatoes, carrots, and basil were ripe for the picking. After we filled our bags, boxes, and tummies we delivered our goods to the kitchen via the loading dock (we had learned on an earlier kitchen tour that’s where the food gets delivered). We had fun, the kitchen staff was pleasantly surprised and we can’t wait to see our vegetables on the menu!

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Posted in: Highlights, Kindergarten

Blue/White Day

Posted on October 7th, 2013 by erineder

The Allendale Columbia School celebrated homecoming last weekend and our annual Blue/White Day was on Friday. Although the kids are not placed on their teams (either Blue or White) until they are in first grade, the Nursery, Pre-K and Kindergarten kids love to participate by cheering on the older kids. This year we made pennants that were both blue and white to support both teams. Some kids favored one team over the other because of siblings or parents but it is friendly competition and a ton of fun for all involved. Go Blue! Go White!

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Posted in: Highlights, Kindergarten