Wolfie Stirs Students to Read and Help for May 10 Read-A-Thon

Posted on May 3rd, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

by Randy Northrup, 5th Grade Teacher

Students from Nursery through Grade 5 gathered in the Curtis Performance Center (CPC) for a Read-A-Thon Kick-off. Mrs. Michelle Feiss, Head of Lower School, noticed all sorts of camping equipment on the stage and, along with the students, figured that AC mascot, Wolfie, was up to something.

Sure enough, Wolfie shared that he was missing all the fun he had at Camp Howl-A-Lot last summer and was trying to recreate the experience. After talking about all of the fun activities he enjoyed at camp, Wolfie asked what students at AC like to do.

Mrs. Feiss explained that two of the things AC Lower School students like to do, READ and HELP OTHERS, were why they were gathered. She explained that our students can read for 100 minutes on May 10th to raise money to support literacy activities at AC Summer LEAP. Ms. Lindsey Brown, Director of Summer LEAP, shared information about Summer LEAP, a six-week academic and character education initiative that provides students in grades K-5 from School No. 17 in the Rochester City School District with an opportunity to continue to strengthen their reading and math skills during the summer months.

Wolfie returned with a great idea. Why don’t we call this Camp Read-A-Lot and read together in camping fashion because reading is “in tents!”? Wolfie signed Mrs. Feiss up as Camp Director with her own ranger hat.

Just as Wolfie wondered whether the students would be able to find enough books to read, the AC Reading Fairy, Ms. Amanda Gianinny, showed up via video to share an inspiring song.

With everyone in the mood to sing, Ms. Lynn Grossman and Ms. Linsay Alexander taught the students a “Camp Read-A-Lot Song” in a rousing sing-along. Wolfie will be sending messages to students at lunch to keep up the enthusiasm.

Families and friends are invited to sponsor students per minute, as the Lower School children will read and participate in reading activities for ONE HUNDRED MINUTES. Pledging is not required for students to participate in this fun activity. Pledge forms must be returned to your child’s homeroom teacher by Monday, April 8th.

Read-a-thon Pledge Sheet

Kristin Cocquyt

Richard Northrup

Randy, a fifth-grade teacher currently, always knew that he would teach. He has been in the field of education for 40 years and at Allendale Columbia School for 36 years. Randy holds both a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master of Science Degree in Education from the College at Brockport. He is the father of four AC “Lifers” (Kaitlin ’99, Zachary ’01, Gus ’03, and Hannah ’05). He was the David M. Pynchon Chair in the Visual and Performing Arts in 1999.
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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Nursery, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten, Second Grade, Summer LEAP, Third Grade

AC works with students from RCSD to close the summer learning gap

Posted on August 21st, 2018 by lbrown

August 15th marked the end of another successful summer, here at AC Summer LEAP! Students, parents, and faculty came together to celebrate the hard-work and dedication of this year’s participants in an interactive, up-beat Student Showcase.

After opening remarks from AC Summer LEAP’s Program Director, Lindsey Brown, and LEAP’s PTO President, Leticia Castro, LOLSuperstar and School No. 17 music teacher, Chaz Bruce took, center stage with partner Toshman Powell. Together, “ChazNDash” led the audience through an uplifting and enthusiastic call-and-response song that got the whole auditorium singing and clapping along.


This year’s AC Summer LEAP theme was “Wonders of Wakanda,” based on the recent popularity of Marvel’s Black Panther movie and comics. Through this theme, culturally relevant instruction was created, and each grade was assigned a topic to present at the Showcase as a “tribe.” Topics included, safety, entrepreneurship, leadership, and technology, and presentation styles ranged from home-made videos and fidget spinners to fashion shows, spoken word, and dance. 

Established in 2014, AC Summer LEAP is a six-week summer enrichment program that seeks to close our community’s opportunity gap by offering high-quality summer learning experiences to low-income children from the Rochester City School District. Studies show that low-income students can lose up to three months of academic gains when they are out of school for the summer, which by 5th grade, can account for a 2.5-3 year achievement difference between low-and middle-income students. AC Summer LEAP is here to help fill that gap!


AC Summer LEAP Student Showcase Photo Gallery 2018

Click on photo to view the full album of photos.


362 students served                329 families served      1,800 books distributed
37 community speakers      12,400 meals served     60 field trips taken



Lindsey Brown

Director of AC Summer LEAP


Donate now to support AC Summer LEAP

Kristin Cocquyt

Lindsey Brown

Lindsey earned her bachelor's degree in Spanish and master's degree in Creative Writing at SUNY Brockport and holds New York State Teacher Certifications in Primary Education with a Bilingual Extension, Spanish (7-12), and English (7-12). She has been in the field of education for nine years, and at Allendale Columbia School for six, where she teaches Spanish 6, 7, and 8. Before coming to Allendale Columbia, Lindsey worked in community health and taught in the Upward Bound Program at the University of Rochester. She teaches Middle School Spanish and is Director of AC's Summer LEAP program.
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Posted in: Highlights, Summer LEAP

VIPs Tour AC Summer LEAP

Posted on August 6th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Community members and supporters recently stopped in to see Allendale Columbia School’s Summer LEAP program in action! After a brief introduction by Head of School Mick Gee and Executive Director of AC’s program, Lindsey Brown, guests toured campus, visited in classrooms, and spoke with faculty and parents to see first-hand the impact of Summer LEAP.

AC Summer LEAP VIP Tour

Click on photo to view the full album of photos.

Summer LEAP is a six-week summer enrichment program that seeks to close our community’s opportunity gap by offering high-quality summer learning experiences to low-income children from the Rochester City School District. Studies show that low-income students can lose up to three months of academic gains when they are out of school for the summer, which by 5th grade, can account for a 2.5-3 year achievement difference between low-and middle-income students. AC Summer LEAP is here to help fill that gap!

Throughout the day, it was clear that AC Summer LEAP is a vital program targeting the area of greatest need in the Rochester City School District. AC partners with a community school, Enrico Fermi School No. 17 and its principal Caterina Leone-Mannino, helping to lift it out of receivership. School 17 and AC’s LEAP program serve a high proportion of Spanish-dominant Latino students, including some who arrived in Rochester post hurricane Maria.

AC’s Summer LEAP program is unique in many ways. It features bilingual balanced literacy, a comprehensive restorative justice program that helps students develop positive conflict resolution skills and maximizes academic time for all students, a wellness program in partnership with the JCC, and family-style lunches with locally-sourced food.

This year, LEAP is using the theme “Wonders of Wakanda”, based on the recent popularity ofMarvel’s Black Panther movie and comics, to emphasize culturally relevant instruction. An amazing 84% of faculty are teachers of color, more closely matching the student population than any other school in the city. Students are choosing projects related to innovation, the arts, and leadership. AC Summer LEAP’s 5th graders are reading the Black Panther graphic novel and writing their own graphic novel origin stories that emphasize self-awareness, cultural pride, and themes of leadership.

VIPs in attendance included: Jan August of the Office of Major Gifts at the United Way; Jerome Underwood, CEO of Action for a Better Community; Simeon Bannister, Interim Vice President of Community Programs at the Rochester Area Community Foundation. Several members of AC’s Summer LEAP Advisory Committee participated, including Jori Cincotta, Ebets Judson, and Jill Wynn.

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Posted in: Highlights, Summer LEAP

Nancy Northup ’77 Honored with 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award

Posted on April 3rd, 2017 by Allendale Columbia School

Nancy Northup '77Allendale Columbia School is pleased to announce Nancy Northup ’77 as the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2017.

Established in 2009 to honor alumni for their outstanding achievements and contributions to both Allendale Columbia School and their local community, the AC Alumni Board is proud to recognize Nancy as an alumna who has made a regional, national, and international impact while also serving as a role model for young people around the world. As one nomination letter stated, “Nancy is a credit to AC, but, more importantly, she is someone who young people can look up to and see that one person can indeed make a difference in people’s lives.” (more…)

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Posted in: Alumni News

Current Students and AC Alums Contribute to AC Summer LEAP

Posted on January 9th, 2015 by lbrown


Current students and recent graduates of Allendale Columbia School contributed to the success of this year’s Summer LEAP program. When the Stop the Violence Dance Alliance, (SVDA) a community partnership between Garth Fagan Dance and the Rochester City School District, visited the Allendale Columbia Summer LEAP Program, sixth graders Sarah Ash and Chinara Dorancy performed and assisted with the master class. Natalie Rogers-Cropper, Garth Fagan Dance School Director and Assistant Rehearsal Director, led students in a series of movements modeled by graduates of SVDA. Both Sarah and Chinara attended Garth Fagan’s Summer Movement Institute this summer.


Recent AC graduates Justin Kennedy (Class of 2011) and Omar Franceschi (Class of 2013) were also on campus working with the students. Justin assisted second grade classroom teachers Stephanie DePaul-Pragel and Melissa Bohrer, providing support and individualized attention to students in the program. Omar photographed all of the program events as well as the day-to-day activities of the students. He also helped raise awareness of the program by contributing to the weekly newsletter and Summer LEAP Facebook and Twitter pages.



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Posted in: Alumni News, Highlights

Summer LEAP at Allendale Columbia School

Posted on July 30th, 2014 by artwitholiveri


The Summer LEAP program is a partnership between the Allendale Columbia School and School 17 of the Rochester City School District. Summer LEAP is a summer school enrichment program for students who will enter first and second grade during the 2014-2015 school year. Students attend school Monday through Friday at Allendale Columbia School for six weeks. An average day includes breakfast, reading, math, bilingual and character education, lunch, art, music, physical education, and a snack. These activities are supplemented with a variety of community partnerships and field trips. 

Our theme is “Be the Change,” and we are committed to providing learning opportunities and experiences that promote empathy, understanding, and community involvement. Through social responsibility and stewardship, we believe all members of our community can work toward, and achieve, social equality and cultural understanding. Within the LEAP program, we believe in strong communication and collaboration between families, program staff, and the larger Rochester community, and we are creating engaging and valuable experiences that inspire lifelong learning.

The Allendale Columbia Summer LEAP program is part or the Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association (GRSLA). For more information about GRSLA check out their website at http://www.summerleap.com/. The Allendale Columbia School Summer Leap program has its own Twitter and Facebook page with many photos, videos, and information. Head of School, Mick Gee, and Assistant Director of Summer LEAP, Amy Oliveri, were recently interviewed by WXXI about the Summer LEAP program and the unique partnership with School 17, click hear to listen.


An exciting and educational visit to the Seneca Park Zoo

Our second graders visited Flour City Bread at the Rochester Public Market

One of our many Friday activities – ZUMBA – in the Alsina room


Our second graders visited Flour City Bread at the Rochester Public Market

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Posted in: Highlights