Storefront Academy Harlem 7th graders practice concern for others by volunteering with the New York Common Pantry.
Service learning is an important component of Storefront Academy's curriculum. Each month, Storefront Academy students celebrate a core value. January saw seventh graders practice more than one of these values while helping to reduce hunger through community service. The New York Common Pantry seeks to eliminate food insecurity through the distribution of nutritious, fresh food pantry packages. A group of seven students spent the day bagging produce and placing food orders for needy families, and fulfilling individual family orders.
Our students worked with other agencies and volunteers, such as Charity Buzz and The Sugar Hill Mission Church, and enjoyed their experience so much that two more groups of seventh graders will be supporting the pantry again on February 20 and March 6.
Friends and supporters joined Storefront Academy Harlem as we hosted An Evening of Cocktails and Dance on Wed., January 21 at The Ailey Studios/The Joan Weill Center for Dance in New York City. The annual event featured performances by young artists in the Ailey Student Performance Group in The Ailey School’s Professional Division, and presentations by Executive Director Elisa Istueta and event Co-Chairs Amanda K. Low and Maria Vecchiotti.
Special thanks go to our event chairs Amanda K. Low and Maria Vecchiotti, and event advisory committee members: Jill A. Davis; Anne-Marie Embiricos; Andrea Forbes; Reby B. Gulcan; Christopher J. Moore; Hiroko Murase; Jonathan Stearns; and Lisa Firenze.
Some of our eighth grade students and faculty mingled with donors and guests to share their experiences at SAH.
Dance performances included: "Aspects of a Vibe", choreographed by Darrell Moultrie; "Dreamscape" and "Escape", choreographed by Tracy Inman; "Seasons", choreographed by Everett Johnson; and "Remember", choreographed by Carlos Dos Santos.
At Storefront Academy Harlem, we are continually finding new ways for our students to develop self-empowerment and cultivate their skills in conflict resolution, patience, and empathy. Last Friday, six 7th Grade SAH students were sworn in as Peer Mediators as part of the New York City Commission on Human Rights Peer Mediation Program. Patrick A., Faith B. Carolina B., Nasir D., JahSean N. and Kassie R. will now be available to negotiate conflicts between SAH students from 3rd-8th grades.
SAH Peer Mediators Nasir S., JahSean N., Patrick A., Carlina B. and Faith B. with NYC Commission on Human Rights Representatives Adneri Ponce (center) and Sophie White (far right)
The students were presented for swearing in by Director of Peer Mediation for the commission Charlene Bryant, JD and SAH's Director of Counseling and Student Support Services Audra Jimenez. Faculty members, family and students were on hand to witness the ceremony, which celebrated the completion of eight sessions of peer mediation training.
The students raised their right hands and took an oath, led by Principal Alexis Thomason, promising to help students settle differences peacefully, keeping confidentiality and understanding their role as considerate and helpful facilitators. Each student received a certificate to commemorate the occasion, and a red bracelet for them to wear to distinguish them as Peer Mediators.
After the oath, Nasir D. and JahSean N. each spoke on the importance of mediation and how they are looking forward to being helpful to their fellow students. Ms. Jimenez gave closing remarks, congratulating the students and expressing great hope for the success of the program at Storefront Academy.
The Peer Mediation Team at SAH will begin working to resolve conflicts this week. Other 7th graders will have the opportunity to join the team after additional training this spring.
The Peer Mediation Program is grounded in the principals that underlie the Human Rights Law -- tolerance, human dignity and respect -- principals that go hand in hand with SAH's core values.
Every month at Storefront Academy Harlem, the school focuses on one of our six core values. For November and December, that core value is Concern for Others. At SAH, Concern for Others is defined as "helping others in need (academically and emotionally), making everyone feel accepted and included, and practicing selfless behavior." Here are some ways that SAH is showing Concern for Others.
In November, SAH participated in the "Pennies for Patients" project, sponsored by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Our students collected pennies in individual boxes and pooled them together in each classroom. The money raised benefits LLS's mission: to "cure leukemia, lymphoma Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families." The school goal was to raise $500.00, and our students raised $738.93! The 1st and 6th grades raised the most money, and were treated to a pizza party to celebrate.
SAH First Grader Christina B. collaborating with Northern Manhattan Nursing and Rehabilitation Center resident.
On Tuesday, November 25th, our first graders went on a field trip to the Northern Manhattan Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on 125th Street. The students shared their holiday spirit with residents and created multicolored paper turkeys with them. It was a festive afternoon for both the residents and our students.
The Men's Mentoring Program at SAH is sponsoring a clothing drive to help those in need in the upcoming cold winter months. Gently used clothes are being collected in Mr. Czap's 8th Grade classroom, and will be taken to the Salvation Army clothing donation center in Harlem on December 12th.
SAH's core values are a vital component in our philosophy of educating the whole child. The values of Diligence, Respect, Honesty, Perseverance, along with Concern for Others, help to build caring, emotionally healthy, well-rounded scholars.
Part of our commitment to teaching the whole child at Storefront Academy Harlem are our Health and Wellness programs, which include our fantastic physical education classes and structured recess. Students engage in several P.E. classes per week taught by Mr. Meyer and Mr. Pope. The teachers not only teach games and fitness, but also include our core values and other life skills in their lessons.
Coach Slava with SAH fencers
This fall, our youngest students in Cluster 1 have been playing tag games. Besides having fun, these games teach our students about spatial awareness, teamwork, rule following and concern for others (SAH's core value of the month for November). Also, they've been working on their dance moves! The pre-k and kindergarten classes have been learning a routine, following moves Mr. Pope does, as well as leading the class themselves. First graders don't even need Mr. Pope; they're leading their own dance routine at the beginning of each class.
In Clusters 2 and 3, they've been playing cooperative games, learning teamwork, cooperation, respect, perseverance, honesty and concern for others. The students step up to every challenge and shine every day. Third and 4th graders (in Cluster 2) are also learning fencing. Coach Slava from Fencer's Club comes in once a week to teach basic fencing skills and terminology, as well as stamina, strength, coordination and confidence.
In recent weeks, Mr. Meyer started the P.E. Challenge, where students are called to run or power walk for 5 minutes without stopping. They will be adding a minute to the challenge each month and tracking their progress. Recently, 6th grader Tahlia P. challenged Mr. Meyer to a special P.E. Challenge Showdown: to jog/power walk for 20 minutes. Not only did they both complete the challenge, but other students have challenged Mr. Meyer. Now several Monday afternoons a month, you'll find Mr. Meyer and several SAH students doing the 20 minute challenge on 129th Street.
Coach Meyer being challenged by 7th Grader Amir G.
Recess at SAH is also full of fun and educational games for our students. They have many choices including 2-square, 4-square, hula hoop, jump rope and basketball. Student Nathaniel S. recently noticed his classmates respecting one another and showing concern for others during recess. "My favorite thing that I saw last month was one of my 3rd grade classmates teaching another student how to shoot a basketball," Nathaniel said, "so she would be more successful."
Our health and wellness programs give our students skills that they can use every day, and give them healthy habits to carry with them for their entire lives.
In anticipation of #GivingTuesday on December 2nd this year, our Executive Director, Principal and leaders from our Health and Wellness team at Storefront Academy posed for photos. In these #unselfies, they show why they are on Team Storefront for #GivingTuesday. Want to join in and support #SAHHealthyKids? Click here for more information, or contact Alicia Camden at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elisa Istueta, Executive Director
Alexis Thomason, Interim Principal
Shawn Meyer, P.E. Teacher and Coach
Michelle Hand, Food Service Director and Chef and Kyesha Bates, Food Service Assistant
Director of Counseling & Student Support Services Audra Jimenez and students
This weekend, Storefront Academy has four runners in the TCS NYC Marathon. One of them is Meagan Martinelli.
Ms. Martinelli started running after college as an activity with friends. "With my running group I completed a few races and loved the excitement and accomplishment of a goal."
Her running became more sporadic after she and her husband started a family. Her focus became her three sons, when a family emergency helped to change her point of view.
Meagan Martinelli with her family.
"We had a horrible explosion in our almost finished remodeled house and a week later all our belongings burned in the moving truck." She explained, "everyone survived and we rebuilt, but it changed my way of thinking: what can I do for others?" Her running group supported her and helped her to get back into running, rekindle her desire to complete a goal in tandem with a desire to give back.
"Storefront Academy and their belief in nurturing values to develop children with resilient character and a love of learning are the traits I teach my boys," Ms. Martenelli said. "I'm honored to run my FIRST marathon and raise money for a school that focuses equally on academics and character."
We are grateful to have Ms. Martinelli as a member of the Storefront Academy Marathon Team, and wish her tremendous luck!
To make a donation to support Ms. Martinelli's fundraising efforts for the school, visit her donor page here.
Help us raise $10,000 in one day!
What is #Giving Tuesday?
We have a day for giving thanks, We have two for getting deals. This year, be a part of #GivingTuesday: A day for giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, global charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and more will come together to create #GivingTuesday. The theme for this year's campaign is #GreatGiving, giving smarter, more creatively and in ways that most benefit you and causes close to your heart.
The Storefront Academy community is teaming up--parents, faculty, staff, volunteers-- to participate in the national #GivingTuesday fundraising event. Our goal is to raise $10,000.00 toward the Health & Wellness programs at SAH.
Join the team!
Choose a goal, create your own Crowdrise page, and rally your friends and family to raise money for Storefront Academy Harlem. Using Crowdrise is easy, fun, and our Development Staff will help you every step of the way! We'll provide you with tweets, emails, and Facebook posts to use, share personal fundraising tips and tricks, and share your personal fundraiser on our own website and social media profiles. Download a step by step guide to using Crowdrise here.
Choose a #GivingTuesday fundraising goal:
Team Player: $100
Spread the word!
- Share a link to our donate page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Ello--any and all social media platforms you use! Use the hashtags #GivingTuesday, #GreatGiving and #SAHHealthyKids.
- We'll be posting a lot of stories about our Health and Wellness programs leading up to and during #GivingTuesday. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and share our stories with your online communities.
For more information on how to be a member of Team Storefront Academy for #GivingTuesday, contact email@example.com.
This morning, SAH students in Ms. Schenelle's pre-K class participated in the Read for the Record event. Our youngest scholars, along with volunteers from our longtime partners at Fiduciary Trust, joined people from across the country in reading the book, Bunny Cakes, by bestselling author and illustrator Rosemary Wells. Read for the Record is a campaign sponsored by Jumpstart, mobilizing millions of children and adults to celebrate literacy by participating in this national shared reading experience.
Friends from Fiduciary Trust: Andrew Guidice, Torlisa Jeffrey, and Ted Klingos
Our volunteers and students read the book together, which is a comical story of sibling bonding and cake ingredient shopping lists. After the reading, the students created shopping lists of their own!
The 2013 Read for the Record event broke the world record for the most people reading the same book on the same day. The final numbers for this year aren't in yet, but Storefront Academy's pre-K students are glad to have been a part of this exciting celebration of reading. Special thanks to our friends at Fiduciary Trust for participating, and for generously providing gift copies of Bunny Cakes to each student in the class.
Storefront Academy alum Jasmine Reed ('10) has aspired to go to New York University since she was a student here. "NYU was on m list of college dream schools for forever," Jasmine, called Jazz, said. "My first introduction to NYU was through Storefront Academy when we visited the campus for career day. Ever since then, I've been in love."
Jazz came to Storefront Academy Harlem in the 6th grade. She said she felt that at Storefront Academy, she was part of a family. "I loved the atmosphere, the staff, and I always felt welcomed." She went on, "the connection I had with my classmates will forever be special to me."
While a student here, Jazz was part of the choir and the girls' basketball team, as well as being a bright student. Teachers and staff recognized her potential, and encouraged her to apply to boarding school. With the help of our high school placement team, Jazz was accepted into Lawrence Academy in Groton, MA.
"It turned out to be a big culture shock," she said. "I went from playing double dutch in the street to going to a place where nobody knew what double dutch was." Jazz explained that SAH instilled in her the importance of being open to different cultures and people. "Being a part of things like the choir and the Women's Mentoring Program, I was able to be exposed to certain events and gatherings and be around people I wouldn't normally get the chance to meet otherwise." She elaborated, "Singing at fancy parties, going to art galleries and interacting with people other than those within my community readied me for the reality I had to face when I went to high school. I had to learn to connect and be able to share and experience with all types of people, from all types of ethnicities and backgrounds."
At Lawrence Academy, she got over the shock, worked hard and became captain of the basketball team, captain of the dance team, a two-year proctor, secretary of the Diversity Club, treasurer in the student government, all while maintaining a high GPA. After scoring well on the SAT, she applied to NYU Stern School of Business with help from the Higher Education Opportunity Program.
"I applied to 9 colleges, but NYU was the one I was waiting for," Jazz said. "Words cannot describe the feeling of getting that acceptance letter. I had to read it three times and then have other people read it, because I thought it wasn't real," she intimated. "I didn't think it was real until I moved into the dorm and slept in my room for the first night."
Jazz's academic excellence and dynamic leadership qualities earned her several scholarships and grants, paying for all but 3% of her college costs. Congratulations to Jazz on her many achievements, and we wish her success as she continues on her journey.