Morgan Stanley volunteers with 1st and 2nd Graders
On Tuesday, February 18, students got a special treat as volunteers from Morgan Stanley came to the Storefront to participate with first and second graders in an event for Black History Month celebrating African-American inventors.
Led by Storefront teacher Alexis Schmidt, the students and volunteers read about inventors, talked about their inventions and drew pictures of the historical figures. Then, the students were asked to come up with inventions of their own!
The Children's Storefront is grateful for the longtime support of Morgan Stanley and its employee volunteers. Getting to meet and spend time with grown-ups from the community is one of the special things Storefront students get to experience, and we are thankful for every Morgan Stanley volunteer who gave up their afternoon to spend time with us.
Principal Turner with volunteer and student
Assistant Teacher Ms. Awkward, Teacher Ms. Larson, and students.
Ms. Larson's 3rd grade class is studying the Harlem Renaissance. As part of the unit, they learned about Langston Hughes, reading several books about him and listening to other people recite his poems online. Last week the class walked over to his house on 127th Street and recited his poem "Mother to Son" on his front steps. This was an exciting experience for our students, and many were surprised that his house was so close to our school and in our community. After the trip, students wrote about the experience:
"We went to Langston Hughes' house and probably did something no other school would do. We walked to his house from the school. I was happy to recite his wonderful poem. He is appreciated with love. Hopefully, he feels love and joy from the Storefront community." - Chance
"When I recited 'Mother to Son,' I felt like Langston myself. It's fun to work on a unit that is talking about right where we go to school!" -N'Namdi
To watch a video of the students reciting "Mother to Son," click here.
Thecla Harris and Steven Wenslawski lead 5th Graders.
The Storefront's fifth graders were privileged to participate in the Rosie' Theater Kids program. They were taught by theater professionals Thecla Harris and Steven Wenslawski, who worked with them once a week for fifteen weeks. Each session included a vocal warm-up, movement, and basic knowledge of theater. A highlight of the program was that the students were taken to see the Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella.
The fifth graders gave an outstanding performance to culminate the program, enthusiastically singing "I'm a Brass Band" from Sweet Charity and "Brand New Day" from The Wiz for students and faculty.
Rosie's Theater Kids (RTKids) is an arts education organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children through the arts. Their goal is to inspire excellence, motivate learning, uplift the human spirit, build confidence, and spark a lifelong appreciation for the arts.
The Storefront is grateful to Ms. Harris and Mr. Wenslawski for all their hard work with our students, and we look forward to Rosie's Theater Kids coming back next year.
This spring, The Children's Storefront is thrilled to be partnering with BYkids, a non-profit organization that pairs master filmmakers with youth from around the world to create short documentaries that educate Americans about globally relevant issues. By giving kids the tools and mentoring to make documentary films about their lives, BYkids gives voice to youth from diverse cultures, and encourages international understanding and engagement by giving viewers concrete ways to respond.
Under the guidance of Elizabeth Hummer, a documentary filmmaker, some of our 8th grade students are creating a movie about the school and their experience as part of the Storefront family and the Harlem Community. The film will premiere at the Storefront's Annual Spring Gala later this year.
The film shoot has been taking place all week, with the filmmakers following two students through a typical school day. They are also including interviews with teachers, featured classes like music and art, and afterschool activities like comic book club and basketball. Through the eyes of these students, the film will show what a special place the Storefront is, and how the education our children receive there prepares them for high school, college and the world awaiting them.
William College Interns, Hailey Herring-Newbound and Avery Pagan
The Children's Storefront welcomes two special guests this January - students from Williams College, spending their Winter Study working with Storefront students. Sophomores Hailey Herring-Newbound and Avery Pagan are interning with the kindergarten and pre-k classes, assisting teachers.
"It's good for me to see how teachers make everything interesting, breaking down information into small parts," Avery said. "I love seeing the teachers balancing when to be firm and when to be more warm."
Hailey added that she's impressed with our teachers. "The amount of patience it takes is really amazing."
Hailey was brought up in Western Massachusetts. She went to a boarding school before going to Williams. "I worked with kids before when I was younger. I ran a day camp in my house, and I was also a camp counselor." She's thinking about English as a major.
Avery is a Native New Yorker, growing up on the Upper West Side. "I'm half Puerto Rican, so I was really interested in this neighborhood." Avery worked with Michelle Obama's 'Let's Move' program as a nutrition counselor. She is a History major with a minor in Public Health.
Williams College provides Winter Study in January as an opportunity for their students to have a different experience between semesters. They offer classes, collaborative or independent research, internships, and travel, different ways for students to stretch beyond their comfort zones.
"I love being here," Avery said, "especially the academic environment and the sense of community."
Hailey agreed. "I love that it's really small, too, and in some schools the kids are like in little groups, but that's not how it is here. They're all just together. And the kids are so funny! Some of the things they say!"
"It's really fun," Avery concurred. " I love getting to know the kids! It's only been a couple of days, and I already feel attached."
The Children's Storefront has been chosen to be a featured non-profit organization at Macro Risk Advisors' Second Annual Charity Trading Day. All commissions generated on December 17th, 2013 will be donated to educational organizations, and our school is one of those organizations. Executive Director Wendy Reynoso, Board Chair Ray Cameron and two 8th grade students will participate in the event, joining in to answer phones.
In his email to the chosen charities, MRA founder and CEO Dean Curnutt says that one of his main goals for his company is to be a platform for positively impacting the community.
"Giving is a big part of who we are, " Curnutt says. "Initiatives like the trading day enable us to come together as a team in this mission."
Last year's Charity Trading Day raised over $310k for the Jericho Project's Veteran's Initiative. This year the MRA team is focusing on organizations that are playing a critical role in expanding educational opportunities for underprivileged children and youth. Along with the Storefront, the event will also benefit iMentor, Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA) and Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL).
Thank you to Mr. Curnutt and everyone at MRA for believing in our children and our mission.
Jawan Alexander with Storefront students
"If you had told me 4 years ago that I'd be back here, I'd have said you were crazy," said Storefront alumnus Jawan Alexander ('09). Jawan decided to take a year off between high school and college, and was contacted by Mrs. Cardwell about working at the school. He is assisting our Artist in Residence Matthias Leutrum as an assistant teacher. "Since I want to study art, I figure, why not start where you came from?"
Jawan has a brother in fourth grade and a sister in first grade at the Storefront. "The school has changed a lot since I went here. I feel like it was a lot smaller, less tech savvy."
He values his time at the Storefront, and feels that it prepared him for his high school experience at The Putney School in Vermont. "I learned a lot about logical thinking here," he explained, "like, if I don't do this, this will happen. And I definitely learned how to approach people."
He plans on attending The Bard School next year. In the meantime, he is enjoying his time with the young students. "It's kind of unreal. I see a lot of myself in everything they do."
Storefront second graders recently learned all about the solar system. They've been studying about the sun and its planets since the first of the year. Part of the study was going on a field trip to the Natural History Museum to visit the Hayden Planetarium. They completed the unit by creating their own shoe box versions of our solar neighborhood.
Storefront second graders
On Tuesday, October 15th, Storefront 7th and 8th graders participated in a community service project with our friends at Travelers Insurance. Students spent the day helping volunteers from Travelers package lunch for the organization Feeding Children Everywhere. It was a great opportunity for our students to help people less fortunate than themselves. Special thanks to Jim Anderson from Travelers for including the Storefront in this event.
Jim Anderson (Travelers), Storefront Executive Director Wendy Reynoso,
Cheryl Goodwine-Pittman (Travelers) with Don Campbell and John Albano from Feeding Children Everywhere
Principal Hassan Turner with teachers Joe Brenner and Candace Cardwell