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Today at dismissal fourth graders will conduct a bake sale with the hopes of raising lots of money for Kids Walk for Kids With Cancer. This particular goal is dear to their hearts as they have been classmates of Toby Pannone since kindergarten. Toby was diagnosed with neuroblastoma back when he was three years old. As a community we have been rooting for him ever since. Toby’s older brother, now an engineering major at Cornell University, went to BNS and therefore Toby has been a part of our school since his birth. When we heard about Toby’s illness we were all devastated. We are so thankful to learn that now in 2013, Toby is cancer free.
Since kindergarten Toby and his peers have been conducting an annual town meeting in which they explain what cancer is and tell us why we should participate in Kids Walk for Kids With Cancer. The walk, itself, is a 4 mile walk around Central Park, which begins at 2:00 tomorrow. Every year lots of people have gathered to walk with Toby. This year, Toby has set the goal of raising $10,000. He has already raised over $5,000.
Toby has made all of us wiser as over the years, he has been open about his illness, and he has shared with us what it means to live with and to fight cancer. The annual town meeting has included friends of Toby who also had cancer and Toby’s brother, who has been a visible presence in Toby’s life. Last Thursday Toby and his classmates in Dolores’ class conducted the meeting. They presented what they had learned about cancer in strong and clear voices. They were a united group as they spoke to their fellow students. Perhaps though what was most remarkable about this town meeting was the questions asked by your children. These included questions about the treatment, the food you could eat while you had cancer, how it feels to have cancer, how cancer is diagnosed, and why people get cancer. One child asked Toby if he had learned anything from having cancer and Toby answered that he knew a lot about scanning machines. (Toby knows a lot more than that!) As we listened to the questions we felt deep pride in our children. For that is the goal of education: to learn how to ask the questions. When we ask questions, we explore, we figure things out, we make meaning, and we can determine what to do next.
We encourage you to join Toby in Central Park at Mineral Springs (67th Street and Central Park West) at 2:00 tomorrow afternoon.
As we think about fund raising, let’s not forget to participate in Eat Drink Dance and Shop, a fun event for adults, which will take place next Friday evening, here at Brooklyn New School. And if you want to get lots of exercise tomorrow, do also go to the PTA 5K Run, which will be in Prospect Park at 10 AM.
All for now,
Quote of the Week:
After successfully discovering how to power a paddle boat after a few engineering problems, Ezra Tishcoff in Arbo's class said to another classmate: "I have to write about this."
The human desire to document exciting discoveries is evident at BNS.