Pandemic school and remote learning has given us lots of opportunities for reflection and processing. It has also opened up the world via the internet and Zoom. Last week, we wrote to you about Talya and her thoughts on the power of the BNS farm experience.
We like to think that the elementary years are foundational and that experiences in the early grades can become the reason behind opportunities explored years later. We must admit that in the last few weeks when hearing from the families of some of our graduates, we have felt significant pride. For Talya, it was the farm that was transformative. For others, it might be the arts, the focus on social justice, the discussion of ideas, and perhaps most important of all, the lesson that your voice matters.
Zoom has given us the chance to see what four of our former students have been up to. Each of them has been busy despite the pandemic and each of them has been exploring big ideas through the arts and social media.
We heard first from Toby Pannone’s mom, who sent an email inviting us to a Zoom moment. Toby, a senior at Beacon High School, is a narrative lab member at ReelWorks. His script was chosen for a live Hollywood table read.
When we went to the reading, we were not surprised to find that one of the other selectees was Dexter Dore, a sophomore at the NYC iSchool, and also a former student. What a pleasure it was to see their scripts in action.
That same evening, we tuned into a listening party hosted by the Bell. The Bell is a non profit, which amplifies the voices of New York City students, empowering them to lead a fight for equity in the nation’s largest school system. That night, it was featuring a podcast entitled Miseducation: Students in a Pandemic and we got to see the work of BNS graduate and ICE student, Gigi Steckel. Gigi interviewed her teacher, comparing the teacher’s public school experience to that of her students. Again, we felt pride.
Friday, October 30th, we were back on Zoom, this time to see the work of Lexi Rivera, another one of our kids. Lexi, a graduate of BNS and BCS, is now a freshman at Brooklyn College. In eleventh grade, Lexi had written an ELA assignment, which was later chosen to be turned into a film, complete with a script and actors. The film entitled Blood Hana, was made in partnership with Art of Me! We were able to watch the film and then listen as Lexi discussed her intent and experience with the filmmaker and others.
If you know any BNS graduates, tell them to let us know what they are up to. We are honored to have taught them.
All for now,
Anna and Diane and Malika
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