BxC staff led a series of family workshops this spring. Family Math Night brought families together to play math games, discuss the underlying math content, and gain an understanding of what an effective tool games are for practicing and reinforcing math skills. Students taught their family members the rules to a variety of games involving addition and subtraction, estimation, and measurement, and used the materials effectively to demonstrate and play with their families. BxC staff members circulated to confer with families and encourage the rich math discussions that arose. Each family left armed with a kit of math materials, a packet of games and directions, and an eagerness to continue the game-playing and skill-building at home.
Additionally, BxC teachers organized the Pajama Read-o-Rama, in which students came dressed in their pajamas and brought their families to read and play word games together, with explanation and facilitation from staff. A workshop on behavior management and the role of play led families to share their own successes and struggles, gather new ideas, and use a cardboard box filled with everyday materials to work together as a family to create something wonderful.
Families and staff members were very excited about all of this work together, and are already brimming with ideas for new workshops next year.
On Saturday, May 16th, students, families and staff celebrated the street tree stewardship of our students and began a Bronx-wide street tree action project. BxC families will be adopting a street tree on their block, caring for it during the hot months between May and October. They will water their tree, keep it clean and aerate the soil, so the roots get lots of air and water. If all of our students adopt a tree on their home block, BxC families will help care for 100 trees across the Bronx. That makes a big impact!
At Street Tree Action Day, students taught their families how to use different tools to take care of street trees, together families made a sign for their adopted tree, and they also signed up to become authors on our school-wide street tree care blog. Ian Jack, a forester with the Parks Department, led street tree tours on our block to talk with families about some of the hazards that street trees face. Students and families also planted flowers that were bought with money raised during a bake sale at family conferences.
On their way out, families received a tree care bucket filled with tree care tools, gloves, information about tree care and lots of other goodies. Families will take their tree care kits and all of their knowledge back to their neighborhoods where they will help keep the Bronx green!
Street Tree Action Day was developed through a grant from Partnerships for Parks.
Despite the cold weather, 77 BxC students brought their families back to our school on a Friday night in February to celebrate the first annual BxC Winter Arts Festival.
Families visited galleries of student art work, participated in family art activities, watched students show off their acting skills and joined in drum demos with our drumming instructors from Drum Power.
Families and teachers worked together to organize the festivities and ensured a large turnout with excellent outreach. Families helped prepare artwork, donated food, volunteered to set-up and clean-up, ran a raffle to raise money for the arts at BxC, facilitated family art activities and shared their excitement about the arts program at BxC. Nelson Castro, the state assembly member for our assembly district visited and was impressed by the rich arts work that BxC students are doing every day.
Students, families, teachers and staff all had a fantastic time making art together, connecting with each other, and celebrating the artistry of our kindergarten and first graders.