I was lucky enough to chaperone five field trips this year. Mr. Kozak from Hunter invited me to join he and the culinary club for two of their Cooking by the Book trips. During the first trip we made Spanekopita and summer rolls and everything was delicious. The second trip was a baking trip--the students made cookies, muffins and brownies to sell later that day for an open school night bake sale. Because I love to cook (and to eat!), I loved being a part of these trips and getting to see the students learn a new life skill that can help them outside of the classroom.
I was invited to join the UAM 10th graders at Ramapo for Children, where we spent the day learning team building skills. We went on a hike, which really pushed most of our City kids outside of their comfort zone. As apprehensive as they were with much of what they had to do, my group really stepped up and worked together to help each other get through the hike.
I accompanied Mr. Ellis-Lee and Mr. Noonan on a trip with the AP American History and Government and Economics classes to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum. I had never been, so it was really exciting to be on the ship and see the planes. They had a great immersive exhibit that gave us the history of the ship and help the students feel what it might have been like to be on the ship while it was under attack.
Finally, I organized my dream trip--Mr. Ellis-Lee and I took his AP Government and Economics class to Bronx Community College. There, they met with a college librarian, Professor Carl Andrews, who gave them a wonderful presentation on the skills that they will need to be successful in college (hint: the skills Mr. Ellis-Lee and I were requiring them to learn for their research paper!), took them through a college syllabus and helped them navigate BCC's library website and access their databases. Then, they met with Irving Macario from the First Year Experience office, who gave them the low-down on the differences between high school and college. It was a wonderful afternoon and I hope to be able to bring more students there. I think it was an eye-opening experience for them.
On May 15th, we hosted our final session of Hibakusha Stories. Having hosted this program for the past six years, I was sad to know that this would be our last visit from them, but I am so glad that the final presentation addressed the most students we have ever had in attendance. Students from five of our seven schools were in the audience and, as always, it was a really moving, thought provoking presentation.
Thanks to our connection with the American Association of Publishers, we received a free author visit with StoryCorps, one of my favorite non-profits! Ms. Richard from Law, Ms. Shattenkirk from A&T, and Ms. Carr and Mr. Rosser from Hunter each had a class visit with a member of the StoryCorps team. Their students discussed the benefits of storytelling, practiced active listening and asking good questions and listened to some of StoryCorps recordings, including this one about Josh and his mom. 10 students in each class received a free copy of one of StoryCorps books!
The library celebrated Banned Book Week by highlighting the most banned books in the past decade and starting a discussion with the students about what it means for a book to be banned.
Since DIY and Maker Spaces are big right now, I have been teaching the kids how to make bracelets and I assembled the Creation Station, with inspiration from Pinterest, where instead of having to ask for everything, students could help themselves to loose leaf or construction paper, colored pencils, markers, crayons, glue and safety scissors, as well as origami paper and coloring pages.
My student teacher, Hailey Watkins from Pratt University, spent time with two groups of students teaching them how to create stop motion videos using apps on the library's iPads. It was a great project that the students enjoyed and Hailey was given a positive observation from her teachers at Pratt.
Finally, I was asked to be the advisor to Hunter's Harry Potter Club. We ran it in the library on Tuesday afternoons and after we all sorted ourselves into houses and played Harry Potter trivia, we commenced with the movie watching. It was really lovely because students from the other schools who used the library during that time started to look forward to the movie watching as well. We made it through movies 1-6 and it was truly a high light for me this year to be asked!