Taking A Stand
Some parents call it “opting out,” while others label it “an act of civil disobedience.” But one sixth grader at the Institute for Collaborative Education describes it simply and succinctly as a “boycott” when she decided not to take the new state exams, which end this week.
While her classmates took the ELA test, which incorporates the tougher Common Core curriculum, this sixth grader, whose parents prefer she not be named, penned a six-page letter in which she cogently explained to her teacher why she decided to sit out this year:
“I am boycotting the test because I don’t like the way the DOE uses the test results. The kids who take the test are being used like guinea pigs in a lab. I do NOT want to be used this way. By boycotting the state exams we’re trying to change the way the exams work. We, as students, want to make a change, a change that will last.”
Brooklyn is pretty much officially the borough of choice for bohemian families and competitive public (and private) schools. Combine that with fantastic realty options for nearly any lifestyle; the demand sizzles.
Noticing a need for more knowledge on how to navigate the daunting and complex process of selecting (or getting your kids into) the right Brooklyn school, Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate is hosting a special seminar with New York City school search expert and founder of NYC School Help, Joyce Szuflita. At “Helping Families Understand the Brooklyn Elementary School System,” Ms. Szuflita will dish her expertise on better understanding Brooklyn Elementary Schools.
The event will take place at the Montauk Club on 8th Avenue in Brooklyn from 6p.m. to 9p.m., free of charge, but with limited seating. Refreshments will be provided by DE Capital Mortgage. Interested parents can contact Catherine Witherwax for more information.
Back To School
Scooter heard through a parent or two about a New York company, called Butter Beans, that is serving up some nutritious delicious pointers to 14 New York City schools by supplying them with wholesome, seasonal lunches. In addition to eating gourmet, the kids get a brush up on their food education, enjoy cooking classes and, this year, there was even a summer camp. Butter Beams will oversee the preparation of some 1,400 hot school lunches per day this autumn. We reached out to the firm to grab a bite of what’s cookin’ their kitchen…
How did Butter Beans come to be?
Butter Beans was founded by two mothers who are passionate about the food their children eat. After deciding to start their own business and talking to other parents about the best way to improve what children eat, Belinda Di Giambattista and Felicia Desrosiers ventured out to change the way school children eat school lunch by making them healthy, delicious meals for schools. Their company is called Butter Beans, a name that comes from Belinda’s childhood of shelling butter beans from her grandparents’ farm to sell at the farmers’ market.
Around five years ago, Brothers Chris and Will Haughey sought out to establish a for-profit company in Honduras that bolstered sustainability, local economy and the quality of life for the community. Hailing from a family with a history in woodworking, the duo eventually noticed that Honduras was the perfect place to sustainably harvest tropical hardwoods. Over the next several years, they both left lucrative jobs to create a classic wooden toy company, Tegu, which sources and produces its toy parts in Honduras. For each Tegu wooden toy set that consumers purchase they can choose to sponsor a Honduran child to attend school for a day or plant trees. Tegu’s massive replanting and educational initiatives have already seen some 34,500 trees planted in Honduras and paid for 3,300 days of schooling. The company’s Mobility line also recently scooped up a Dr. Toy Best Green Toy gold award. Scooter spoke with Will Haughey to learn more about the company and how it makes its toys.
Pop-rocker Josh Zuckerman spent many years performing music around the world with various groups and as a solo recording artist. His music has been featured on Kathy Griffin’s reality show “My Life on the D-List,” MTV/Logo and VH1.
Eventually, Zuckerman wound up heading back to the classroom. Today, the singer-songwriter teaches kindergarten just outside of New York City while he continues to tour the country.
Last Saturday, June 9, a bevy of young adults, clad in white, flocked to 121 Fulton Street in Manhattan to honor Pencils of Promise, a non-profit organization that aims to create quality education for all children through the implementation of new schools and learning programs, increasing access to education and fostering global, sustainable communities.