Education

School News, by Sofia Baluyut

PAVE will be hosting back-to-school nights for their families throughout August. Dates are as follows: Wednesday, August 23rd, Middle school back-to-school night 5:30-6:30; Thursday, August 24th, elementary school back-to-school night 5:30-6:30

PS 58 parents should also make note that registration for Carroll Kids aftercare and after school enrichment programs will begin August 1. Register at ps58.org.

Brooklyn Acting Lab houses some of its summer programs in PS 58. K-4th graders can participate in the weekly Young PLAYers series, which has the theme “light” throughout this summer. August weeks include focuses in camping, Shel Silverstein, and Broadway. Rising 4th-9th graders can also take part in weekly workshops in auditions, Shakespeare, and improv. Each week is $475. Register at brooklynactinglab.org

Brooklyn New School will be holding a New Families Picnic to welcome families with children at BNS into their school community. Returning families can also attend. Principal Anna Allanbrook describes it as an “informal potluck experience.” Wednesday, August 30, 5-7 pm.

Basis Independent Brooklyn will be holding informational tours for prospective parents on August 3, 11, and 18 at 10 am. Sign up at brooklyn.basisindependent.com. Applications for a spot in Basis Independent Brooklyn for the 2018-2019 school year will open August 1.

First Days of School

Basis Independent Brooklyn – September 5.

Hannah Senesh Community Day School – September 5

Pave – August 28, first day for K and 5th graders; August 29, first day for 1-4th and 6-8th graders

NYC Public Schools – September 7

Curtis Scholarship

Jonathan Muñez, a student at South Brooklyn Community High School, was selected to be one of the 2017 Curtis Scholars.

The Curtis Scholarship program was created and funded by Kelly Curtis, Pearl Jam manager, through the band’s Vitalogy Foundation. The program’s goal is to reach out to underrepresented communities and foster young leaders through travel and year-long mentorship.

Applicants between the ages of 16 and 20 were asked to submit short videos or essays, as well as a recommendation letter. Only six students were selected from a pool of over 400 candidates.

In a video on the Pearl Jam website, Muñez is shown at his school receiving the news that he was selected. He hugs his mother and grandmother, who were also present, and later speaks with someone who made the announcement. “I was telling all my teachers how I wanted to be like a first alumni from this school, somebody to do something big,” Muñez said.

Muñez, along with his fellow Curtis Scholars, will be returning from their 10-day trip to South Africa on August 6. Scholars from other states will also be traveling to New York in September.

New PTA President

This June 14th, Miranda Welsh was elected as the PS 15 PTA president through an expedited election.

Welsh has a child going into first grade, and had been actively participating in the PTA for two years when she decided to run.

She previously headed a nomination committee to try to recruit others to run for the board, but she realized that her own passion could help the PTA. “It can be a tough sell because it’s quite a time commitment,” she said, “but then I realized that if I feel that people should be making this commitment, then I need to put my money where my mouth is…and hopefully show people that it’s something they can take on in the future.”

Welsh acknowledged previous problems of the PTA. “Up to this point, I think the PTA has really relied on the strength of a few individuals to make everything happen,” she said. Under her leadership, Welsh hopes to recruit more parents and turn the president’s role into more of a director, rather than someone who always does hands-on work.

Fundraising is always at the forefront of the agenda. She hopes to grow strong enough to fund bigger projects. Welsh understands the need to reach out to parents. “The primary goal of the PTA is to be a a place for parents to voice their needs in the school. So I really want it to be clear that by virtue of being at that school, you’re a member of our PTA, you’re a member of the community, and you should feel that you have a place to say what your child needs at PS 15,” she said.

Welsh also wants community members to know they can still help PS 15 even if they aren’t a parent there. She points to the group Friends of 15 and their yearly gala fundraiser. She said, “If anyone is out there saying, ‘Oh, PTA sounds like they’re really trying to do something great but there’s no reason for me to be involved with that,’ – they are wrong. Friends of 15 is an amazing organization.”

The PTA’s first meeting of the school year will be on Wednesday, September 20.

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