Dear families of Sunset Park School Summer Rising,
We are already into our second week of Summer Rising. My favorite part of the day has been greeting you and your child each morning. Many of you have shared with me that you’ve noticed your children’s joyfulness. This morning, Aiden said, “I wanted to see you this morning to tell you that I like coming to school.” Seeing our children so excited to come to school each day to be with their friends and teachers makes me excited too.
Today, after morning arrivals, I joined a group of parents sitting in our playground who were planning a weekend activity for their children. After I shared with them a hidden natural playground in Prospect Park, I gave them a private tour of our Secret Garden and introduced them to our six chickens. The parents have volunteered to bring in some chinese vegetables we can add to our garden this summer! I thought to myself--what a great start to my day!
Our dedicated teachers and staff have been working around the clock to not only provide a safe school, but a fun school where children can learn and grow. In our third grade class, Tori and Amelie met for the first time this summer, but they seem like long lost friends. They were showing Jayden how to make friendship bracelets during breakfast. As they were teaching each other the best method for making the tightest knots, they laughed and shared stories (see their picture to the right). In one of our other third grade classes, we had a substitute teacher who started the morning by greeting the students and energizing them for the day. The students fed off her energy and they each showed her their colorfully decorated name tents. The morning for them began by interviewing me and learning all about what other people in the school do that are not teachers in the classroom. In one of our 4th grade classes, students were engaged in a morning activity where they followed the movement of a leader. It was quite tricky--I kept thinking it was Daniela, but it wasn’t. Queenie had a hard time guessing, because Yu Kang was so good at disguising himself as the leader!
Activities like this help build friendships and transition students back into the social settings of school life.
After morning meetings, teachers began engaging students in math learning. In our fifth grade class, students were working in groups with white boards and manipulatives to find equal fractions. They were debating on how to reduce fractions and using real life examples. In a 2nd grade class, students were learning in math stations and creating their own math problems using the manipulatives in each station!
In a second grade class, the students were reading A Bad Case of Stripes and discussing why we shouldn’t change for other people. Surprisingly, this class had a lot of broccoli lovers and they all shouted in agreement, “We will eat our broccoli and we are not going to care about what other people think about that!” I’m sure they will learn more about healthy eating in our Food Justice enrichment program!
Our lower grade students have been engaging in their own fun and learning! In Ms. Verga’s class, students will be immersed in a playground study. Since our very own playground is going to be renovated in 2024, we are scheduling the landscape architect to Zoom in to meet our first graders to share how he came up with the design for our school. In the next weeks, they will be visiting playgrounds.
In addition, our young readers have been engaged in sound games. Jack and Victor in Ms. Verga’s class were showing different ways to chop up a word. “This is the way you chop it up!” they explained.
Right now as I’m writing this letter, children are dancing in the auditorium, they are building on our Imagination Playground, and they are learning fractions in the classroom with teachers that love them. These are the days we can take a moment to be thankful for what we have. I hope parents and families are finally getting some independent time to catch up on some work or some self-care. Maybe, you’re even just enjoying some silence in the house.
Next week, I will be taking a few days off, but my Assistant Principal Pei Yu Chang will be here with Rachel Castillo, our CFL Director. Please reach out to our Family Support Team if you need anything at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to cfl at email@example.com.
EuJin Tang | Principal--Directora--校长 | Sunset Park School