School dispatches: April 4, 2018

Students at Holy Trinity continue with the school’s tradition of a student-teacher basketball game. The eighth grade students defeated the teachers, 56-45. (Photo courtesy of Holy Trinity)

British International School

On March 23, Year 11 and 12 students from the British International School went to a Brady campaign event in downtown D.C. at the Senate Hart building.

The Brady campaign is a long-standing gun control group that seeks to introduce comprehensive legislation to control the distribution and purchasing of firearms.

There we were met by a couple hundred students from across America to listen to Sen. Cory Brooker (D-NJ), students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Sandyhook and Columbine, as well as survivors from inner city gun violence. We discussed ideas for youth and how we can advocate gun control, especially in the wake of the youth-led and organized protests following the Florida shooting.

It was a truly unique experience to be surrounded by the students who started the #neveragain movement on the day before the March for our Lives. Everybody present presented passionate, coherent and educated ideas on gun reform, ranging from policy change to local community work and the role charities play in an increasingly polarized America.

It was not just the survivors of the Florida shooting who inspired me, but every young American who was motivated to have their voices heard in a movement they really cared about.

– Sofia Hollowell

Eaton Elementary

At John Eaton Elementary School, we had an annual Pi Day competition. Students were challenged to memorize as many digits of Pi as possible.

The students who memorized the most got to pie Mr. Sutton, our physical education teacher, in the face! In fourth grade, a student named Ray memorized 37 digits of Pi. He got to pie Mr. Sutton in the face. In fifth grade, a student named Amalia memorized 244 digits of Pi! Amalia broke the Eaton record by 100 digits. She also got to pie Mr. Sutton in the face. Mr. Sutton had a surprised but happy reaction.

After Mr. Sutton had gotten pied both times, the students were laughing and cheering.

– Lia Feleke, fourth grader, and Morgan Hubbard, fifth grader

Emerson Prep School

Over the past few weeks, small batches of Emerson students have been participating in a weekly, mandatory, basic self-defense course instead of our usual “Physical Phriday” activities. The classes take place in the gymnasium at the Thurgood Marshall Center. As an introduction, we were taught simple reactionary moves to defend ourselves better in dangerous situations.

The Emerson community recognized this was an important tool for high school students, as we are young people in the city and may need to utilize the skills someday. There are many troubling statistics about situations in which self-defense would be necessary, and so it is useful to know the “SAFE” method: Situational Awareness, Flight or Fight, and Escape.

The instructor, Adrian Anthony, discussed with us the importance of situational awareness and tactics to deescalate situations before they become dangerous and self-defense is needed, or in order to feel more comfortable when interacting with others, such as a nonconsensual hug.

Anthony’s goal was to teach every Emerson student that the ultimate objective is to escape, and highlighted certain situations in which we may feel vulnerable that were tailored to the U Street area and D.C.’s public transportation system.

Emerson’s goal is to equip students for the world around us as we mature and reach a new, unfamiliar stage of life.

– Isabel Fajardo, 11th grader

Hearst Elementary

We visited the National Building Museum. We took a school bus and when we got there each student got a red shirt that we had to wear while we were there.

We built structures with cardboard and other materials. We built commercial, industrial, residential and institutional. I had a lot of fun. I made a movie theater with boxes, tape, tiles, cards and metal things. Another group built a sports stadium. It had spotlights, arrow signs, fireworks, and everything Olympics.

After that we did a challenge of who could make the tallest building without tape and glue. All we could use is boxes and whatever we could find, but they didn’t say who won.

After we ate lunch and waited for the bus. When we all got in the bus we went back to school!

– Second Grade Hearst Owls

Holy Trinity

As Holy Trinity School approaches its 200th anniversary, we look back on the many wonderful memories and traditions.

One of these traditions is the beloved student-faculty basketball game. It is a game where the graduating class of eighth graders competes against the staff and faculty in a friendly game. For the 11 years I have been attending Holy Trinity, this game has been one of the highlights every school year.

This year I got the opportunity to play in the game, and it is now one of the most memorable experiences I have from my time at Holy Trinity. Year after year, the students defend their lengthy winning streak, and this year was no exception as the students defeated the teachers, 56-45.

This event is so popular that not only do the current students and parents come to cheer, but alumni also join in on the action. Even though the students continuously win, everybody had an amazing night and are already looking forward to next year.

– Annika Gill and Maggie Cope, eighth graders

Maret School

In first grade at Maret, we decided to take a Spanish field trip to Churreria Madrid so we could try Spanish foods. We also went so we could get better at speaking the language and we could have fun talking in Spanish. We learned a lot of Spanish vocabulary before that, like the names of Spanish foods that were both yummy and yucky. We practiced with partners and our teacher Señora Delgado helped us. We were excited to try churros con chocolates, paella, pan, tortilla Espanola, y agua. 

We began our field trip by walking around Adams Morgan and looking at restaurants. We used a sheet to help us learn what different countries the restaurants represented.

Afterwards we went to Churreria Madrid, but it was closed because there was an emergency. We were surprised because the field trip was already scheduled, but it was closed. We were very hungry. Ms. Tomasi-Carr, the other first grade teacher, had an idea. We left the restaurant and went back to the bus. We were sitting on the bus when Ms. Tomasi-Carr arrived with Julia’s empanadas! We went back to school and we ate at recess on the playground.

We learned that restaurants are not always open. We learned that not every plan is going to go the way you thought it would. Señora Delgado said we will go to a different Spanish restaurant next time.

– Ms. Sudheendran’s first grade class

National Presbyterian School

On March 19, we had some very special visitors from Street Sense!

You might be thinking, is Street Sense a TV show? A newspaper? Well, it is a newspaper. A newspaper helps supports homelessness.

The people who came were Ken Martin, Dani Gilmour and Marcellus Phillip. Gilmour is a manager for Street Sense, which means she plans where it visits and its activities. Phillip and Martin were both once homeless, but now they aren’t.

The fifth grade class asked Phillip lots of questions like ,“Did you ever lose hope?” or “What kept you going?” He said for the first question, the answer was, “I never lost hope,” then he gave us some advice, “Never lose hope no matter what happens.” Then for the other question his answer was, “Music. Music always kept me going.” Then he told us we were going to listen to a rap about homelessness that he made, but the rap was not finished so we got to finish the rap as a grade. We finished the rap with help from our teachers. We were so fortunate to have these visitors at NPS.

– By Abigail Boerstling, fifth grader

Sheridan School

This past week, Sheridan School Middle School students participated in “Minimester Week.” Most students were assigned a school program, but some students decided to participate in internships they organized themselves. These students went to their internship and shadowed a professional for several days.

Olive Ley and Ava Oboler worked at Franklin Montessori School, a preschool, and said, “We really enjoyed reading aloud to the kids and helping them throughout the day.”

Sabrina Kestnbaum-Cook worked at Rock Creek Stables and said, “It was a great learning experience to realize how much work it takes to run a barn and keep it clean for the horses.” Pixie Klam and Gwyn Field worked with a producer at National Public Radio, and they said, “It was a really special opportunity and we learned so much about workplaces and how the radio works.”

In conclusion this was a great experience for all the students and they are really grateful to have had this opportunity to learn about possible future careers.

– Pixie Klam, Sabrina Kestnbaum-Cook, and Gwyn Field, seventh graders

St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School

At St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School, we have an unusual contest called Recitation.

Each year, students from grades four through eight participate by choosing a piece to memorize. Students select their pieces in February and have until early March to learn them. These pieces vary from poems to excerpts from prose to famous speeches. They range from 200 to 450 words. Students are encouraged to practice their pieces every day, memorizing one to two sentences.

In early March, the first part of the competition begins in each homeroom with students reciting their pieces from memory. Each class has one representative and one alternate. In grades five through eight there is a grade-wide competition, while in grade four the homeroom winners automatically go to the schoolwide competition. The schoolwide competition is always on St. Patrick’s Day (or the day closest to it during the school week).

For the schoolwide competition, there is one winner and two runners-up. The winner receives several prizes, including having his or her name on a plaque in the library.         

– Mia Spector, fourth grader