School Dispatches: Jan. 17, 2018

Sheridan School hosted its first-ever charity basketball tournament. (photo courtesy of Sheridan School)

Blessed Sacrament School

On Jan. 12, the seventh-grade class went on a field trip to the Freer Gallery of Art. We saw many different pieces of art from Asian countries. We learned about the Japanese culture from the late 16th Century and also saw bowls and canteens from the early Middle East. There were also sculptures of ancient Chinese warriors.

One of the most interesting things was the Peacock Room, which was a magnificent piece of work by James McNeill Whistler. It was once the dining room of Frederick Leyland in his England home. The room was painted blue and gold and is filled with vases from all over Asia that were a part of Leyland’s collection.

This trip enriched our knowledge of Asian culture, because we have our upcoming performance of “A Year In Asia.” Every student picks an Asian country and learns about its culture, music, food, clothing and dance!

— Mary Grace Mastal, seventh-grader

Emerson Preparatory School

Recently, the Emerson community welcomed Tim Zimmerman, a magazine writer and contributor on the documentary “Blackfish.” The film is a result of four years of research on Tilikum, a captive killer whale, and the corruption in the seapark industry.

We gathered on the first floor of the Thurgood Marshall Center to screen the film and hear about its importance from Zimmerman. He said that his team wanted to capture the “relationship between the powerful and the powerless” by showcasing how dishonest capitalist companies can easily attach a negative stigma to sweet creatures such as killer whales (which aren’t actually killers, or whales!) for the sake of maintaining a profitable business.

The impact of the film was enormous, especially among young people. Many took the opportunity to become activists, utilizing petitions on platforms like to go after SeaWorld’s corporate partners. Politicians even introduced the “Blackfish Bill” to help protect killer whales from places like SeaWorld.

Zimmerman reminded us that, as young people, we can still affect change. Mr. Trylch, Emerson’s English and documentary filmmaking teacher, has been a great new addition to our community and helps facilitate learning about film and utilizing it to make a difference. Perhaps Zimmerman, along with many other guest speakers at Emerson, will inspire students to pursue somewhat nontraditional career paths and educate others on important causes.

— Isabel Fajardo, 11th-grader

Hearst Elementary School

We revisited the hopes and goals we set at the beginning of the school year and thought about all we have achieved in second grade.

“I wanted to read at level J and now I can do that.”

“I wanted to be friends with the new student at the beginning and now we play together all the time.”

As we listed everything we already learned, we thought about how our goals could have changed and set new goals. We set school goals: we want to understand math better, learn about robots, and improve our reading levels. We also set community building goals: we will have kind words and help friends when they are hurt, we will make more friends, be a good friend to everyone, and help new people communicate if they don’t know English.

Then we thought about what we needed to do to accomplish these goals. We think we need to practice all the time. We’re excited to keep meeting our goals and making new ones!

— Ms. Burleigh’s second-grade class​

Horace Mann Elementary School

There is a new after-school activity at Horace Mann this year: the Farmers Market Club.

It was created by David Magee and Amy Jadgodnic in hopes of expanding the farm program here at Mann and it had a successful 2017. Leah Greenglass and Karyn Wulwick, both Mann teachers, are helping run the program. Every Tuesday, the students in the club exit class 15 minutes early to help set up, along with the lucky class that gets to spend their whole last period helping get ready.

The Farmers Market receives fresh produce from the school farm every week so we can raise money for school projects, etc. They have the Farmers Market so kids can learn economic skills. To keep it simple, Greenglass said, apples are her favorite produce. A few other products they have sold are pumpkins, pumpkin butter and apple butter. Those are usually sold in the fall. A part of the Farmers Market is an early order online for easy pickup on Tuesdays. It will be continued throughout the school year!​

— Olivia Shima, fourth-grader

Our Lady of Victory School

Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) basketball is a key part of Our Lady of Victory (OLV). Every winter, hundreds of students join teams to play basketball. There are teams ranging from grades three to eight and a Saturday clinic for grades pre-K to two. Our experience with CYO basketball has been great. We have been playing since pre-K and we have loved it every step of the way. Every time we step on the court with our team, we get this feeling of joy and excitement. CYO basketball is a big part of our OLV experience.

CYO continues to grow and develop every year as students start understanding the basic principles. OLV teaches kids sportsmanship, teamwork, respect and giving one hundred percent effort. Our experience with OLV has been amazing from day one at the clinic until now as eighth-graders. We have enjoyed every step of the way with our friends, family and classmates cheering us on.

On Jan. 7, OLV hosted a Mass in honor of all the players and coaches. The Mass was held by Father Dave, and it was really great for the parents, coaches and players to have a Mass dedicated to them. During the Mass Visitation headmaster Dan Kerns spoke to the whole church community about how amazing the body of CYO participants and supporters are. Thank you OLV for being such a great organization.

— George K. and Charlie F., eighth-graders

Oyster-Adams Bilingual School

Students at Oyster-Adams think we shouldn’t have had school on Jan. 5.

That morning one of our classmates, who asked to be anonymous, said “I think today we shouldn’t have school because it’s below (the) freezing point. I understand we should have the most (time for) academics as possible, but there are just some days where that should just let it slide like today.” A public tweet that she found said, “Everyone outside of the city has either delayed or closed so shouldn’t you follow suit with the other districts?”

A student said of the two-hour delays, “There is no point (to delaying school opening) because you think you can do more things and chill for a little while, but you still have to go to school.”

Gabriella Eversley-Holland agrees, saying, “There is no benefit to having a two-hour delay because if someone doesn’t know about the delay then the kids have to wait outside in the cold.”

Our assistant principal, Ms. Morado said, “I think we should always go to school except if it [is really] dangerous.”

— Gabriella Eversley-Holland, Francis Csedrik and Lesly Bautista, sixth-graders

Sheridan School

On Jan. 6, Sheridan School hosted its first-ever charity basketball tournament, which raised funds through admission fees and a bake sale. Lowell School, Green Acres School and Edmund Burke School all came to support and compete for the cause.

Each school represented a charitable beneficiary: either Peace Players, an organization that strives to bring communities together through sport, or Special Olympics DC, which helps disabled athletes. Sheridan and Lowell represented Peace Players, and Green Acres and Edmund Burke represented the Special Olympics.

In the first game, Sheridan won 26-23 in overtime after Lowell tied the game on an exciting last-second shot. Green Acres then beat Edmund Burke, 21-12, leading to the consolation game where Lowell won over Edmund Burke, 30-16. Finally, in the championship game, Sheridan prevailed over Green Acres, 30-16.

Peace Players collected 60 percent of the proceeds (40 percent from Sheridan and 20 percent from Lowell). Special Olympics collected 40 percent (30 percent from Green Acres and 10 percent from Edmund Burke). All teams played hard and well and all were glad for the chance to compete for such worthwhile causes.

— Ava Partridge, eighth-grader, and Olive Ley, seventh-grader