The 8th & 9th grade school trip to see Phantom of the Opera in NYC is Wednesday, May 22nd. Students will leave promptly at 8am and should arrive back to campus by 8pm. Students should wear comfortable shoes for lots of walking and bring spending money and a snack.
Friday’s baseball game against Chase has been canceled. Pick up will be at 2:45pm.
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day last Monday, our middle school students heard a variety of presentations celebrating the life and achievements of Dr. King. At morning meeting, I presented a brief biography capped with a brief background talk on Dr. King’s “Mountain Top” speech in April of 1968 in Memphis on the night before his assassination. Students were able to see and hear a portion of this speech, as well.
Later in the day, Tim Blauvelt, a middle school science and math teacher, spoke to our older students about his experiences during the early 1960s in Mississippi. A young Wesleyan student at the time, Mr. Blauvelt heard Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr. speak about the Civil Rights Movement. Inspired to action, Mr. Blauvelt trained with the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) before traveling to Mississippi to work on voter registration in the South. Mr. Blauvelt spoke about what he experienced and witnessed in his first-hand account of those turbulent years in the segregated south. In 1967, he was drafted and served a tour of duty in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot.
In his presentation, Mr. Blauvelt spoke about acting from the courage of one’s convictions and the need for all of us to do the right thing. He also spoke candidly and effectively about facing one’s fears as he recounted some of his experiences including hearing of the news of the disappearance and subsequent deaths of three civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Two of the men were his personal friends.
Later in the day, Mr. Blauvelt spoke to the fourth to sixth grade students in a modified presentation about his experiences. He was able to provide background information about the era for our younger students many of whom have read The Watsons Go To Birmingham and other fictional works about life in the south in the mid 20th Century.
Our students learned much from this experiences on Monday, the 21st. In particular, the fourth and fifth graders recorded their understanding of the times poignantly and eloquently in poems they wrote in class and delivered at Monday’s morning meeting. An eighth grade student remarked that Mr. Blauvelt’s presentation was all the more important because it was based on his first-hand experiences.
On Tuesday morning, Deirdre Roberts extended the discussion to include not only Civil Rights, but also Human Rights. She spoke of her experiences in Pakistan, Ecuador, and Cambodia and how access to basic needs and the guarantee of human rights was still a major concern for people of all ages in those countries.
The experiences of Tim Blauvelt and Deirdre Roberts help our students understand the world in a very different way.
Michael Dooman, ‘78
The link below is a snapshot of our lower grades (K-4/5) weekly meeting. These meetings consist of sharing, singing and school announcements. The students are modeling the “morning meeting” which is held in the upper grades daily.