06 Oct

Community Time

In the Middle School we use various gatherings to build community and fulfill our mission.

Morning Meeting

 Morning Meeting occurs first thing every Monday morning. The entire Middle School comes together for this community meeting. We use the time to celebrate birthdays and good news, announce special events and other pertinent information and to illuminate/educate/start discussions on current events, whether it be right here at D-E, local, state, national, or international. Currently, we all are learning about Freedom of Speech, under the leadership of teachers Ben Fleisher, Matt Schade, Gautham Akula, Mimi Garcia and Bryan Kessler.  The guiding questions are: What are rights? What is Freedom of Speech? How can we honor Freedom of Speech in the classroom? The discussions have been interesting and have flowed into the students’ social studies/history classes.

We also come together as a Division every Thursday, when we gather for Assembly.

Here, we have a longer span of time in which to delve into a theme or concept. Already this year we have enjoyed the All School Assembly, the Community of Readers Assembly and our Honor Code Signing Assembly. This week we welcome poet/actor Carlos Gomez in celebration and recognition of Latino/a/Hispanic Heritage Month. What a powerful presentation about diversity in its many forms and about the power of words.  Next week, we will focus on Kindness with an array of activities including a continuation of our Humans of DE series.

It’s Great to Be a Bulldog!

The sixth grade Public Service Learning Project began this week with a trip to America’s Grow-a-Row (AGAR) in Pittsfield, NJ.  The whole grade works together on one project — becoming aware of the problem of hunger in New Jersey and working to make a difference for families who need some help putting nutritious food (particularly fresh produce) on the table.

Our project involves several experiences that both educate the students involved and make a real contribution to others.  We have been working for several years with the non-profit, volunteer-supported AGAR, which plants and harvests produce for food pantries and free farmer’s markets in the neediest counties of New Jersey.   On this first trip, the folks at AGAR consistently do a nice job of presenting to our students an issue about which they may not have been aware — just moments before we all pitch in to do something about it.  This week, our students harvested a crop of vegetables that will later be delivered to local food pantries. Click below to enjoy a video clip of our Grade 6 weed-pullers!

After this week’s trip, our service learning project will continue with a sixth grade day of workshops led by folks from AGAR during which our students will learn more about hunger in New Jersey and why fresh produce is particularly important.  In the spring, we will work even closer to home to plant a vegetable garden for the Englewood Center for Food Action so that they may provide fresh produce to their clients during the summer.