This year, Grade 3 will visit several sacred spaces that provide opportunities for exploration and making real world connections to the Quaker testimonies. Using the city as our classroom, students visit community partners immersed in the spiritual life of New York City. Principal Bo Lauder gave a tour of our own Quaker Meetinghouse as an introduction. Inside, students learned why some benches had open backs, while others did not (open-backed benches were for women, to allow room for the bustles from their dresses). Outside they examined the architecture of the Meetinghouse, including a carriage block and hitching post donated to the Friends Meeting in 1936 that originally stood in front of the home of William Penn in Philadelphia. #FriendsLSCurriculumStories
With the Thanksgiving season upon us, we asked Friends Seminary students past and present what makes their Friends education memorable. Tag your own messages with #FriendsGiving1786. If the parent community makes 200 new or increased gifts to the Fund for Friends between now and December 31, we will earn $50,000 for the Fund. Visit www.friendsseminary.org/give to make your gift or pledge today!
Students in Jesse Pasca’s Architecture class were the among the first to tour the construction of the townhouses as the buildings are nearing their final transformation in September 2019!
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited Friends on November 13, 2018 to speak to students in Grades 4-8. After an introduction by a group of eighth graders, the Senator opened by reading from her new book, Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote. Featuring profiles of figures like Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul and Mary Church Turrell, the book then highlights an important lesson from each woman’s life. She discussed how many of the women profiled in her book participated in the very first march on Washington for women’s rights, carrying signs supporting causes from women’s suffrage to temperance. She then opened the question and answer portion of the presentation by asking students, “What would be on your sign?” The crowd became a sea of raised hands, as students were eager to share their own inspiring words. A few highlights include: “My future is mine.” “Stop global warming.” “Stop gun violence.” “I may be small, but I still have a voice, and I’ll make it be heard.” Friends thanks Senator Gillibrand her time and thoughtful engagement with our students. For more, visit www.friendsseminary.org.
Gil Grimmett, an educator, ceramic artist and sculptor, visited Friends Tuesday. After spending time in Upper School Ceramics and Sculpture classes, Grimmett met after school with Visual Arts faculty and students from the Senior Studio course for a candid conversation on his work, process and references. He described the bust he was asked to create for Maya Angelou’s 90th birthday and walked the group through his process crafting an unconventional piece based on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mug shot. He also detailed a three-year project of sculpted ceramic masks inspired by African techniques and crafted from a variety of materials — including found wood from Brooklyn. Grimmett generously shared about his learning and creative process, trial and error, working diligently through failures and the new beginnings that come from it. He told students to use their art to move forward during dark times and hardship. Thank you to Gil for his time and moving discussion!
An accomplished guest calligrapher, Vincent Chong, visited Upper and Middle School students studying Chinese, providing an overview and demo of the artistic expression. The classes focused on writing the six Quaker testimonies, first walking students through creating each of the strokes and then the whole character, careful to not lose the central English meaning. Chong is a New York-based artist, printmaker, and Chinese calligrapher. He recently returned from Taiwan where he taught English and deepened his studies of Chinese calligraphy and stone seal engraving under master calligrapher, Wu Wensheng (吳文勝). Currently, he is in residency at Wing on Wo & Co. (W.O.W.) a community-based initiative that reinvents, preserves, and encourages Chinatown’s creative culture and history through arts, culture and activism.
Grade 9 students return from Powell House today after a three-day stay at the upstate New York Quaker retreat center. This annual tradition for Friends Seminary Freshmen is a cherished part of the Upper School experience. These students will return to Powell House as Seniors in the spring of 2022, bookending their Friends experience with reflection and fellowship.
Students were treated to a presentation by their peers on November 7 in celebration of Diwali, a festival of lights, which marks the new year on the Hindu calendar and symbolizes the “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.” Students decorated the courtyard with rangolis (patterns created on the floor that are thought to bring good luck). An altar was set up in the historic Meetinghouse and diyas lit up the entrances and lined the pews in honor of the Festival of Light. See more photos at www.friendsseminary.org/diwali
Parents, are you overwhelmed by arguments about screen time, homework, balancing family needs, and sibling rivalry? Join us to welcome KK Peabody as the PA Speaker on November 8 for a crash course in how to transform conflict into deeper connection. You will gain insights into the role conflict plays in your family and specific strategies to resolve conflicts at home. KK Peabody is a Certified Conflict Mediator and Restorative Circle-Keeper. She works with families, individuals and School Communities in her practice to address conflict and build deeper connections. As the mother of three boys, KK has lots of practice dealing with real life conflicts at home. For more information on the event and to RSVP, please visit FWD.