Parkside Parents Run to Support Our School

In less than two weeks on November 4, Dot Cates will run her 10th New York City Marathon. Dot’s son, Oliver, started at Parkside in 2014, and has grown into a more confident, happy, and social child due to the support our school is able to give him. It is Oliver’s progress at Parkside - addressing his struggles with expressive and receptive language, academic skills, attention, sensory integration, and self-care skills - that has inspired his Mom to dedicate her NYC Marathon experience to Parkside, and actively raise money for our school leading up to the marathon.

Dot is the third Parkside parent to run a race in support of our school this fall. Katie Holliday ran more than 435 miles training for the Chicago Marathon, before smiling across the finish line on October 7 in honor of her daughter, Emmy. And Lief Nielsen joined the effort by running the Brooklyn Greenway Half Marathon on October 14. Lief’s daughter, Sona, is one of Parkside’s newest students, already flourishing under the guidance of Parkside’s teachers and therapists.

Dot, Katie and Lief teamed up to raise money for Parkside because they have each been touched by the love and care our school provides for children with language-based learning challenges.

As Dot’s NYC Marathon run approaches, take a moment to learn more about what inspired these parents to lace up their running shoes, and consider supporting their campaign here.

Unexpected Connections at Japan Society

Rachel Kahn '00 & Yukako Yamazoe

Rachel Kahn '00 & Yukako Yamazoe

New York City is a big place, but it doesn’t stop our Parkside friends from connecting!

One of our current parents, Yukako Yamazoe, mother of Teru in Class 4-2, recently discovered that one of her coworkers at Japan Society is a Parkside alum! Rachel Kahn graduated Parkside in 2000, and works at Japan Society as a Visitor Services Assistant while she is completing coursework towards a Master of Library Science degree at Queens College!  

The two had the opportunity to catch up and learn about their shared connection to Parkside. Rachel loved her time at Parkside and misses it, and Teru was sure excited to hear that his mom, who is a Program Associate for Performing Arts at Japan Society, works with a Parkside alum! 

The Masters degree Rachel expects to complete next year will be her second! She previously earned a Master of Arts in Cinema Studies at San Francisco State University in the hopes of becoming a film librarian and archivist. She recently won the 2017 New York Library Association Dewey Scholarships, and will be attending their annual conference in November. 

In addition to her work at Japan Society, Rachel also works at the Queens College Rosenthal Art Library, and is assisting as an Archival Research Intern for the upcoming HBO series, "Random Acts of Flyness." 

Why We Give


Jake has always been a happy kid, but he always stayed back from the crowd when he was younger. He often avoided playing with friends or his brothers because he didn't have the words to interact. You could see that he just wasn't confident in these situations.  

Since coming to Parkside all of that has completely changed. Jake is still a happy boy, but now he has built confidence and skills that allow him to be part of larger groups. He interacts and plays with his peers, and his language has dramatically improved. He feels good about himself and what he can do, and he doesn't hesitate to get right "in it" with his brothers (3 kids vs. 2 parents!!!) 

What Parkside has given Jake and our family doesn't stop at language. Jake's academics are continuing to thrive, beyond what we could have imagined.  And he gets the opportunity to participate in fun activities like art, music, drama, and yoga - which he loves. He confidently participates in all sorts of family activities with us from skiing to visiting a cool NYC exhibit. 

The teachers and administration at Parkside are amazing and all this progress could not have happened without them. They get to know each student so well, and then care about what goes on not only inside of school, but outside of school as well, and do whatever they can to make sure each child thrives and is happy.  

Jake cant wait to jump on the bus each day and head to school, and that is why we choose to prioritize Parkside as the place we give. This school has done so much for our family, and we want to help fund Parkside's mission so they can continue to help Jake and others like him. 

Corinne & Michael Bilerman
Parents, Class 3-2

For information about making a gift to Parkside, CLICK HERE

We Feel Like We Won The Golden Ticket

Finding the right school for your child is a funny thing. It can be like an apartment or a significant other -- when you know, you KNOW.  The moment my husband and I walked into Parkside, we could envision our daughter Emmy climbing the spiral staircase to a classroom where she would be challenged but nurtured, and where she would learn and grow both socially and academically.

To say that her teachers and therapists understand Emmy is an understatement. At every annual team meeting, it never ceases to amaze me how well everyone at Parkside "gets" her. What motivates her, what frustrates her, what works to keep her engaged and encouraged -- everything at Parkside is individualized to help every child grow and learn how they grow and learn best.

So why give? Give because you have won the golden ticket. Your child, your grandchild, your friend's child -- they have been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend The Parkside School, and you have the opportunity to pay it forward and give other children that same amazing opportunity.

We hope you will join us in supporting this very special school, with a gift during Giving Week.

Katie and Sam Holliday
Parents, Class 3-4

Parkside Celebrates 30 Years

The Parkside School community gathered on Thursday evening at Arena in celebration of the school's 30th anniversary. It was a night like no other! From Al Roker's remarks, to The Dance Cartel's performance, to the Parkside parents, alumni and friends dressed to the max in 80s/90s gear, a fun time was had by all. 

The event benefited new outdoor play and learning spaces for Parkside students, and thanks to the generosity of our benefactors and donors, raised more than $260,000 that will enable construction to begin on the third floor terrace within the next year. 

One of the highlights of the evening was the video above, produced by Craig Kabrhel and Melissa Gelade to commemorate this important milestone. 

The following slideshow, a look back at 30 Years of Parkside, was also shown at the event:

Many thanks to all who attended the event and gave in support of Parkside's 30th anniversary, and special thanks to Heidi Green of Heidi Green Photography for capturing the night for us!

Alumnus Conor Devlin '06 Delivers Graduation Speech

Alumnus Conor Devlin '06 Delivers Graduation Speech

On Thursday, June 15, 2017, The Parkside School celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2017. Our thirteen graduates will be going on to school's including the American School of Milan, Community School, The Computer School, Lowell School, Mary McDowell Friends School, Summit School, and York Prep.

During the ceremony, which was held at the JCC on 76th and Amsterdam, Conor Devlin '06 reflected on his Parkside experience, and gave our newest class of alumni some great advice. The following is the full trascript of his speech.

Parkside's Fund for Teacher Excellence

Parkside's Fund for Teacher Excellence

In 2014, The Parkside School held a benefit at Del Posto honoring Al Roker and Deborah Roberts. It was a festive evening, featuring “A Night of Comedy” exquisitely crafted by Sherri Shepherd with comic Joy Behar, Judy Gold, Diane Neal, and Tammy Pescatelli. Leading up to the event, Parkside set the goal of creating a dedicated fund that would help our school attract, develop and retain exceptional teachers and offer outstanding professional development opportunities.

The event raised more than $3.1 million thanks to 64 donors and a generous leadership challenge from the Isenberg family. Today, the fund’s balance has grown to more than $3.5 million, and the impact of that support can be seen throughout our school. Parkside’s annual budget for professional development includes more than $65,000 specifically for teacher training, consultants, conferences and initiatives that strengthen our curriculum and allow our staff to be leaders among special education professionals in New York City.

There is exceptional work happening year round to support our teachers and therapists. The following is a representative sampling of the type of impact the Fund for Teacher Excellence has had on our school.

An Inside Look at Occupational Therapy at Parkside

An Inside Look at Occupational Therapy at Parkside

Occupational Therapy in an integral part of Parkside’s educational program. Our team of therapists provide treatment in the classroom and in a fully-equipped sensory gym in order to facilitate the improvement of fine motor skills, develop and refine handwriting skills, support improved sensory processing and self-regulation, and ultimately provide students with the tools they need to achieve greater independence at school and at home.

Parkside’s four Occupational Therapists – Christine Yen, Michelle Redler, Tara King and Shannon McDowell – are a close-knit team. They recently sat down together to respond to some questions about why they choose to work at Parkside. These are their responses.

Staff Spotlight: Roberta Favant

Staff Spotlight: Roberta Favant

Before coming to Parkside full time in the Fall of 2016, Roberta Favant worked in an inclusion program but was looking for a school whose resources were dedicated 100% to special needs students. “As a speech and language therapist, my purpose is to support special needs students, and I wanted to work is a setting designed for them. The Parkside program places a particular emphasis on language learning, and that has been the focus of my practice over the years,” she said. Ms. Favant had attended professional development workshops at Parkside, including the Constable Reading sessions as part of the Parkside Summer Institute, and a Carol Gray lecture on social stories. “The workshops were excellent, as is the reputation Parkside holds in the special education community, she recalls. 

Ms. Favant took some time to share with us her unique perspective on The Parkside School, our students, and our philosophy of teaching.  

Alumni Spotlight: Robert Stewart ’00

From his post in Morocco, where he and his wife Kate are serving in the Peace Corps, Parkside alumnus Robert Stewart '00 took some time to reflect on what his Parkside experience meant to him. There isn’t one thing he remembers most vividly, he says, “rather, it is a mix of everything -- the tight knit social groups, the library on the first floor, the music room, the ball pit in the occupational therapy room. There are too many good memories to count.” He recalls that Parkside did a wonderful job preparing him for the future.