With another school year behind us, summer is a great time to reflect on the achievements of our alumni. We’ve heard from a number of alums over the past year. We hope you enjoy reading about their adventure and accomplishments below!
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!
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.
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.
Every day I feel lucky that my son William goes to Parkside. William is a funny, smart, loving, happy and in many ways a complicated little boy. He needs to be at a school where the directors, teachers, therapists, and staff not only recognize, but understand his strengths and challenges, are attuned to his feelings and appreciate him for his unique self. A place where he can feel part of a community and develop an identity. Parkside gives him all of these things and more.
As part of our Staff Spotlight series, we recently sat down with Audrey Eisenberg to learn about her experience at Parkside. Ms. Eisenberg is a Group Teacher in 4-1.
This post is part of a series designed to highlight the outstanding staff that support Parkside students. If you have suggestions for future articles, please contact Anthony Kapp.
The Parkside School relies on the generous financial support of our community to ensure the individualized curriculum we offer for each child while maintaining our commitment to a diverse student body. Whether you are a grateful alumnus, thankful parent, or caring friend, your support enables Parkside to meet our day-to-day operational needs while offering a thoughtfully designed, comprehensive array of academic and support services.
Mike Tramontana is Parkside's gym teacher and head of the arts and movement program.
Q: Why do you teach?
A: At first I wanted to become a teacher because I knew I wanted to have a family of my own, and I’ve seen many friends complain of “not having enough time” for their children. I thought having the same schedule as a child in school would increase my overall time with my future children, something that is very important to me. Now that my wife is pregnant with our first child, due in April, I’ll finally get to see if my plan worked.
Once I began teaching, I lost sight of that original idea. Ensuring the children in my class were always safe, smiling and having fun during gym became my priority.
On March 15, Parkside's Auction culminated with a beautiful event at Bryant Park Grill, where more than 110 members of the Parkside community came together for a live auction featuring 11 original pieces of art by Parkside students.
The auction is an annual tradition at Parkside, each year offering a unique array of silent and live auction items. This year, there were more than 360 items offered in the online silent auction - there was truly something for everyone.
All proceeds from the event, which raised nearly $110,000, support library, art, music, drama, yoga and physical education as crucial elements of a Parkside education. Support of the auction allows our students to pursue learning in their areas of strength, to acquire tools and strategies to progress in their area of challenge, and to develop respect and understanding for themselves and others.
During the event at Bryant Park Grill, many had the opportunity to see the unveiling of this year’s all-school collaborative art piece. Titled “My Favorite Part of Me,” the photo collage
featured the self portraits of every student’s favorite body part, and was accompanied by a 164 page hard cover book with each child’s photo and a quote about why they chose their favorite part. The book was so popular during the event that we spontaneously offered it for sale during the live auction paddle raise. If you did not have the opportunity to order a copy of the book during the paddle raise, but would like to have one, please download the order form and return it to Anthony Kapp no later than Wednesday, April 5.
The Parkside School extends our sincere thanks to everyone who supported the event by bidding in the auction, attending the event at Bryant Park Grill, soliciting auction items, and volunteering to ensure the auction went off without a hitch, especially auction co-chairs Bindia Malhotra and Linda Davidoff, and our sponsors, Maxwell Jacobs, Edelman Financial Services and Carnegie Framing.
In 2015-2016, because of generous donations to our Annual Fund, Parkside embarked on a journey to expand our Social Studies curriculum to encourage experiential learning, opportunities for students to interact with living history in their local environment. With the help of curriculum consultant Lisa Greenhut, an educator from The Museum of Natural History, a dynamic new curriculum was introduced. Topics included timelines and mapping, our American Flag, The Statue of Liberty, the history of New York City, Slavery, Founding Documents of American Democracy, Italy, and more - all with engaging classroom activities and resources, integrated technology experiences, and exciting field trips.
Have you placed your order yet for your Parkside apparel? We've partnered with Land's End to offer some unique apparel options for purchase. What better way to show your school spirit than to wear a Parkside sweatshirt or fleece? To learn more about the items available, download the order form.