School News

School News
Third Grade Boys Explore Teatown Lake Reservation

On October 24, the third grade boys headed to Teatown Lake Reservation, a nature preserve and education center in Ossining, N.Y. Teacher Susan Kehoe reports:

The boys were immersed in the culture of the Eastern Woodland Natives. Specifically, they learned about their history at the period of contact with Europe. The boys enjoyed the opportunity to view what daily life in a Native American village might have been like. They visited a replica of a wigwam, allowing them to feel like they really stepped back in time. Replicas of items such as deer skin leggings, moccasins and native tools were shown and explored. The boys were allowed to touch and interact with each one. Traditional games were played, so each boy had the chance to practice his hunting skills! It was a great learning experience and one which complimented our studies quite nicely!

According to the reservation's website, "the name Teatown dates back to 1776 when tea was scarce due to British taxation. A man by the name of John Arthur moved to the northern Westchester area hoarding a chest full of tea with thoughts of selling it at a huge profit. A group of women called found out about the tea and demanded Mr. Arthur sell the tea at a reasonable fee. After refusing, the women laid siege to the farmhouse. Mr. Arthur finally agreed to sell the tea at a fair price in exchange for a peaceful withdrawal. Hence, the area became known as 'teatown.' " View photos.

From Field to Table: First Grade Boys Learn by Visiting Working Farm

First grade boys were fortunate to spend the better part of Friday in Queens at the Queens County Farm, a 47-acre working farm that dates back to 1697, complete with farmhouse, greenhouse, windmill, barns and a shop where fruits and vegetables are sold. Their teachers, Chelsea Rossman and Julianne Rowland, as well as Taylor McKenna, associate teacher, accompanied the boys along with parent chaperones who had as much fun learning about the farm as the boys did. Director of Publications Melanie McMahon accompanied the group and offers this report:

This historic site and working farm, which attracted 17th century European settlers, offered Browning’s first graders a first-hand look at how food is grown, as well as the chance to see many of the animals they may have only heard or read about. The boys saw steer (“Jethro” and “Dexter”), alpacas (“Salt” and “Pepper”), sheep, goats, chickens, pigs and honey bee hives. They learned that each hive contains more than 1,000 bees, that hens lay only one egg per day, and that the fur on just one alpaca is worth about $800!  They also learned that by shaking a container of cream for about 15 minutes, they can make butter. The color, either white or yellow, is a result of the kind of grass the cows ate…that produced the cream…that made the butter! Their guides, Mr. Marty and Ms. Renee, also explained how cows consume their food by chewing their “cud” and gave the boys handfuls of alfalfa to feed to the friendly, ever-hungry goats.

In addition to its livestock, the farm boasted a wonderland of produce and flowers, including many of the foods served in Browning’s dining hall, such as quinoa, lettuce, radishes, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes and various herbs. Many of the boys and adults were surprised to see how quinoa looks before it’s harvested – a combination of corn stalks and cat tails. Mr. Marty and Ms. Renee encouraged the boys to see, touch and taste the garden’s bounty; the chives and mint were pungent and fragrant, while the lamb’s ears plants were so soft! They also learned they could eat the large yellow flowers of the squash plants.

A hayride gave the boys a chance to see the layout of the farm, including fields of corn and compost piles – quite a sight when juxtaposed with the high-rises of the city in the far background. One of the Browning boys provided an impressive explanation of how compost is created and what its purpose is. Due to just the right weather conditions, the compost at the farm was actually “steaming” that morning! That’s because carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and water provide beneficial bacteria that work with the nutrients to heat up the pile; water is released as vapor or “steam.”

In the course of the morning, the guides showed the boys posters of various types of fruits and vegetables, particularly those they could expect to see there. Before heading to the pumpkin patch (the grand finale and favorite part of the day) to pick one of these colorful orbs, the boys discussed various ways to prepare and serve this food. Their guides passed out photos of the growing stages of a pumpkin and asked the boys to put them in the proper order. The boys were proud to show their knowledge of how a Halloween classic is “created – from seed to jack o’lantern! View photos.

Middle School Boys Raise Funds & Awareness of World Hunger

For the second consecutive year, Browning Middle School boys participated in a marathon sponsored by Save the Children to raise awareness of World Food Day. The event promotes the urgent need to fight childhood hunger and malnutrition.

While inclement weather forced this year’s race to take place in the Upper Gym, the switch to an indoor venue could not dampen the boys’ enthusiasm. They succeeded in raising $7,750 for this most worthy cause! Coached by members of the New York Road Runners, the boys ran laps around the gym, finishing in 2:25. Head of Middle School Chris Dunham was pleased to note, “The enthusiasm to help Save the Children effort was incredibly inspiring for us all. I am SO proud of our boys.” View photos.

"A Bright Room Called Day" Premieres Tonight

Tickets are now on sale for the Browning-Brearley fall play, "A Bright Room Called Day." The drama will be presented tonight through October 25 at The Brearley School beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets can be reserved by emailing

"A Bright Room Called Day," one of Tony Kushner's first plays, is the story of Agnes and a group of artists living in pre-World War II Berlin just as the Nazis are coming into political power. Director Michael Baldwin notes, "As is Kushner's style, the play is fiercely political and imaginative, at times surreal, very human and relatable. The young men from Browning have been wonderful and are turning in stellar performances." Mr. Kushner also wrote "Angels in America" and "Lincoln." View photos.

Latin Class Visits Greek-Roman Galleries at Met

Form I boys journeyed to the Metropolitan Museum's Greek and Roman galleries for the first time as Latin students with Classics Department Chair John Young who reports as follows: Armed with sketchbooks and pencils, the boys learned about and sketched architectural artifacts to reinforce their lessons about Roman monuments. The highlighted pieces were the Ionic column from Sardis, the frescoes from Boscoreale, and the mosaic floor from near Antioch. The trip was made possible by our chaperones Ms. Witt, Ms. Chernoff-White, Ms. Obeid and Mr. Katz, who documented our trip in photos. Click here to view photos.

Central Park Serves as Resource for Study of Science

Fourth grade Browning boys, along with science teacher Emilie Wolf, took a field trip to Central Park recently to collect water samples from the pond. Ms. Wolf explained, "The boys will continue their experiment back in the lab, where they will use compound microscopes to determine the nature of the invisible organisms that live in pond water."

Science teacher Julia Kingsdale also took the Pre-Primary boys to Central Park. As she explained, the purpose of their trip was "to collect information 'in the field' for their study of trees. She added, "We gathered leaf and bark rubbings and estimated the age of a tree by measuring its circumference." View photos.

Form III Boys Travel to Pine Forest Camp

On Thursday morning, October 9, Form III boys pulled away on a coach bus from the curb of East 62nd St. on their way to Greeley, Pa., for the annual two-day Form III Pine Forest trip. Leading the boys were Head of Upper School James Reynolds, Classics Department Chair John Young and Michael Cohn, Browning's newest PE department member. Two hours later, the group arrived at the Pine Forest Camp for a day of canoeing and high-rope, zip-line and rock-wall experiences led by a team of outdoors facilitators from the Mountain Workshop.

Mr. Reynolds reports: The first day, activities focused on team building and personal challenges, and the boys had a great time on the lake and climbing elements. Evening events included a hilarious Win in in a Minute-style competition in which the boys were divided into teams and given challenges to complete in 60 seconds, which might help explain the photograph of students with Oreos on their foreheads! The boys had to get the cookies from there to their mouths without using their hands. The evening ended with a bonfire and S'mores.

Day two was dedicated to rafting down the Delaware River. The boys, most in wet suits, broke into groups of four to five and paddled six miles down the river. The weather was beautiful, and the surrounding riverbank cliffs of New York to the east and Pennsylvania to the west were spectacular. A highlight of the trip was the opportunity to see a bald eagle perched on a tree limb overhanging the river before it launched itself into full flight. The group returned to Browning in the late afternoon on Friday and headed off to the long weekend. The trip was a great success for all! View photos.

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