Week in Pictures, January 17-21

Mr. Reynolds hosted the Form VI boys at a luncheon at the Century Association, an event that marked the end of the semester-long Advanced Expository Writing class. Each senior wrote and revised a variety of college essays, ranging from the Common Application essay to the various supplements required by colleges and universities. Operating as a writing workshop, each student shared his essay with the class, received constructive criticism from his peers and Mr. Reynolds, and revised his essays as he saw fit. The high point of the lunch was each student's reflection on which one of his peers' essays most moved him. The reflections were thoughtful and revealed the depth of attention and seriousness each student brought to the table to make the workshop a valuable experience. The boys were fortunate to have Mr. Botti and Mr. Pelz join in the class-ending celebration. 

The Varsity Basketball Panthers earned their first win of the season against UNIS, while the JV Panthers bounced back with victories against LREI and Trevor Day.

Lower School boys warmed the winter morning of January 19 with an informal music recital.

On January 20, Middle School boys honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a town hall discussion organized by the Multicultural Club on the theme of "Equity as Fairness.”

Upper School boys attended a presentation by members of the Model UN delegation who will attend the Ivy League Model United Nations Conference (ILMUNC) in Philadelphia on January 26. The representatives spoke about what comprises a desirable Model UN delegate, as well as the current political situation in the Republic of Yemen, which they will represent this year at ILMUNC. After their presentation, the group answered questions by Upper School boys in the audience.

It was a great weekend for Browning Hockey as the Mites defeated Buckley on February 21. The Mini Mites also played in a tournament against Buckley, St. Bernard's, St. David's and the Hawks (a club team), winning three games and tying for one.

Week in Pictures, January 3-13

The Grytte newspaper staff was given a Gold Medalist rating by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) for the four issues they published in 2015-16. The Medalist Critiques are the written evaluation of the publication compared against a set of printed criteria as completed by CSPA judges. Click here to learn more about the Grytte’s trip to the CPSA fall conference.

The Form II boys enjoyed this year's Engineers Teaching Algebra workshop on many levels. Mark Love, who directed the January 4 session, said, "I think these were the two most engaged groups in all the years I have been here." Math Department Chair Michael Klein added, "Finding relevance for what they are learning in the classroom is a powerful component for the boys, and this workshop provides that opportunity.”

The third and fourth grade boys helped make the return of Panther Game Days a success in contests against Loyola on January 5. The boys, along with parents and faculty, were happy to show off their pride and had a great time! 

The JV basketball players kicked off the second half of their season with back-to-back victories against UNIS, 48-34, and Loyola, 63-33. The 7/8 Red team came away with wins against Calhoun in a nail-biter, 37-36, and in another over-time contest with Columbia Prep, 68-64. The fifth grade team won its season opener against the School at Columbia, 26-17; all 19 members of the team played for one full quarter in this true "team victory!”

In preparation for their upcoming unit on Japan, the third grade boys visited the UN as part of their social studies curriculum on world culture.

The two sections of the Intro to Engineering class competed in a robotics competition as a culminating activity for their engineering design project. Each student designed a robot then selected the best design to build, program, test and improve their robots in order to compete against the other section of the class. The winner of that match then went on to compete against the Advanced Robotics team. Watch a livestream of the event here. The Advanced Robotics team will compete at Dalton next month in a NYC regional competition for the First Tech Challenge. 

The fourth graders presented their social studies projects on January 12 based on American colonial resistance, including protesting the Stamp Act, Sugar Act and the Townshend Act.

Week in Pictures, December 4-11

Members of the Multicultural Club are attending the People of Color Conference (PoCC) and Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) in Atlanta this week. The PoCC strives to develop, nurture and sustain the leadership and professional journeys of people of color in independent schools. Our boys join more than 1,600 students across the country in exploring the theme of "Advancing Human and Civil Rights: Fulfilling the Dream Together" during general sessions, affinity groups and workshops led by independent school peers. For more information visit pocc.nais.org.

The Browning Green Team participated in the Central Park Pitch In & Pick Up program on December 4, cleaning up a mile-and-a-half loop north of Belvedere Castle. The boys invited the The Hewitt School and Chapin School environmental groups to join them in their service day to exchange ideas and promote more collaborations between the schools.

In keeping with Mr. Bernard's tradition, the sixth graders presented their French monument projects on December 5, demonstrating their creativity in building their models and giving an oral presentation of the history of the monument chosen.

The JV basketball squad continues to heat up with three consecutive wins against Trinity, UNIS and Trevor Day thanks to good defense and excellent shooting! The Middle School Red team is now 3-0 after defeating UNIS by a score of 53-30, while the Black team earned their second victory of the season against Calhoun, 35-29. Go, Panthers!

In the spirit of Guys Read and other book clubs at Browning, the fourth graders and their parents were invited to an evening discussion of the book “Wonder” by RJ Palacio, which they've been reading in their classes with Ms. Gerber and Ms. Epstein.

On December 8, a Lower School recital assembly featured boys playing instrumental pieces on piano and violin.


The Browning Robotics team reached the semifinal round in the First Tech Challenge on December 10 at John Dewey High School in Coney Island. The boys named their team “Ultro," which roughly translates to "of it's own mind" in Latin. Their goal is to be one of the best teams during the autonomous period, so the robotics team name is subtle yet clear in purpose. 

Our Middle School boys attended the Riverdale AYC Hackathon, finishing the day as a runner-up for coding a game that trains young learners on how to identify fake news online!

Week in Pictures, November 21-30

The senior a cappella chorus performed a rendition of "Lean On Me" at the November Parents Association meeting. Play video to watch the full performance.

Head of School Mr. Botti joined the Pre-primary boys for a Thanksgiving lunch on November 22, where they discussed what they were thankful for.

The varsity basketball Panthers showcased their skills on November 22 at Barclays Center against Churchill, playing their hearts out. 

Guys Read was packed to the gills on November 30 as Grade Three boys discussed "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" by Brian Selznick, while Grade Four boys discussed "The One and Only Ivan" by Katherine Applegate.

The JV basketball team won back-to-back-to-back victories against Churchill, LFNY and Calhoun, 38-2, 63-38, 46-40, respectively, while both Middle School basketball teams won their season openers against LFNY and BWL, 54-23 and 50-19, respectively. Go, Panthers!

Week in Pictures, November 14-19

The Middle School Council held a Thanksgiving food drive to aid the New York Common Pantry, an organization serving more than 1,000 local families in need. The Council collected 860 pounds of food, which will go a long way in assisting these men, women and children. 

Two Browning teams competed in the Interschool Science Bowl competition, placing second and third out of 12 teams! Browning B was undefeated (6-0) heading to the championship round and competing against Trinity for the fourth straight year. Browning A tied with Brearley A, Chapin A and Trinity B with a (4-2) record, then secured third place by outscoring all other teams by over 100 points! Congratulations to the boys and their dedicated coach, science teacher Melodie Ting!

The junior varsity basketball team won their season opener at the LREI Tip Off Tournament November 17, defeating Léman Prep, 49-24.

The fourth graders are performing acts of kindness for one another and marking those acts with post-it notes and by filling a jar with marbles. This activity is part of a nationwide #choosekind classroom challenge put forth by author R.J. Palacio, author of the book, “Wonder.” 

The Pre-primary boys have been writing and hand delivering Thanksgiving thank you notes to those members of the Browning community, including our teachers, who help us every day.

Week in Pictures, November 7-13

The Feminism and Gender Studies Club represented Browning at The Brearley School’s "Queering Schools on Intersectionality” LGBT educators panel.

Twenty-three of our Lower School and Middle School boys participated in a Fun Run in Central Park to benefit Ronald McDonald House New York! Community Service Coordinator Ms. Gerber reports that the boys and their families raised a remarkable amount of money, with some of our boys among the top five fundraisers! The House provides temporary housing for the families of children who have been diagnosed with cancer while these young patients receive treatment at New York’s renowned medical centers. 

The Browning Hockey Mites won their first game against St. Bernard’s.

The Browning Green team organized a sustainability conference of young minds from Spence, Hewitt, Nightingale-Bamford, Calhoun and Brearley to get involved and change the world.

Upper School students participated in two conferences at Horace Mann on November 12 geared toward learning the skills of self-advocacy and academic achievement. Members of Browning's Feminism and Gender Studies Club facilitated a discussion at the 2016 Young Men of Color Symposium on male vulnerability, while English teacher Mr. Williams took several students to the (Re)Defining Power Conference, which focused on identity exploration and learning best practices as allies for young self-identified white men in grades six to 12 in New York City and beyond.

On November 13 the chess Panthers participated in the PS 6 chess tournament where our fourth grade team placed first in the K-8 under 1000 rating division.

Week in Pictures, October 31-November 4

The fourth graders took a field trip to Van Cortland House Museum as part of their study of the American Revolution. They met with a "soldier" in Washington's army who showed them necessary behaviors for being a successful fighter for the cause.

The Pre-primary boys performed “Hooray for Halloween!" for the entire assemblage of Lower School boys and teachers, putting their hearts and body motions into a ‘spirited' performance! Click here to watch.

On November 1, boys in Mr. Symon's Form IV Music Survey class were treated to a matinee performance of “Aida" and guided tour of the Metropolitan Opera by Browning parent Vincent Lionti, violist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

The first graders in Ms. Kingsdale's class got down and gooey with a hands-on science activity simulating the digestive system. 

On November 2, Dr. William Anderson, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Waterloo in Canada, deliverd a lecture to Mr. Keany's Advanced Physics class.

Week in Pictures, October 17-23

The sixth grade boys took their annual overnight trip to Greenkill, a YMCA camp in Huguenot, New York. They spent two days learning team building, survival skills and the low ropes course. They also went on a night walk in the woods and attended a presentation on birds of prey. As with any camp, the boys stayed in bunks, served as KPs in the dining hall and unplugged from technology for 26 hours. The weather held, despite forecasts for two days of rain. Ms. Bosworth, Ms. Wolf and Mr. Williams shared in the fun. A really good time was had by all!

Liz Repking, founder of Cyber Safety Consulting, spoke to the Parents Association on October 19 on the subject of “cyber safety” and what parents can do to ensure their sons stay safe. Ms. Repking addressed topics such as teens and “sexting,” popular apps and how to use them safely; easy settings to increase child safety online, and how to set restrictions on cell phones and digital devices.

Science teacher Julia Kingsdale took the Pre-primary boys to Central Park on October 20 to collect information "in the field" for their study of trees. The boys gathered leaf and bark rubbings and estimated the age of a tree by measuring its circumference.

The Browning technology department hosted a creative coding event for K-12 teachers and students at ITP - NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Director of Academic Technology Mr. Khan reports that it was organized with Stephen Lewis of the Heschel School, Daniel Fenjves of Upperline Code and Dan Shiffman, a professor at NYU Tisch. More than 50 students and teachers from public and independent schools came together to learn how to use code for expression, as well as to make art, animations and sounds. There will be a follow-up event in the spring. Learn more at: http://ccfest.rocks.

Browning’s Upper School Chess Team won in the Magnus League’s kick-off of its fourth season on October 23. One of our fresmen and seniors won their individual games against host Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School. With wins on Boards 2 and 3, coupled with a draw on Board 1, the Panthers overcame their one-player deficit (Board 4) to defeat Columbia and win, 2½-1½. Complete results are posted online at magnusleague.org.

Sixteen Lower School Browning boys recently participated in the Hunter chess tournament where a first grader scored 4-0, winning clear first in the K-1 division; a fourth grader scored 3-1, placing sixth on tiebreak in the booster section; a third grader scored 3-1, also placing sixth in the grades two and three group; and another first grader won 11th place in K-1. Congratulations on a job well done!

Week in Pictures, October 10-16

The Pre-primary boys enjoyed apple-picking and a hay wagon ride at Dr. Davies Farm in the Hudson Valley on October 13. 

The first grade boys visited Queens County Farm on October 14, where they took a hayride, learned about and fed various farm animals, including chickens, cows, alpacas and goats, as well as picked out their own pumpkin from the farm’s patch.

Twenty-two of our youngest Chess Panthers engaged in a Saturday "Learning Tournament" on October 15, where growth and sportsmanship were emphasized. Above are the first graders proudly displaying their trophies.

The Browning Green Team participated in the Pitch In & Pick Up program for the third year in a row on October 16, cleaning up a mile-and-a-half loop south of Belvedere Castle. The boys invited the Spence School environmental group SEED to join them in their service day to exchange ideas and promote more collaborations between the two schools.

One of our fourth grade pianists, who performs at the Brooklyn Music School, was featured in a segment on Fox 5’s "Good Day Street Talk” focusing on the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Click here to watch.

Month in Pictures, September 2016

On September 7 the Form VI Peer Leaders took the newest members of the Upper School, the Form III boys, to Central Park for orientation and ice breakers. Click here to watch a video about the freshman class' first day of high school.

On September 13, Head of School Mr. Botti hosted Form VI for breakfast in the Cook Room where class rings were distributed to the seniors. The boys also had the opportunity to learn more about the Alumni Association from Director of Alumni Affairs Ms. Lanigan and Alumni Council President Andy Sandberg '01. 

On September 22 the fifth graders enjoyed an overnight trip to Mystic, Conn., where they are learning about 19th-century seafaring life at Mystic Seaport. The boys also visited the Mystic Aquarium and The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center.

Parents were invited to attend the first Parents Association meeting of the school year on September 28 in the Kurani Gym. The agenda included a demonstration by art teachers Nik Vlahos and Zack Davis of the W.A.S.P. 3-D printer, funded by the PA Spring Benefit, that allows teachers and boys to take ceramic projects to new heights.

On September 28, Browning parent and president and co-founder of KiloWatt Labs Larry Seibert P'22 spoke with the Form V and VI sustainable design class about renewable energy.

On September 29, the Form V video production class met with Senior Vice President and Director of Production of Juice Pharma Michael Kaminski. Mr. Kaminski gave the boys tips and advice on how to produce their own film projects.

Under the guidance of Coach Young (not pictured), the Middle School cross country team members had a great race on September 29. The runners were delighted to each receive a medal for their fine participation in the event. Every boy beat his previous time, with two finishing in the top ten! 

On September 30, as part of Concussion Awareness Week, Nurse Linehan invited Warren Young, M.D., and Mara Sproul, R.N., M.P.A., from NYU Langone Concussion Center to present an information session to the Upper School boys concerning the ever-evolving diagnosis and treatment of concussive syndrome.

Week in Pictures, May 31-June 3

Sixth graders had the extraordinary opportunity to visit Facebook downtown to learn more about Oculus Rift; they are currently designing a video game that will allow them to experience their world in virtual reality!

The Grytte newspaper staff hosted a breakfast with former Grytte editors Chris Russo '15 (Boston College) and Ben Weiner '15 (Franklin & Marshall) on May 31. Both young alums have just completed their freshman year of college. Chris spoke about his experience as an assistant news editor for BC's independent paper, The Heights, and Ben offered advice on making the transition from high school to college.

On June 1 the fourth graders took in a Mets game where they got a shout-out on the Citi Field scoreboard. One of their classmates, who just beat cancer, also received a special congratulatory message! The boys' parents and faculty recently participated in a charity SoulCycle ride to benefit the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The hockey Panthers were recognized at an assembly on June 3. This season was the best recruiting year the program ever had, with 21 Pre-primary boys joining the team! Thanks to all our coaches and parent volunteers for the success of this program. The future looks bright for hockey at Browning!

Ms. Suarez’s Spanish conversation class celebrated their last class with a picnic in Central Park where they tasted "mate" tea, a Uruguayan traditional infusion. As always, the boys conversed solely in Spanish. 

Week in Pictures, May 23-27

On May 23, the Grytte newspaper staff had the opportunity to hear from Michael Wilner '07, who is the Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent for The Jerusalem Post, leading their coverage on Iran, Syria and the US-Israel relationship. Mr. Wilner spoke to the boys about the field of journalism and answered questions.

We gathered all 136 Browning brothers (64 sets) for our annual brothers portrait, just in time for International Brothers Day on May 24.

While “The King Who Couldn’t Laugh” was the title of the fourth grade production in May, the audience could not help but laugh as the boys delivered a constant barrage of witticisms in “Monty Python” style. The play’s plot called for the talented cast of Browning boys, a.k.a. royal subjects, to put a smile on the face of their kingdom’s leader.

Through jokes and a lively rendition of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” the boys took on the task. As Head of Lower School Laurie Gruhn noted, it was a great start to the day!

Dr. Lisa Miller, director of clinical psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and author of the New York Times bestseller, "The Spiritual Child: The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving,” spoke on May 24 as part of the Parents Association speaker series. For more information, watch her on TEDx and NPR. Read two OP-eds in the New York Times and New York Magazine

Browning’s traditional Senior Class Dinner took place on May 25 at the School, with the graduating class members, their families, faculty and administrators invited to celebrate the accomplishments of the Form VI boys who will receive their diplomas on June 15.

Week in Pictures, May 16-21

The Pre-primary boys minded their Ps and Qs (and all the other letters before and after!) in May when they presented their play, “Browning A-Z: An Alphabetical Journey Through Our Year in Pre-primary.” Audience members were impressed with the boys’ projection and preparation, finding it hard to believe that the 2015-16 school year has nearly ended and these boys will soon move on to Grade One! Head of Lower School Laurie Gruhn expressed her thanks to all the parents and teachers who helped make the production such a success.

The Upper School Chorus performed at a May 17 reception to welcome incoming Pre-primary parents. The boys sang "Wake Freshmen Wake!" (from The Yale Songbook), "Bonse Aba" (Zambian Song) and "Rollin' on the Ohio."

One of our talented Form IV musicians (center) played the flute in the InterSchool Orchestra (ISO) Symphony Band at Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 18. The ISO Symphony is one of the leading youth orchestras in the New York City area.


The fifth graders spent two days at the Brooklyn Navy Yard workshop of Construction Kids where they built Portuguese Caravel models as part of the class’s study of the Age of Exploration. Click here to watch the trip as explained by Mr. Ragsdale and fifth grade boys.

On May 20 the fifth grade boys play a spirited game of dodgeball against their fathers in the Upper Gym. According to Coach West, the boys won the "warm-up game" and dads won when it counted!

Week in Pictures, May 9-13

Seventeen Lower and Middle School boys recently traveled to Nashville, Tenn., to compete among 2,200-plus chess players making up over 600 teams from 45 states. Next year they will compete in the super nationals, where they will face teams in grades K through 12.

On May 10, the varsity tennis team placed second in the NYCAL Tennis Tournament. Team captain Del Schunk ’16 won the #1 singles award and was undefeated with four wins. He ends his tennis career at Browning as the winningest player in the last 25 years. 

Del has won all but one of his 34 NYCAL League matches, retiring from one match due to leg cramps. He was undefeated in his six straight NYCAL Tournaments. Del was awarded the NYCAL All League Team Award and the NYCAL All League MVP Award the last two years. These awards are voted on by the coaches in the league, and coaches may not vote for their own school or player. Since Del joined the Browning tennis team, the boys have hoisted five banners: three for undefeated League and League Tournament champions, and two for League Tournament champions.

Coach Klein offered, “In the perfect culmination of his experiences, Del took the initiative as captain to lead by example through his love and commitment to the sport as soon as the season began, even coming to tryouts, and the team responded. His sense of humility while being the top player instilled a respect for the game and sportsmanship in his teammates. It has been a wonderful experience watching Del grow both as a Browning gentleman and as a tennis player over the past six years.”

Liam Kerwin '16 and Julian Orillac '16 were awarded top honors for their original poetry by the Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning Society on May 11, performing their work at the Society's annual luncheon at the National Arts Center. Their work was judged by a committee of professional poets in a competition that included 120 schools from across the NYC area. Click here to watch Kerwin and Orillac recite their works.

Four finalists from each grade in the Middle School competed in the Lyman B. Tobin Public Speaking Program on May 11. Boys recited well known works from such literary greats as Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare and Kurt Vonnegut, as well as speeches by world leaders, including John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill and Theodore Roosevelt.

On May 12, Science Chair and Dean of Students Sam Keany spoke at the annual Black Rock Forest Consortium luncheon alongside presenters from Vassar College, NYU Tisch School of the Arts and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Mr. Keany is vice president of the Black Rock Forest Consortium where he taught middle and high school students last summer in the Black Rock Forest Summer Camp "Engineering from Nature." In this biomimetics class students studied insects and other vertebrates, then designed and built vehicles for hostile environments based upon inspiration from the organisms. The luncheon was attended by Headmaster Clement and Browning science teachers Chris Dunham, Julia Kingsdale, Betty Noel, Melodie Ting and Emilie Wolf. 

Week in Pictures, April 30-May 6

Ms. Gerber thanks all the Browning boys, siblings, parents and teachers who came out to support the Memorial Sloane Kettering Kids Walk for Kids with Cancer event on April 30.

The boys in Dr. Wisniewski's Ancient Greek class took a trip to Astoria, Queens on May 4 to celebrate the area's Greek-American heritage. After stopping in Athens Square Park and reviewing statues of famous Greek philosophers and artists, they read passages from great works and headed to a local restaurant for a meal of authentic Greek food. Click on image to view full photo.

On May 4, Jason Brucker, M.D., and Mara Sproul, R.N., M.P.A., from NYU Langone Concussion Center gave an informative and well received presentation at a recent Parents Association meeting concerning the ever-evolving diagnosis and treatment of concussive syndrome.

Form VI boy Awen Abaatu ’16 received a Certificate of Accomplishment for the Princeton Prize in Race Relations at a private ceremony on May 4. The Prize promotes "harmony, understanding and respect among people of different races by identifying and recognizing high school age students whose efforts have had a significant, positive effect on race relations in their schools or communities.”

Sixteen third and fourth grade boys participated in the Lower School Lyman B. Tobin Public Speaking Program on May 5. The four finalists recited works from Roald Dahl and Niki Alling, as well as Lou Gehrig’s "Farewell Address.”

The Middle School Chorus participated in the Trills and Thrills music festival at Six Flags Great Adventure on May 6. The boys sang a French Canadian folksong called "J'entends le moulin" and "Do You Hear the People Sing?" from "Les Miserables" under the direction of Ms. Fetrow. Afterward they enjoyed the afternoon by riding on roller coasters at the amusement park

Week in Pictures, April 25-29

A quartet of Browning Upper School boys performed in The Nightingale-Bamford School's production of "The Music Man” this week, alongside students from  Allen-Stevenson, Collegiate, Grace Church, Horace Mann, and Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts.

In a joint modern language/art project, the fifth grade boys visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art to view portraits. Spanish students saw at and sketched works by Spanish-speaking artists, including El Greco, Velasquez, Goya, Picasso and Miró, while French students spent time in the special exhibit on Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, viewed decorative arts dating from the late 18th century France, and viewed and sketched works by Louis David, Géricault, Millet, Cézanne and Léger. The boys will be using their sketches in art class as a basis for a portrait in acrylic paint on canvas. Once their portraits are completed, the boys will complete a project in Spanish or in French in which they describe the image they created and give a brief biography of the original painter.

On April 27 and 28, Form III boys traveled to Black Rock Forest to collect data for their biology projects. Accompanied by science teachers Dr. Noel, Ms. Ting and Mr. Keany, the class enjoyed great weather conditions as they tapped maple trees for sap, collected newts and millipedes to study toxins, and sampled water in the Upper Reservoir for purity assays, among many other tests. The natural resources and professional staff at Black Rock Forest are incomparable assets supporting these foundational experiences in basic scientific research.

On April 28, the sixth grade boys took in the Gods and Mortals exhibition at the Onassis Cultural Center NY, which features artifacts never before seen in the USA from Ancient Dion, city of Zeus.

The Form II class took their annual trip to Washington, D.C., for three days, visiting the Holocaust Museum, Newseum, Air and Space Museum and Spy Museum, as well as memorials to Lincoln, Washington, Vietnam War and World War II. The boys also toured the Capitol and enjoyed a Nationals baseball game.

Week in Pictures, April 18-22

On April 20, Mr. Prestigiacomo's Form IV Music Survey class walked through Central Park to attend the final dress rehearsal of Mozart's "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" at the Metropolitan Opera House.

On April 20, the fourth grade class took a trip to the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath), where they played with the mathematical interactive exhibits and participated in an instructional lesson on graph theory.

The fifth grade science classes ventured through the Central Park Ramble on April 21 to spot birds they have been studying in class with Roger Pasquier, a famed birder who is the former Director of Foundations for the National Audubon Society, Inc. The two classes managed to spot and record 18 species, including the downy woodpecker, Pale Male (the red tail hawk), a goldfinch and many cardinals. The boys also encountered a police officer on horseback from the Central Park precinct and were excited to talk to him and pet his steed.

The Green Team sustainability club celebrated Earth Day with planting parties in the youngest grades on April 21 and 22 using the "Clement seeds" distributed at the Parents Association's Spring Benefit. Club members also hosted a dress-down day and bake sale to support the upcoming Biodiversity Day on May 13.

On April 22, the second grade boys were visited by Erika Witt, grandmother of three Browning boys, who discussed her experiences immigrating to the United States. Originally from Austria, Ms. Witt's family fled to Germany during World War II and then left for America in 1952. A talented storyteller, Ms. Witt told the boys, who have been studying immigration in their social studies unit, poignant stories about her travels at sea for 10 days and starting a life in America with only $11 to support an entire family. She currently resides near Philadelphia where she volunteers her time helping immigrants to learn English. 

On April 22, the Grytte newspaper staff released their third issue, spotlighting Headmaster Clement’s 28 years of leadership. The issue was distributed to the 900 guests the night before at a celebration in Mr. Clement’s honor at the Met.

Week in Pictures, April 11-15

On behalf of fellow first grade teacher Hallie Fischberg and associate teacher Katie Smith, first grade teacher Julianne Rowland reports below on the boys’ adaptation of “The Sneetches” by Dr. Seuss. 

Based on the book by Dr. Seuss, “The Sneetches” is about two types of creatures who are separated by having or not having stars on their bellies. The Star-Belly Sneetches think they are the best and look down upon Sneetches without stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches are depressed, prohibited from associating with the star-bellied sneeches until Sylvester McMonkey McBean comes along with his Star-on and Star-off machines. He begins to give stars to the Plain-Belly Sneetches, and soon they are happy! The original Star-Belly Sneetches are angry at no longer being different and special, so they get Sylvester to remove all their stars. This continues back and forth until no one can remember which Sneetches were originally what, and an epiphany strikes them all at once: that it really doesn’t matter whether a Sneetch has a star belly or not; they are all really the same and can coexist and be friends with one another! We loved this play because of its powerful message: “If every Sneetch were the same you see, you wouldn't be you and I wouldn't be me!” As an introduction to their play, the boys read a poem about being different and how it makes our world special. 

Thanks to the first graders for reminding us all of what makes the world go ‘round!

The Form VI boys recently took part in a Life Skills workshop in which they viewed the documentary, "The Hunting Ground," which focuses on the problem of sexual assault on college campuses. The subsequent discussion was moderated by Angela Fernandez from the Mt. Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program. Ms. Fernandez had previously worked with the senior peer leaders and Form IV boys at the Interschool Frost Valley trip in January. After lunch, the Form VI boys took a basic CPR certification course.

The Middle School Chorus, under the direction of Ms. Fetrow, participated in the Interschool Choral Festival on April 13. The boys performed "J'entends le moulin," a French Canadian folksong, and "Do You Hear The People Sing?" from Les Misérables.

In 13 exciting rounds, 16 boys competed in the Laura P. Muhlfeld Middle School Spelling Bee Finals on April 15. The winner was a Form II boy who correctly spelled the word "neurological," while a Form I boy received Honorable Mention.

Ms. Wolf's Form V/VI Astronomy class took advantage of the sunny weather on April 15, using a telescope with a solar filter to observe sunspots in Central Park.

Week in Pictures, April 4-8

The Upper School chorus performed at the annual True Grytte Society and Consecutive-Year Donor Luncheon, as part of Alumni Reunion.

On April 5 the Form I boys who performed in the fall production of “Comedy of Errors” engaged in a workshop with a teaching artist from BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music). The following day they also took in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Henry V at BAM.

On April 6 Mr. Prestigiacomo gave a bilingual presentation (now a tradition in Ms. Suárez's Spanish III class) on Cuba and the political changes taking place in this country. Based on his first-hand experience there, he spoke about racial diversity, tolerance, historical evolution, currency, media and more.

On April 7 several faculty represented Browning at the NYSAIS Diversity Conference, including English teacher Mr. Williams, Multicultural Club advisor Mr. Walker, diversity coordinator Dr. Noel, English teacher Mr. Dearinger, history teacher Ms. Bosworth and first grade teacher Ms. Fischberg. Dr. Noel reported: “It was a great day reflecting on self, community and taking action. I loved the intellectual discourse as well as the brainstorming and conversation with my colleagues."

This year’s conference addressed how educators can build the skills and competencies necessary to effectively engage the different members of our school communities (students, colleagues, parents, etc.) in the tough but essential conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion.

On April 7 and 8 the Form I boys explored the great outdoors with an overnight trip to the Hudson Valley where they seined for macro-invertebrates in the local streams and assembled earth sculptures inspired by the work of Andy Goldsworthy at Black Rock Forest. On the way home they stopped at the open-air museum, Storm King Art Center, to see its monumental, contemporary outdoor sculptures.

To celebrate the 19th edition of Independent Voices, five Upper School boys performed their original poetry at Barnes and Noble on April 8 before an audience of family, friends, teachers and peers. With quick-witted charm, two of the boys who are seniors, doubled as emcees for the event.

March 19-22: Spring Training

The varsity baseball team headed to Port St. Lucie, Fla., for spring training during the School’s Spring Break. Coach Andrew West ’92 reports: The teams played in an intra-squad scrimmage and also competed in games against Pro Teach Baseball Academy and Staley High School. These games provided the coaches with an opportunity to access the boys in game situations. The boys also bonded over a trip to a Mets game against the Red Sox, where Browning got a shout-out on the giant billboard! 

For the second time, the track team also traveled to Port St. Lucie. Coach Bernard reports: The boys worked hard on the four basic types of interval sessions: short (100 meters), middle-distance (600 to 1200), long (1600 meters/one mile) and mixed (3000 meters) distance. Several sessions were also dedicated to the 4x100 and 4x200 baton passing. This hard work should pay off in a few weeks; I am hoping for a great track 2016 season. 

Tennis players of all ability levels enjoyed the warmth of Port St. Lucie as they played over the course of four days. Morning sessions consisted of practicing groundstrokes, net play and overheads, serving and rallying. The afternoon sessions consisted of doubles and singles match play. During rain and downtime, the players watched the BNP Paribas tournament on TV together.