Despite the closing of school for a week due to Hurricane Sandy, there was no stopping Halloween in terms of its celebration in song as the Lower School boys convened their Assembly on November 8. At the beginning of the program, Head of Lower School Laurie Gruhn and the Panther mascot acknowledged those boys celebrating birthdays, followed by recognition of Athletes of the Month (those New York City Marathon runners who aided the hurricane relief effort after the marathon was cancelled) and Gioachino Antonio Rossini (1792 - 1868), October Composer of the Month. Director of Physical Education Patricia Zeuner and Lower School music teacher Lucy Warner spoke to the boys about the runners and Rossini, respectively. As the grand finale, Ms. Warner conducted a rousing medley of Halloween songs, complete with hand motions and festive pumpkin headbands for each of the youngest singers. The older boys applauded enthusiastically as they recalled singing many of those same tunes in past years. Click here to view photos
The Browning School
Lower School Assembly: A Belated Halloween Songfest
Browning Book Fair Concludes
Delayed by the effects of Hurricane Sandy, the Browning Book Fair session allowing boys to visit and purchase books took place on Tuesday, November 6, Election Day. Along with exercising their right to vote for the presidential candidate of their choice in the School’s mock election, the boys were more than excited to choose books that piqued their interest. Recommended by their classroom teachers and other faculty, some of the books were signed by visiting authors that day as well. Click here to view photos of the students enjoying the Book Fair.
On Saturday, October 27, Family Day took place as scheduled, with Browning boys sharing the fun of the fair with parents and siblings. The evening before, the traditional Opening Night Cocktail Party drew parents, faculty and alumni, with a special panel of visiting authors – moderated by Head Librarian Sarah Murphy – a highlight of the affair. Click here to view photos from the Cocktail Party. Many thanks to the librarians, parents and maintenance staff for making Browning’s Book Fair such a success!
Middle School Council Food Drive
Mock Election at Browning: President Obama “Reelected”
On November 6, as Americans cast their votes at the polls, mock elections were held at Browning under the supervision of fourth grade teacher Bill Cantwell. President Obama was declared the winner over Governor Romney, 165 to 140.
Boys in Grades 2 through Form VI were eligible to vote, along with faculty and staff. Voters entered the “booth” outside Mr. Cantwell’s classroom, with various teachers volunteering to hand out stickers stating, “Voting Counts.” When asked their thoughts about the mock set-up, some boys remarked that it’s “pretty cool” and “a good idea.” Many gave the “thumbs-up” sign when emerging from the booth, and all proudly wore their stickers. Click here to view photos.
Three Visiting Authors Speak at Browning
Visiting authors Laura Redniss and Lee Bacon spoke at the Upper and Middle School Assemblies on October 25 in conjunction with Browning’s annual Book Fair. Ms. Redniss’ book, Radioactive: A Tale of Love and Fallout, is Browning’s 2012 Common Book. Faculty, staff, Trustees and boys entering Forms II to VI participated in the experience of reading this book over the summer.
Following her introduction by Head of Upper School Jim Reynolds, Ms. Redniss, who wrote and illustrated Radioactive, described her process for integrating various separate sketches into one and showed spreads from her book. She said that while it is important to “write what you know,” you must also be open-minded to learning new information about the subject you love. She spoke of traveling to Paris to conduct research for Radioactive and visiting other far-flung places as well, even when they seemed a bit intimidating at first. Throughout her career, she has always hoped to remain creative and not stagnate, which accounts for her desire to write books rather than just concentrate on art alone. She talked about her first book, Century Girl, as well as the book about weather that she is currently working on. Citing the fact that Radioactive was sometimes depressing in content, she kiddingly told a friend that her next book would be about clouds and rainbows; and, so it seems, it is!
Concurrent with Ms. Redniss’ appearance, author Lee Bacon, introduced by Head Librarian Sarah Murphy, addressed Middle School boys in the Wilson Room. Mr. Bacon’s standing-room-only audience heard about his new book, Joshua Dread, concerning a young man whose parents are super villains.
Later in the morning, author-illustrator Dan Yaccarino met with Lower School boys in the library, where his audience was more than enthused to hear him speak about how he devises his book topics. All the Way to America, for instance, is based on his relatives who immigrated to America from Italy. Mr. Yaccarino also sketched for the boys and answered many, many questions from his curious audience. Click here to view photos.
Message From The Headmaster
The Administrative Team met at school this morning, and we were joined by Alka Singh, PA President, by phone, and Ken Metz, PA VP, in person. I think we had a very productive session, and our group will communicate again on Sunday by phone. We expect to have Browning running on Monday morning. We discussed a number of topics, and made a few decisions.
On Monday, Nov. 5, early dropoff will be available at 7:45 and the doors will open at 8. We know travel will still be complicated, so we will not be keeping track of lates/tardies the first week.
We also know all in our community have experienced trauma, some clearly more than others. Lower School teachers will address the issues in the classroom, and Middle and Upper School grades will begin with assemblies. We want to encourage community service and relief efforts, including educating and fundraising, among our boys.
We discussed the academic schedule and efforts to address a week of missed classes, and will engage the faculty in these topics when they return. Obviously no major tests will be given on November 5. We will expect the boys-- and the adults-- to do the best they can.
The Book Fair will be concluded on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Parent volunteers and boys' visits will take place then, and the remaining books will be packed up at the end of the day. Basically, nothing will happen in the Lower Gym on Monday.
The November Parents Association meeting will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 8:15 a.m. in the Lower Gym. We hope for good attendance, both to share information as well as stories of Sandy.
While the building has not been serviced this past week, we have taken the opportunity to open the windows now that the storm has passed to air out the classrooms. This old fashioned treatment is usually held off until Thanksgiving. In addition, we expect our food service to be ready to go on Monday.
We are eager to regather the Browning community on Monday morning!
Stephen M. Clement, III
Admissions Office Announcement
- 2012 Sixth Grade Boys Hone Team-Building Skills at Greenkill Retreat Center
- 2012 Israeli Soldiers are Guest Speakers at Browning
- 2012 Award-winning Author Kicks Off Book Fair
- 2012 Across Disciplines: Art Teacher is Guest Speaker in Advanced Spanish Class
- 2012 Music Survey Class Members Attend Opera at Lincoln Center
- 2012 Pre-Primary Boys Embrace Autumn with Hayride and Apple-picking
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