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By Amy Levine, Upper Division Assistant Director
A unique feature of our upper school curriculum is the Field Studies program. The objective of the program is not only to enhance classroom learning, but to enrich students’ knowledge and experience of the community and world outside of academics. Our Field Studies days provide an opportunity to explore the social and cultural ideas that are shaping the world around us.
So far this year, topics have included:
– A focus on the history and current debate around immigration, with a trip to Ellis Island;
– An immersion in the concept of how art helps us understand history; and
– An investigation of the power of ten.
Some of the guest artists, speakers, and programs that have come to our school building include:
– Toni Blackman, the US State Department’s first Hip Hop Cultural Envoy;
– A performance of Anne Frank’s diary entries along with Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letters from a Birmingham Jail” created by the Anne Frank Center;
– Speakers from Atlas: DIY, a cooperative empowerment center for undocumented youth; and
– The American Museum of Natural History’s MicroLab and a StarLab.
A core Field Studies day every year is our Service Day which will be on March 2nd this year. Guided by the Quaker values of equality, integrity, and service and social responsibility, our annual community service day is one of the highlights of our year. Last year, students and faculty fanned out over the city to soup kitchens, food pantries, clothing banks and childcare centers to lend a hand. Students were enthusiastic participants, and the day was a rewarding experience for all of us, faculty and students alike.