Student Reflections on Costa Rica Service Project

By: 7th and 8th Grade Students

Eighteen 7th and 8th grade students spent a week volunteering in Costa Rica. During the trip, they wrote reflections on their experiences in the trip’s blog. Here are a collection of quotes from their reflections:

We learned how there is a tree that had three hundred different species of symbiotic plants growing on it (crazy but incredibly cool)! After our minds were full of new knowledge and information, we set back to clean our rooms and prepare for our next adventure.” – Floria A. ’20

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Berkeley Carroll Students Help School in Costa Rica

By: Kimberly Carmody
Middle School Visual Arts

BC students just completed their third year of volunteer work for a local school in the Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat in Costa Rica and change in the infrastructure is super visible & inspiring! This year, the 7th and 8th graders raised $8,000 to support these projects in partnership with other World Leadership School groups and local fundraising efforts:

1.) Auditorium
Last year students painted the tall metal beams used to hold the roof up with rustproof paint and moved rocks and small boulders to clear space for the floor of the auditorium, which is now poured concrete. This year the roof is up and the structure is complete. The huge space provides a location for performances, large group meetings, basketball and other games, and it’s a refuge from the rain!

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Berkeley Carroll Honors Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Over the past week Berkeley Carroll celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr., other civil rights activists, and changemakers in all three levels of the school. During a joint Middle School and Upper School assembly, Madison B. (’16), Michael M. (’21), Sophie W. (’16), Henry S. (’21), Devin H. (’16), Briana J. (’20), Tai D.-M. (’20), Garrett C. (’16), and Aaron G. (’16) all presented short biographies of activists from both the past and present. Keynote speaker and former Poet Laureate of Philadelphia Sonia Sanchez shared a collection of poems celebrating and remembering civil rights activists throughout history. The choir and dance team ended the assembly with a joint performance of the song “Glory,” written by John Legend for the movie Selma.

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Berkeley Carroll Celebrates Computer Science Education Week

P1090810Last week Berkeley Carroll celebrated national Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code across our Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools as part of our year-round STEAM initiative.

Our third and fourth graders started participating in Hour of Code tutorials and writing code regularly in their STEAM classes two years ago, rapidly progressing from initially having no experience to now writing it confidently and with increasing complexity. It’s truly incredible to see how far they have come! Throughout the school year, they are encouraged to use a number of free iPad apps, including Kodable, Daisy the Dinosaur, Scratch Jr. as well as Light Bot, in various classes. Continue reading…

Spreading Dignity by Supporting Girls’ Education

By: Megan Saxelby
Middle School Humanities
Siena, Wilha, and Charis
Sixth Grade

One of the things that I find the most rewarding about teaching humanities is that you are able to adapt your curriculum to address history as it unfolds. While watching the horrific images of the terrorist attacks in Paris, I decided I would give my class an open ended project that focused on spreading dignity as a direct response to acts of hate carried out that Friday.

Students chose to spread dignity in so many ways: beautiful public service announcements to show to their classmates, slipping anonymous notes of positivity and encouragement into every locker in the middle school, and even creating “dignity boxes” where passers by could stop and grab a positive message.

One group found their inspiration in the work of Malala Yousafzai, and, after viewing this powerful image, decided they wanted to spread dignity by spreading access to education. In the next two weeks their goal is to help raise $1000 for the Malala Fund, and they are almost there! Below is their powerful speech. Please consider supporting our young activists as they live out the BC mission to be critical, ethical, and global thinkers!

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Working for Peace at Project Common Bond

By: Mike Wilper
Middle School Humanities

I often think that education, at its very best, is hope in action, a parallel of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of justice as love in action. I’ve been privileged to witness many moving and transformative moments in schools: Moments when students leap beyond past expectations; when they discover the power of supporting one another; when their intellectual curiosity becomes insatiable. Implementing a “dignity” thread into the curriculum helped to multiply these moments, and it put me into contact with other educators and peacebuilders dedicated to building safe, inclusive communities.

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Vital Words – September 15th, 2015

Dear Friends,

Some of you may have not visited our Lincoln Place campus where our Middle and Upper Schools live. Many of the hallways are lined with student lockers and it has long been a matter of interest to me that we have locks on the lockers at Lincoln Place. I know the easy explanation is that students may keep something of value in the lockers and therefore the lockers need to be secure. This is more than a little ironic because over the years the biggest concern we have had with students and their belongings is it seems that most carry every last item around with them in their backpacks.

Our endeavors at school are built on trust and I think our students do a very good job of living up to our expectations. Our students are tolerant, honest, and up for taking risks.

At the opening meetings for Middle and Upper School students I invited all of our students to go without putting a lock on their locker. Why?  I hope that as a community we can strengthen our ability to look after one another.  This symbolic gesture would send the message that we are committed to having a safe community.
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6th Grade Humanities Talks Dignity, Local Community & Current Events

By: Megan Saxelby
Middle School Humanities Teacher

Sometimes when you teach, there are moments where it feels like the whole world is trying to get involved in your curriculum. Every day there is a headline that connects to your studies, and kids who come in eager to discuss something they heard about or read, particularly when the central theme for our Humanities class this year is the idea of dignity, defined as the fundamental value of every individual, and the theme guiding this current unit is tolerance.

We’ve been analyzing how/why people violate dignity through the study of history and literature, and how these conflicts might be avoided by spreading open-mindedness and empathy. Continue reading…