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2010-2011 News & Events

Afghan student visits Brookwood,
speaks of empowerment and progress through education

May 18, 2011 (MANCHESTER, MA) – Brookwood’s fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders heard an important message from a special guest last Friday. Shabana Basij-Rasikh, a 21-year-old senior at Middlebury College from Kabul, Afghanistan, visited Brookwood and shared her amazing life story and a message about how important it is to value the gift of education.
     Growing up under Taliban regime, which banned girls’ education, Shabana was not allowed access to schools. In order to continue her schooling, Shabana, for the first six years of her education, dressed as a boy and walked 45 minutes to and from a secret school six days a week. During this time, her family had to hide their books. She attended a public school for the very first time in 2002.
     After the Taliban fell, Shabana continued with her schooling but also began working on bettering educational opportunities for other girls. She proposed a plan for a girls’ school to the deputy minister of education. She was just 16, but she convinced him.
     On her website, Shabana tells of visiting her ancestral village and seeing the need for a school. “One of the elders told me, ‘Our sons can walk four kilometers to go to high school. But our daughters, this [middle school] is all they get. As a father, I cannot look into my daughters eyes to tell her there is no more education for her. We want a high school for our daughters.’ My hope is to turn this school into the first girls’ high school in Qalatik village.”
     Today, the school has six classrooms and its own well, and Shabana arranged for the construction of nine other wells.
     Now she's attending Middlebury College on a full scholarship and has launched a nonprofit, HELA, which is dedicated to empowering Afghan women through education. HELA, which means "hope" in her native Pashto, is raising funds to build girls schools, women’s centers, and high-school athletic fields for girls around Afghanistan and is committed to building bridges for Afghan youth to connect with American youth through education.
     In September, 2010, Shabana was named “One of the Top Ten College Women of 2010” by Glamour magazine, and was profiled as “The Groundbreaker.”
“Afghanistan is a country that has suffered more than three decades of war - long before I was born,” Shabana says. “I believe that illiteracy lies at the core of many problems facing Afghanistan today.”
“HELA's long-term goal is to reduce the staggering female illiteracy rate in Afghanistan. This goal arises from the foundational belief that educating a girl ultimately means educating her family, village, and community,” she says, “HELA seeks to do this by bringing grass-roots change in communities through education.”
To read more about Shabana Basij-Rasikh and HELA click to visit
Above photo: Shabana Basij-Rasikh speaks to fifth grade students in the Dodge Writing Center last Friday.

Behind the Spine: An Upper School Library Blog

May, 2011 (MANCHESTER, MA) - Welcome :)
Hey Reader! Welcome to Behind The Spine! I'm so glad you found us. This is where teens review books for teens! We're totally honest and relaxed, so don't hesitate to read the blog!
And so opens the kick-off post of Behind the Spine, a charming blog created and maintained by seven Brookwood eighth grade girls. The authors, who graduated just last week from Brookwood, have logged anywhere from six to 15 posts per month on the enthusiastic online destination since its launch on Tuesday, March 1, 2011. That was the day when seven members of a school library club took their talents and interests online.
     Preferring anonymity, each author uses the name of a famous female character from literature as her penname: Alice Liddel (of Alice in Wonderland), Anne Shirley (of Anne of Green Gables),  Dorothy Gale (of The Wizard of Oz), Jo March (of Little Women,  Mary Lennox (of The Secret Garden),  Sara Crewe (of A Little Princess), and Wendy Darling (of Peter Pan). Each has a distinct voice, unique likes and dislikes, and, like all good reviewers, each tells readers exactly what she thinks.
     By Tuesday, March 16, they had hit the 200 view mark and celebrated blog style:
 200 Views! Happy 200th Blog View!!!
And on May 16 they celebrated another milestone:
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! to our 1,000th viewer!  Yay everyone <3
~ wendy

An easy-going, accessible group, the girls promote the fun of reading to their peers with a sense of purpose. No matter what your age, their passion for books and reading quickly becomes hard to resist:
Monday, March 28.
Hey everyone! I love reading and love getting sucked into books (when I do, I can’t put them down!).  So I am making a proposal to read more as of right now.  Because I have more time because homework levels have died down (and hopefully will stay that way grrrrrrrrrrrr ), I will read more at night. There. You have my proposal. 
My message to the world:  read more!!!  I know I’m kind of a hypocrite, but not for long!!! ~Wendy
A wonderfully authentic teenage creation, the blog is peppered with colorful animation (swimming Koi!); book blog staples (like the NY Times Bestseller lists - in this case the Children’s Series list); eye-catching gimmicks (a “Flag Counter” that tallies readers’ countries); colorful type; loads of emoticons; graphics for big events (like page view milestones). Reader reactions are solicited, and visitors can register their response to a book review by clicking, “Funny,” “Interesting,” or “Cool.”
Best of all, the girls write about daily life at school and keep the blog current by writing about Brookwood events that fit their book-blog theme. For instance, during the school’s declamation contest, “Sara Crew” wrote:
“Hey Everyone! So we have this thing called declamation at our school where everyone has to memorize a poem and perform it ... it's a competition. There are three rounds: classroom, semifinals, and finals...The finals round is in front of the entire school and it is quite a big event.”

She goes on to announce that two of the bloggers were finalists in the competition and then shares, via links, the poem each declaimed.
  Or this, again by Sara, about Brookwood’s Spring Book Fair: “So Bookfair was this week at our school and both Alice and I bought The Abundance of Katherines by John Green. At first I was a little creeped out by the cover… but I liked the author and so I `gave it a try! It ended up being REALLY good!”
   If you’re a parent searching out book recommendations for your children or a student looking for summer reading tips, check out Behind the Spine. Click: Behind the Spine.

Peterman’s Post: Mandarin Added to Curriculum

April, 2011 - When Brookwood students take their seats in World Language class next fall, some of them will be greeted with zǎo ān instead of bonjour or buenos días, as Mandarin joins French and Spanish in the school’s World Language program. Read Headmaster John Peterman’s blog on educational innovation and the excitement surrounding this new curricular offering:

     Formally announced to current parents in March, the program will be implemented by Elizabeth Hammett. Fluent in all aspects of Mandarin, Hammett holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and a master’s degree in education from Harvard University with a specialized major focusing on Global Competence.
     We are hearing quite a bit about innovation and 21st Century education in today’s teaching world.  At the recent National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Annual Conference, workshops were offered with titles like, "Patterns for 21st Century School Design that Inspire 21st Century Pedagogy," "Schools of the Future," "Going Global," "The Leading Edge of 21st Century Education," "Global Education for Citizenship," and "21st Century Learning in NAIS Schools."  Clearly, Brookwood is not alone in this effort to meet the needs of students who will be entering the work force in 10 to 20 years.
     Not very long ago, pundits were quick to point out that if Rip Van Winkle were to wake up today after a 100 year long nap, the only thing he would recognize in modern culture would be the American classroom. For many years, little changed in what and how American children were taught. That is changing rapidly as technology gives students and teachers greater access to the world in which we live. 
     At Brookwood, we are committed to being in the forefront of this experience.  As we develop additional opportunities for global connections and partnerships, our students are gaining the communication skills they will need to succeed in their future schools and jobs. Adding Mandarin to our curriculum is one of several initiatives currently being developed as part of our new Strategic Plan.
     Over the course of the next year, the Brookwood community will frequently hear the term "innovation" used in conjunction with our strategic initiatives.  Innovation, however, is not new to Brookwood.  Our school was founded on the premise that a pre-secondary school education was not complete if students were not nurtured while also being challenged academically.  Although this notion is an educational standard today, it was not common practice in 1956. 
     Brookwood was one of the first elementary schools in the country to develop a "Personal Growth and Development" program, addressing issues of character education, and integrate it into the curriculum and schedule.  Also, over the past 15 years we have been one of the only elementary schools in the area to offer both French and Spanish as a choice to all students, kindergarten through grade eight.  Most recently, we deconstructed the old Student Council model and designed an Upper School Leadership Program to give larger numbers of students leadership roles and opportunities roles during their final year at Brookwood.
     Twenty-first century education and innovation may be the latest educational trends, but at Brookwood we are turning the ideas into reality.  As our Strategic Plan unfolds over the next year, we hope you join us in supporting our efforts to prepare our students for an exciting future.

Brookwood School Book Bash 2011

April 16, 2011 - Where can you find a family-friendly fair, full of fun, at which children can experience the fantasy, magic and make-believe worlds of their favorite story books? You’ll find it all at the Brookwood School Book Bash, on Sunday, May 1, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Manchester, MA.
The Book Bash is a one-of-a-kind community event – the largest on Boston’s North Shore – that celebrates the wonder of children’s books by bringing to life the characters and stories of treasured children’s tales.

Seatbelts Everyone!  The Magic School Bus is coming to Brookwood! 
     Highlighting this year’s Book Bash is the traveling Magic School Bus, known by children and parents from Scholastic’s award-winning books, television and videos. Kids will have a chance to climb aboard the one and only magical yellow school bus famous for taking kids on some of their favorite field trips ever.
      The traveling Magic School Bus is outfitted with exhibits, activities and games that teach children about ocean life, the weather, the solar system, rocks and the human body. And what would The Magic School Bus be without Ms. Frizzle? The irrepressible teacher will be on hand to encourage the children and help them as they explore.

Seventeen Book Stations, Nine Visiting Authors
Bigger and better than ever, this year’s Book Bash also features 17 magically designed Book Stations all loaded with hands-on, imaginative activities. Children can step through a wardrobe and into Narnia where they’ll meet the White Witch; play with adorable baby farm animals are the Charlotte's Web station; discover how a broom stick might really fly from real life scientific experts from Boston’s Museum of Science at the Harry Potter station; bring a beloved teddy bear to a “well-check” at the Teddy Bear Hospital in the Corduroy Bear station; check out NASA artifacts as they have their picture taken in a real-life NASA space suit at the Moonshot: Flight of Apollo 11 station; decorate a cupcake (pink, of course!) at the Pinkalicious station; and learn from scientists from the Mt. Washington Observatory about Peak, the story of a teen’s summit of Everest, by Roland Smith.
     The classics brought to life at Book Bash 2011 include:

The Magic School Bus, by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degan
Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrob, by C.S. Lewis
Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
Peak, by Roland Smith
Moonshot: Flight of Apollo 11, by Brian Floca
Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling
A House for Hermit Crab, by Eric Carle
The Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister
Guinness Book of World Records 2011
Pinkalicious, by Elizabeth Kann
How I Became A Pirate, by Melinda Long and David Shannon
Corduroy, by Don Freeman
The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
Bridge to Terebithia, by Katherine Paterson
Harold & The Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson
The Lion & The Mouse, by Jerry Pinkney
Curious George, by H.A. Rey

     Visitors will also find fair-favorites like a dunk tank, a climbing wall, a bounce house, fencing demonstrations, a Guinness Book challenge station, a petting zoo, and tide-pool touch tanks.

     After the fantasy of the Book Stations, children can talk to real life authors and illustrators. Nine (three authors of Young Adult titles and six authors of books for young readers) will be on hand from across New England and New York to sign books and share their love of literature with visitors. The group includes:

  • Kelly Murphy - Illustrator of Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters, Fiona’s Luck, Brand-New Baby Blues
  • Adam Ziskie - Illustrator of What Does A President Look Like?
  • Donald Saaf - Illustrator of Skinny Brown Dog, What do Ducks Dream, Wee G., Train Song
  • Dr. Charlotte Cowan, author, and Penelope Neal, illustrator. Cowan, a Concord, MA, pediatrician, is the author of Sadie’s Sore Throat, Peeper Has a Fever, The Moose with Loose Poops. Neal is the illustrator of Moose with Loose Poops.
  • Pat Lowery Collins - Author, illustrator (YA) of Daughter of Winter, Hidden Voices, Signs & Wonders
  • Christine Brodien Jones - Author (YA) of The Owl Keeper
  • Erin Dionne - Author (YA) of Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet, and Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies
  • Polly Shulman - Author of The Grimm Legacy, Enthusiasm

Buy Your Tickets Today
     Lunch fare (hot dogs, chowder from Woodman’s in Essex) will be available as will snacks (fruit, veggies and dip, pretzels, popcorn, cookies, ice cream novelties) and drinks.
     Admission is $15 per person, Children 4 and under are free. Event day walk-ins are welcome. Parking is free and on site.

The "Cheesy" Challenge of Headmaster Peterman's Poem Writing Contest

  When your Head of School hails from Wisconsin, you know your school will celebrate BIG when the Green Bay Packers win the Superbowl. And that’s just what happened at Brookwood’s School Meeting in February.
     The Pack may have done the hard work by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, but Mr. Peterman challenged Brookwood students with a task no less daunting. In celebration of Wisconsin’s other famous commodity, the Head of School asked the kids to write poems about Cheese!
     Never running from  a task, the student body rallied and then some, with some 66 cheese poems turned in by the deadline. Amongst those, second, fourth and sixth graders turned in the most; Pre-K composed a collective poem signed by all 18 students (which now hangs in a spot of honor on Mr. Peterman’s bulletin board); and one ambitious soul created not only a poem, but a complete cheese poem home movie DVD.
     The four winning compositions were announced at the February 17 School Meeting, with the five (one work was a collaboration) winners reading their poems to the group. Cheers (or should we say Cheese!?) to all who participated.

Students step up to the line in Basketball Shootout

     The annual Basketball Shootout is one of the most highly anticipated and rockin’ School Meetings of the entire year. Held last Thursday, February 24, the 2011 Shootout was better than ever.
     To earn a spot in the Shootout, all students in grades Pre-K through six have a shooting contest in their PE classes. The top finishers move on up to the show and take their chances shooting at the School Meeting event.
     A major player in the fun is the crowd of student spectators. Cheering on friends, calling out advice, and offering a hearty “That’s O-kay” for shots that fall short, the crowd is the Shootout’s all important sixth man.
     In the spirit of good fun, the students step up to the line and give it their all. Some of the shots go in and some of them don’t. But no matter the outcome, most every competitor is grinning from ear to ear.
If you missed the fun, click here to watch: 2011 Brookwood Basketball Shootout.

Brookwood team wins coveted spot in Rube Goldberg machine competition

Can you draw a straight line? Of course, you're thinking.
     But, can you, within a 15-by-15-foot area, construct a "well-engineered," "robust" machine with at least five unique steps that will cause a Crayola marker to draw a straight line, two to six inches long, on an 8-by-10-inch sheet of paper in under 15 minutes without human intervention? Now that's another story, all together!
     Six Brookwood eighth graders will be doing exactly that when they compete in the Seventh Annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest on April 16, 2011 at the Fay School in Southborough, MA. Sponsored by MIT, General Electric, and EMC², the contest challenges students to solve an everyday task in imaginative and complex ways. Brookwood's competitors will go up against teams from 23 schools from across New England and New York. Teams comprise six members, and all students participating are in grades seven through nine.
     The competition is named for New York newspaper cartoonist Reuben Lucius Goldberg, whose drawings of crazy contraptions poked fun at machines and gadgets, which he saw as overly complex. While the best-known Rube Goldberg Machine Contest is the national event held annually at Purdue University for college-age competitors, the Fay School competition is the only one of its type for middle-school-age students. More than 35 schools applied for the coveted spots in the Fay contest, but only 23 were selected to participate.
     Each team has one or two faculty coaches (Brookwood's are Science teacher Annie Johnson and Music teacher Andrew Luman), who are allowed to answer questions and provide a sounding board for students but cannot actively participate in the creation of the machine. Teams are also mentored by MIT Materials Science and  Engineering and Mechanical Engineering students, who regularly Skype with the younger students to offer support and answers to questions.
     In order to ensure fairness, all teams are given the same collection of supplies with which to build their machines. The more than 70 items include such disparate things as an Easter basket, a pulley, marbles, PVC elbow pipe, nails and hinges, hex nuts, screws, and Bandaids.  Tools, like hammers, power drills, scissors and glue guns, are also made available to the teams. No supplies or tools, other than those provided, can be used in creating the machine.
     "This is a great opportunity for our students on so many levels," says coach Annie Johnson. "They're challenged with an interesting assignment, and have the chance to see what sort of complex, creative solution they can devise to accomplish it. This, along with the opportunity to work with MIT students and compete against and meet other like-minded middle schoolers, is an absolutely great situation."
     On the day of the competition, students have three hours in which to construct their machine on site (teams will have worked for months, planning and building mock machines to test their schemes). Each team then presents its creation to the judges and is assessed points on the categories like effectiveness, complexity, creativity, teamwork and presentation. The team with a successful machine that earns the most overall points wins the competition.
     "Win or lose, the knowledge and experience our students will gain from this competition is almost beyond measure," says Andrew Luman. "It's intellectually challenging, team-building, and creative - all of which are what we try to give our students every day."

Third Grade presents Let Freedom Ring

Let Freedom Ring is a choral poem that celebrates the life and accomplishments, of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Each year for more than 15 years, Brookwood's third graders have presented this piece to the community at School Meeting, retelling the story of an American hero. Click to view: Let Freedom Ring.|

Eighth grader takes top honors in annual National Geographic Bee

January, 2011 (Manchester, MA) – Eighth grader Matty L. recently took first place in the National Geographic Bee held at the school. Brookwood participates annually in the National Geographic contest, with students in grades sixth, seventh, and eighth grades competing and answering questions on world geography.
    After completing preliminary elimination rounds, which are held in Brookwood’s Upper School social studies classes, 10 finalists squared off in the school-level match. Held in Brookwood’s School Meeting house with the entire community in attendance, the students faced rounds of questions until all but two were eliminated.
    The group of ten was narrowed to two, with Matty and runner-up sixth grader Tristan M. answering three tie-breaker questions before Lincoln emerged as the victor. The question, “Piccadilly Circus, a popular tourist attraction and gathering spot, is in which European City? “  and an answer of “London, England” gave Lincoln the win.
    As the school-level winner, Matty next takes a qualifying test as he vies to move on to the state-level geography bee. Massachusetts students with the top 100 exam scores are invited to compete in the state-level geography bee during the first week of April. In recent years, Brookwood students have had great success on the qualifying exam - In three out of the last four years, Brookwood School has sent a student to the statewide contest.
    The winner of the statewide competition advances to the national contest on May 24 and 25, 2011 in Washington, D.C.
    This is the 22nd year the National Geographic Society has held the National Geographic Bee. Thousands of fourth through eighth grade students in schools across the United States participate in the contest, which was developed by the National Geographic Society in 1989 in response to national  concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States.

January 21 American Red Cross Blood Drive Cancelled due to Winter Storm

Due to the snowstorm, the Red Cross Blood Drive scheduled for Friday, January 21, has been cancelled.

Brookwood Parent Honored for Human Rights Work

December, 2011 - The Brookwood community sends its warmest congratulations to current parent Sarah Cleto Rial who recently was named one of the four 2010 recipients of the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award. She was presented with this high honor by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a State Department ceremony in Washington, D.C. , on Human Rights Day, Friday, December 10.

 Sarah is the program director for My Sister’s Keeper, a Boston-based humanitarian organization dedicated to advancing “political, social and economic justice for all women and girls” particularly in the war-torn country of Sudan. The recipients were honored for being, “pioneers in expanding our understanding and practice of human rights work. Each stood on the shoulders of the generation that went before, and each touched the lives of people who had been excluded or marginalized,” said Secretary Clinton.
     To watch Secretary Clinton’s address, her introduction of Sarah (advance to 19:17 in the video) and Sarah’s acceptance speech (advance to 21:17), click here: State Department Ceremony.
     To read the Boston Globe’s story about Sarah’s work at My Sister’s Keeper as well as the award, click here: Boston Globe, Sarah Rial Profile.
     To read about My Sister’s Keeper, click here: My Sister's Keeper.

'Adopt a Beach' Program Teaches Fifth Graders Stewardship and Science

December, 2010 - In an exciting collaboration with Salem Sound Coastwatch (SSCW), Brookwood's fifth grade students are working as scientific beach monitors throughout the 2010-2011 school year. SSCW is a local non-profit coastal watershed organization that works to protect and enhance the environmental quality of the Salem Sound Watershed.
     Our fifth graders have "adopted" Black Cove in Manchester (located between Tuck's Point and Boardman Lane) as a part of SSCW's Adopt a Beach program. Each of the three fifth grade sections will visit Black Cove three times this year (once per season) for a total of nine visits to the site.

     On each visit, as they learn first-hand the meaning of "stewardship," Brookwood students survey the beach for marine species (invasive or otherwise), noting the diversity and number. Additionally, they monitor water quality, perform beach profiling (using math skills to measure erosion), and do some general beach clean-up.
     The students record a wide range of data and then share the information with SSCW, which uses the data to monitor the health of the watershed.
     This program, like many in Brookwood's science department, takes advantage of the incredible "outdoor classroom" surrounding the school. By learning the fundamentals of science through hands-on experience in the field, students are able to gain a deep understanding of the material.
To read more about Salem Sound Coast Watch, click here: SSCW.

And the 2011 Eighth Grade Play is . . . Finding Nemo!

December 2010 - Mark your calendars and get ready to enjoy Finding Nemo, this year's Eighth Grade Play, on March 8, 9, and 10, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.
The tale follows Marlin, a clown fish living in the Great Barrier Reef, who has lost his beloved son, Nemo, who has ventured into the open sea despite his father's fretful warnings.  In Brookwood's version of Nemo, there will be amazing costumes, live ocean footage, incredible music as well as incredible lighting and plenty of action. You'll even see some "heeley sneaker" choreography.
Click here to see the complete cast list: Finding Nemo.

Congratulations to Brookwood Alumnae on NCAA DIII Field Hockey Championship

November 23 - Congratulations to Brookwood Alumnae Katie Herter '04 and Olivia King '06 and their Bowdoin College field hockey teammates for winning their third NCAA Division III Championship, 2-1, over Messiah College last Sunday afternoon. Brookwood is looking forward to Katie and Liv's visit to campus in January!

Peterman's Post: Savor the Moments

October, 2010 - Of Brookwood’s many traditions, the New Parents’ Dinner is one of my favorites.  I like the event because it’s incredibly rewarding to meet with parents who have recently made a commitment to join the Brookwood community.  It’s also gratifying to share with them my thoughts on how they can most enjoy their child's Brookwood experience.  
    What are my wishes for Brookwood parents, new and returning alike?  I hope, as you have heard many of us say, that you will find ways to get involved with the Parents’ Association and other volunteer opportunities in our community.  We’ve also urged you to call us if you have any concern - "Don't worry alone," as we say.
     But my real wish for each of you is that you simply enjoy your child's time here at Brookwood.  Whether it is two years or ten, I hope that you will savor all the moments: the good, the bad, the challenges, the successes.  Trust that your child will continue to thrive even when it appears they are stuck.  Know that the school is designed to help all different kinds of kids during all different stages in development.
     And here is the biggest secret I have learned after 34 years of working with this age group:  Children Grow Up.  No matter how much you worry or protect them, no matter how much you as a parent mess up or make all the right decisions, children grow up.  Trust that by enrolling them in Brookwood, you are giving them a great education, a foundation for future success, and a vast amount of love.  They really do all the rest.  So now, just relax and enjoy the experience.
     By entering into this partnership with Brookwood and maintaining  a curious mindset, you are already well on the way to new discoveries about your child:  Each child learns differently, and  each child develops physically, emotionally, cognitively, and socially at his or her own rate.
What will be your child's learning profile?  At what rate will your child develop?  If you have more than one child, how will each differ from the other.  A curious parent appreciates the "hard wiring" of each child and knows that each child will have differing needs and attributes.
      You might want to monitor the amount of time you devote to fixing, preempting, and fretting about your child as compared to the amount of time you spend in pure fascinating observation of him or her.  How much time do you spend “helping” or “protecting” in an attempt to inoculate your child against life's inevitable and necessary disappointments and pain?
If you see your parenting role as similar to that of an airline pilot, always searching for the altitude with the least amount of turbulence, then you may find that your child arrives at his or her destination with little sense of having traveled any great distance at all.
     You might also want to ask yourself how and when you learned the most valuable lessons that helped make you a strong, confident person.  Are you hopeful your children will have similar experiences or are you doing all you can to help them avoid those challenging yet developmentally critical moments?  At what point does our own anxiety enslave our children?  It is a question that needs repeating because we know that worried parents raise worrying children.
     Ultimately, we, as parents, all need to find a balance between making our children happy and allowing them to experience the world in a way that allows them to become resilient, confident and content.
     We say it often, but we truly mean it: Thank you for sharing your children with us.  We look forward to being curious with you and discovering the multiple intricacies that make your child a uniquely special person.

A Wet and Wild Opening Day 

September 8, 2010 - The first day of the 2010-2011 school year at Brookwood, Wednesday, September 8, started with a band – literally! The 407 students arrived amidst torrential downpours complete with claps of thunder and flashes of lightning.
Undeterred, children and parents made a mad dash from the parking lots to the classrooms, where students reconnected with longtime friends and classmates and made introductions with the new students. Sixty-nine students, from 28 families, are new to the Brookwood community in 2010.
“The weather added another layer to an already exciting day,” commented Headmaster John Peterman. “It’s always wonderful seeing the kids, smiles on their faces, full of anticipation for the year ahead.”

Brookwood's One School, One Book selection generates creativity

September 8, 2010 - Nine Brookwood student musicians made the September 8 One School, One Book kick-off announcement all the more festive by performing an original song entitled Spread the Word. The piece was penned by Performing Arts Coordinator Debbie Gantt in collaboration with the students.
At the September 8 Opening School Meeting, Martha Fox, Language Arts Coordinator and Director of the Dodge Writing Center, announced The Lion & The Mouse, by Jerry Pinkney, as Brookwood’s One School, One Book selection for the school year. Winner of the 2010 Caldecott Medal and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, The Lion & The Mouse is a retelling of the classic fable attributed to Aesop, estimated to be nearly 2500 years old.
Mrs. Gantt and her students were inspired by Pinkney’s beautiful paintings of the African plains.
“In creating the piece for The Lion and the Mouse, I came up with a song for the [book’s] first picture of the beautiful Serengeti. I have a deep love for Africa; I was born in Liberia and stayed there until I was two. My early memories are vague, but the songs and rhythms of the rural people we lived with are something I will never forget,” says Mrs. Gantt. “The Kiswahili song that accompanied the first picture in The Lion and the Mouse was sung often in our home village. The students read the book with me and help improvise pages that followed, bringing creatures to life with their various instruments. What a talented and creative bunch I got to work with. Thank you to all of them!”
Featured musicians in the Morning Meeting Band and Friends group that performed Spread the Word were Dan G., Noel S., Justine W., Ben C., Hannah R., Jessica T., Clare R., Charlotte R., and Colby M..
To view a video of the performance, click here: Spread the Word.

Brookwood Announces Appointment of New Trustees

September 15, 2010 - Brookwood School is pleased to anounce the appointment of Laura Carrigan, Tom Bassinger, Monica Healey and Beth Payson to the school's Board of Trustees. [More ... ]


Looking for a story from the past school year? Click here for achived features: [2009-2010 News & Events archives].