Sahirah Johnson, Link’s teaching artist in performing arts, traveled to Wroxton College in Oxfordshire, England to study recently. The residence was part of her studies to complete a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.
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Looking for a great school for your child entering 5th – 8th grade in the fall of 2018? Come visit Link! Take a tour of the school and hear from students and staff about the excellent education and the wonderful opportunities that await your child here.
For the second year, Link students were invited to perform at New York Life Insurance Company’s Manhattan headquarters for a corporate diversity event. Six students gave a terrific rendition of a spoken word piece titled In Our Beautiful Skin, We Rise Up, created by students in Ms. Bradshaw’s creative writing class last year. Students remained at the event for a speech by Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.
What a great Day of Service we had at Link on the day before Thanksgiving! Students made sandwiches for St. John’s Community Soup Kitchen in Newark and decorated the paper bags the sandwiches were delivered in. They wrote letters of thanks to people they are thankful for – one at Link and at least one for someone outside the community. Additionally, they colored special activity sheets to send to “Color a Smile” which distributes the students’ work to senior citizens, troops overseas and anyone in need of a smile. Linkers are learning to “give back” to the community!
Link is excited to continue its strong focus on literacy by enhancing its ELA (English Language Arts) program with a new unit – Book Clubs – to occur in grades 5, 6, and 7 during the school year. The unit, developed by the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Program, Columbia University, is intended to develop more powerful readers by encouraging independent reading and conversation about books among peers, and to engender the love of reading in students. Book clubs are designed to motivate students to read more closely and to talk about books with enthusiasm.
In ELA class, students are assigned to groups of 3-5 based on their reading levels. The group, or book club, then chooses one book from a recommended list that they will read and discuss together. While teachers will introduce the book club process, the clubs themselves will be totally student-directed and student-centered. Students will participate in their book clubs at least twice a week.
Sixth graders will begin their unit this week, reading books from the “social issues” genre, books with plots that middle school students can relate to around relationships, school issues, identity, and larger societal issues. Some of the books include Addie on the Inside by James Howe, The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake, The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, and Towers Falling by Jewell Rhodes. In early December. 7th grade scholars will begin their book club featuring books based on dystopia and the 5thgrade will engage in their unit in the 4th marking period, exploring books on fantasy.
Before rolling out the new units at Link, several staff members attended a three- day training, funded by Link Education Partners, at the Teachers College.