Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Fair at the Neighborhood School (plus, pix of cute kids!)

From the EV Grieve inbox...

The Neighborhood School’s Holiday Fair:

The Neighborhood School’s beloved Holiday Fair is back! On Sunday, December 5, from 11 am to 5 pm, come out to support a local public school and have a blast. There’ll be carnival games, arts & crafts, face-painting, print-making, henna and temporary tattooing, a huge kid-built maze (made of deconstructed cardboard boxes — the Avenue A equivalent of a corn maze), a raffle and great food from neighborhood vendors including Ciao for Now, Solo Pizza and Mudspot.

And of course there’s the silent auction. A mere sampling of items up for bids this year: Gift certificates to terrific local shops, salons, spas, yoga studios and gyms; passes to the Landmark Sunshine; museum memberships; theater subscriptions; Knicks tickets; Doyle & Doyle jewelry; family portraits by professional artists and photographers; meals at fave neighborhood spots like Mama’s Food Shop, Esperanto, Il Buco, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, Café Mogador, Caracas Arepa Bar, Balthazar and many more! Bid online or in person. Neighborhood School dad and EV institution Richard “Handsome Dick” Manitoba and writer Zoe Hansen will host a live auction at 3pm. Bidding closes at 4pm.

Admission to the fair is free and open to the public. Wondering what a progressive public school in the East Village is like? Come check us out! This is a great (and cheap) way to have fun indoors with your kids on a chilly winter’s day; you can have a nosh and shop for some great items while your kids run around playing and art-making with their friends. Proceeds from the fair support the Neighborhood School PTA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that pays for the school’s art and music education, field trips, classroom supplies, special programs and teacher support. The Neighborhood School is at 121 East 3rd Street between First Avenue and Avenue A

And a school parent passed along photos of some of the students... most of them were taken by the kids, some in an afterschool photography class (taught by a parent, since there is no more funding for afterschool programs) and some in school as part of the curriculum.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate the ability to post an anonymous comment.
years back, oh, it's now, twenty, there was an initiative to provide 'alternative schools' to the lower east side population. And what that meant was a truly significant ambition. There was a crew of stalwart educators who traveled south from District 4 (LES is District One...the teeniest most overlooked poor little school district in all of NYC!!!!)
to rebirth child centered education.
And so they did. It's been a lovely ride.
So, the Neighborhood School was the only school of the five schools of choice that has been yearly denied free lunch program -a city program providing free lunch to the kids. Their tax base is too high. The parents of the children who attend earn too much money warrant a safety net free lunch program for those possible fall throughs.
In fact, the Neighborhood School fMILIES organized ski trips during time offs from school vacationing on the slope. Apres ski adventures included hot tubs and video games while Ave D kids who attended the Island School, also a school of choice, stayed home with pappy and his walker. And point in fact the Ave D school went down.
Neighborhood School has all the charm of a East Village Shaytard Camp.
Yes anon,
cause I still have kiddies in the hood.

Anonymous said...

Great photos!!!
the best school you could find for your kids.

neighborhood school parents.
susan n kim

Anonymous said...

I'll post anon too since this can be a crazy issue with parents. When my son was in elementary school we toured the local alternatives (Earth School & Childrens Workshop too) and really I didn't love any of them. Neighborhood School had the reputation of being good til 3rd grade and terrible for 4th & 5th.

In any case, he didn't get in, and we wound up getting a variance for PS40, which turned out to be AMAZING. I've heard it might not be so easy to get variances there any more because it was a hidden secret.

After the first day of Kindergarden I got a call from Neighborhood School that a space opened up for us. I told them no, we were really happy to have found PS40, and the woman on the phone had the attitude like we were idiots. I don't think so.

PS40 was very diverse and had the exact kind of families and staff I wished for. They responded to the parents needs, had a great music program, and at the time was close to the Boys & Girls Club (since closed) which had FREE afterschool that taught my son how to do homework in a noisy environment and to play a mean game of ping pong, 2 very useful skills. The loss of this club was devastating, and today's families don't know what they are missing without it. Truly sad.

marjorie said...

Yikes, Anon #1!, using DoE data, reports that 42% of the school's students qualify for free lunch. It is truly diverse (35% white, 27% Hispanic, 19% Black, 13% Asian). If there are seekrit mass-hot-tubbing ski trips, no one has invited me. (I blame Grieve.) The school is at 106% capacity, and like all public schools, its budget has been cut to the bone. Admission is purely by lottery, so the implication that it's somehow maneuvering to keep Avenue D families away is false. In fact, TNS does a ton of outreach, ESPECIALLY now that NYC public schools are not allowed to conduct their own admissions and the Supreme Court has ruled that race cannot be a factor (sigh -- thanks SO much, Justice Scalia, for your concerns about reverse racism). It's vital to us longtime parents at the school to prevent gentrification from making us lose everything that makes us special. We really believe that kids learn best from each other, in a truly diverse community, in a setting that walks the walk about all students having something to teach everyone else. There's no gifted track and standardized testing is de-emphasized (maybe that's why some folks feel it is "terrible for 4th & 5th" grades).

I'm really glad that that Anon #2 found a school that worked for his or her family! For comparison, PS 40 is 62% white, 14% Asian, 11% Hispanic and 7% Black) and 13% free lunch.

We encourage all families to take a tour (tours are led by kids) -- you can see for yourself and make your own decisions. And Grieve, thanks so much for posting the fair info! It was a huge help, and the fair was a ton of fun.