From the Director's Chair
“If you are quiet, you can listen, and if you can listen, you can learn.”
Director of Middle School
The learning in our Middle School continues to thrive. Please read on for some recent highlights.
Sixth graders continue to explore ancient civilizations through connections with the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. In the IdeaLab (above and below), students recently examined Mesopotamian artifacts, including a khafaje statue and a clay oil lamp, from the Museum’s Loan Box program. In a visit to our campus on Friday, Dec. 9, Steve Phillips gave a presentation on CSI: Egypt, explaining the cross-section between archaeology and forensics that contributes to our understanding of mummies along the Nile. We will follow this up with a visit to the Museum on Tuesday, Dec. 13, to view their artifacts, mummies and sphinx. These interactions have allowed students to hone their observation, questioning and critical-thinking skills through hands-on experiences with the ancient world.
Students in Jim Fiorile’s advisory will travel on Dec. 13 to the Germantown Crisis Ministry and do service learning. Jim lives in Germantown and learned that volunteers were needed to set up the retail space for a winter coat sale that the Crisis Ministry offers to low-income residents of the neighborhood. This kind of work is ideal service for middle-school-age students: concrete, moderately physical and with an immediate positive impact. PC students will help our disadvantaged neighbors only a mile from our campus.
Shortly after winter break, seventh graders will do a co-curricular study of the different cultural and geographical regions of Africa. This lesson will work in conjunction with seventh grade English. In English class, students will read A Long Walk to Water, a book about the effects on children in the Sudanese Civil War and how post-colonialism has played out in Sub-Saharan and East Africa. After that, we start No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, a book talking about a female detective in Botswana, a southern African country, which has experienced a prosperous growth in culture and economy over the past 20 years. In geography, we will discuss the physical geography of Africa, and, more specifically, how that geography affects the cultural regions of the continent. We will look at great ancient African civilizations (aside from Egypt) to show the beginnings of culture, development and progress prior to European colonialism and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We will introduce concepts of colonialism, the Berlin Conference and post-colonialism, to better prepare the students to understand the novels in English.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, marks the beginning of the year of service as millions of Americans honor the memory of Martin Luther King by contributing their time, talent, voice and donations to improve our community and support local organizations.
This year we are working with a number of organizations and schools that support families, children and animals.
We are asking for your support in donating the following items:
- Gently used clothing, any and all sizes
- Gently used blankets, towels and linens
- Gently loved stuffed animals
All items should be washed and cleaned. These items will be donated to Narenj Tree Foundation, which provides emergency humanitarian assistance to displaced communities and people.
- activity/coloring books
Lastly, start collecting your empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls. We will be making cat toys for our furry animal friends at PSPCA.
PC Center for Public Purpose
How to Raise Resilient Children and Teens
Please mark your calendars for this parenting opportunity. More details and book order form.