education

Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood
Sarah LaDuke

As you walk along Tanglewood’s meandering paths, it’s easy to miss a series of small wooden shacks nestled amongst the pine trees -- until you hear the sweet music emanating from within. It’s here that the Tanglewood Music Center Fellows hone their craft and learn from the masters.

For decades, talented young musicians from around the country and around the globe have been coming to the Berkshires to study with some of the best musicians in the world.  Today we’re joined by Ellen Highstein – the Director of the Tanglewood Music Center.

The last remaining farm within Saratoga Springs city limits is under new management by a team that will use the property as a center for agriculture and education. 

Pitney Meadows Community Farm is ready for summer with Community Gardens, and local farm and food training and education. They’ll be a year-round farm-hub that shares the bounty of upstate New York agriculture and community. The grounds will also provide nature trails and host community events.

Barbara Glaser and Natalie Walsh join us now to tell us more.

Barbara is a leader in open-space preservation in Saratoga Springs since the 1980s, Barbara Glaser has played a key role in the establishment of Pitney Meadows Community Farm. Natalie is the director of the new Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia was in Plattsburgh Thursday to hold a public hearing on the state’s draft regulations to meet the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaces No Child Left Behind.


  The new documentary STEP shares the story of three young women in the first graduating class at Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women and their experiences with school, their families, boyfriends, friends, and their Step team.

 

Pushed to succeed by devoted teachers, teammates, counselors, coaches and themselves, they chase their dreams: to win a step championship and to be accepted into college.

 

STEP which won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Inspirational Filmmaking at Sundance this year, will have its Massachusetts premiere as the opening night film at the Berkshire International Film Festival -- screening tonight at 6pm at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington.

 

The film is directed by Amanda Lipitz who joins us.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Note 5/4/2017: An earlier version of this story referred to the Pitney Meadows Community Farm as the Pitney Meadows Community Foundation. The original audio of this story remains posted.

The last remaining farm within Saratoga Springs city limits is under new management by a team that wants to use the property as a center for agriculture and education. As WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports, a group of local students is making recommendations for how to move forward.

In How May I Help You?: An Immigrant's Journey from MBA to Minimum Wage, Deepak Singh chronicles his downward mobility as an immigrant to a small town in Virginia. Armed with an MBA from India, Singh can get only a minimum-wage job in an electronics store. Every day he confronts unfamiliar American mores, from strange idioms to deeply entrenched racism.

The Berkshire Athenaeum has installed new STEAM learning kits to encourage children to explore educational programs.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

UPDATE 4/4/17 11:37 p.m.: The Shenendehowa district reported Tuesday night that voters rejected the sale 5,442 to 2,323. The original story from earlier Tuesday remains posted below. 

Residents of the Shenendehowa School District in Clifton Park are voting today on a controversial land sale that would shift 34 acres to a developer. The developer in question has pledged to donate half the land to the Town of Clifton Park. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports the referendum was brought by petition.

Concerned and supportive parents attended a special Saratoga Springs City School District board meeting last night to discuss one teacher’s use of political cartoons. The lesson in question drew fire from conservative parents, two of whom appeared on Fox News last week.

Image Provided

Established in 1934 by the Lenox Garden Club, The Berkshire Botanical Garden is a not-for-profit, membership-supported educational organization encompassing 15 acres of cultivated land in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

As un-Spring-like as it feels outside in the region today, we are going to learn about Berkshire Botanical Garden’s spring and summer plans and their The Center House Project expansion.

We are joined by Mike Beck, the Executive Director of The Berkshire Botanical Garden and Matt Larkin, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. 

  Jonathan Starr, once a cutthroat hedge fund manager, is not your traditional do-gooder, and in 2009, when he decided to found Abaarso, a secondary school in Somaliland, the choice seemed crazy to even his closest friends. “Why,” they wondered, “would he turn down a life of relative luxury to relocate to an armed compound in a breakaway region of the world’s #1 failed state?” To achieve his mission, Starr would have to overcome profound cultural differences, broken promises, and threats to his safety and that of his staff.

It Takes a School is the story of how an abstract vision became a transformative reality, as Starr set out to build a school in a place forgotten by the world. It is the story of a skeptical and clan-based society learning to give way to trust. And it’s the story of the students themselves, including a boy from a family of nomads who took off on his own in search of an education and a girl who waged a hunger strike in order to convince her strict parents to send her to Abaarso.

Classroom with students
Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this month, the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as the 11th Secretary of Education. Vice President Mike Pence cast an unprecedented tie-breaking vote to secure President Trump’s pick. The philanthropist and activist takes over a federal bureaucracy with 4,400 employees and a $68 billion budget. Here to discuss potential changes to the national education system and issues in New York are Billy Easton, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education of New York, and Tim Kremer, executive director of the New York State School Boards Association.

Erika Christakis is an early childhood educator and school consultant. She has written a new book, The Importance of Being Little.

In it, she explains the challenges of being a little kid trying to navigate a system designed by and for adults, with high-stakes academic curricula and stringent schedules. 

The good news is that young children are hard-wired to learn in any setting, and tools to improve preschools are within reach of any parent and educator. The book offers a road map to giving children what they really need. 

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

Malissa Pilette-McClenon - Director of Development and Marketing - YWCA of the Greater Capital Region to discuss the Jamison-Rounds Ready for Work Program – designed to help underprivileged women find and keep employment and/or pursue education. 

Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that with her own kids and learned that the average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. She wondered about the impact of all this time and about the friction occurring in homes and schools around negotiating screen time—friction she knew all too well. 

In Screenagers, Delaney takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, Screenagers reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.

There will be a screening at the Maple Avenue Middle School at 7PM in Saratoga on 11/30.

We are joined by Delaney Ruston and Gina Karp, who currently teaches high school humanities (and previously taught grades 1-8) at the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs.

In The Well-Tempered City, Jonathan F. P. Rose distills a lifetime of interdisciplinary research and firsthand experience into a five-pronged model for how to design and reshape our cities with the goal of equalizing their landscape of opportunity.

Rose works with cities and not-for-profits to plan and build green affordable and mixed-income housing and cultural, health, and educational centers. Recognized for creating communities that literally heal both residents and neighborhoods, Rose is one of the nation's leading thinkers on the integration of environmental, social, and economic solutions to the urban issues facing us today.

In 2014, after a brief orientation course and a few fingerprinting sessions, Nicholson Baker became an on-call substitute teacher in a Maine public school district. He awoke to the dispatcher’s five-forty a.m. phone call and headed to one of several nearby schools; when he got there, he did his best to follow lesson plans and help his students get something done.

Substitute teachers hold a unique position in the education community—both insiders and outsiders. Baker, one of our country’s preeminent literary writers, observes students at their most hilarious and their most heartbreaking, and he gives readers a front-row seat to hot-button issues such as standardized curriculum, technology in the classroom, and medicating kids.

Nicholson Baker is the author of ten novels and five works of nonfiction, including The Anthologist, The Mezzanine, and Human Smoke. His new book is: Substitute: Going to School With a Thousand Kids.

The University of Vermont College of Medicine has a new name after receiving the largest donation in the institution’s history.

  Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author of twenty-seven novels. She has 30 million copies of her books in print in the United States, she has been published in thirty-five countries, and her thrillers have been optioned for television and film.

In her latest, Damaged, ten-year-old Patrick O'Brien is a natural target at school. Shy, dyslexic, and small for his age, he tries to hide his first-grade reading level from everyone: from his classmates, from the grandfather who cares for him, and from the teachers who are supposed to help him. But the real trouble begins when Patrick is accused of attacking a school aide. The aide promptly quits and sues the boy, his family, and the school district. Patrick's grandfather turns to the law firm of Rosato & DiNunzio for help and Mary DiNunzio is on the case. Soon Mary becomes Patrick's true champion and his only hope for security and justice.

Powerhouse Theater
Vassar College/ Tamar M. Thibodeau


  This month, Vassar College and New York Stage and Film’s summer Powerhouse season in Poughkeepsie, NY will present two fully staged productions, three Musical Theater workshops, two Inside Look workshops, and a number of readings. In addition to all of that, their training program is in full swing.

Ed Cheetham is the Producing Director of Powerhouse Theater at Vassar.

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

The goal of the all-volunteer Reading Is Fun Program (RIF) in Schenectady, NY is to keep helping Schenectady's needy 4-9 year olds in pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grades 1-3, to learn reading-readiness and conversational skills and vocabulary.  

We are joined by Founder and Executive Director Alvin Magid and Chief Operating Officer Mary Lou Russo.

  After thirty-five years as a book editor in New York City, Ann Patty stopped working and moved to the country. Bored, aimless, and lost in the woods, she hoped to challenge her restless, word-loving brain by beginning a serious study of Latin at local colleges.

As she begins to make sense of Latin grammar and syntax, her studies open unexpected windows into her own life.

Her book is Living with a Dead Language: My Romance with Latin.

U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says financially distressed colleges facing potential closure should be required to tell students the school may shut down.

Around 98 percent of New York school budgets were approved in statewide voting Tuesday.  Tim Kremer, Executive Director of the New York State School Boards Association, joins WAMC's Ray Graf for a discussion about the results. 

On May 21 at the Palace Theatre in Albany, New York, The Empire State Youth Orchestra will come together to celebrate Music Without Borders as ESYO’s CHIME kids take to the stage for their first-ever public concert alongside our Empire State Wind Orchestra, and signature Empire State Youth Orchestra.

  Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and foster collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

This week we will feature the work of: a pilot program in North Central Troy that seeks to provide at-risk children and their parents with a support system to help in their home life and help with the transition to middle school. The FOCAS (Family Opportunity Collaborative At Sunnyside) program uses a multi-faceted approach to address the family’s academic and non-academic barriers to success, among which are food security, a peer support system and financial literacy.

Sister Betsy Van Deusen has been director of community partnerships for diocesan Catholic Charities since 2013. This year marks her 25th in religious life.

A Growing Movement: Restorative Justice In K-12 Schools

May 12, 2016
Paulina Phelps / WAMC

Schools all over the country are considering an alternative form of disciplining students called Restorative Justice, including in New York's Capital Region.

  The Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City is celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary this year. The largest non-for-profit theatre company in America, Roundabout has grown from a small 150-seat theatre in a converted supermarket basement to operating five stages on and off Broadway.

Education at Roundabout is a branch of the organization that connects with students and teachers through customized school partnerships, residency programs, mentorships and workshops, internships, apprenticeships, backstage tours, talkbacks and pre-show workshops. For each Roundabout production, Education also creates Upstage guides, which include interviews, contextual information, teacher resources and activities, and presents a post-show Lecture Series -- reaching 22,000 students and teachers each year.

Jennifer DiBella is the Director of Education at Roundabout.

Education at Roundabout’s 6th Annual Student Theatre Arts Festival will take place on May 16th.

  The fourth annual Art and Soul reception will take place tomorrow at the Vassar College Alumnae House will feature beautiful, vibrant Haitian art, live entertainment from Vassar student musicians, and fabulous cuisine from Twisted Soul. The program runs from 5:30pm to 8:00pm, and is open to the public.

The Art and Soul reception funds the staffing, supply, and operation of a medical center in northwest Haiti that serves thousands of local residents. For many residents, this is the first accessible medical care in their lifetime.

The Vassar Haiti Project, founded in 2001, promotes Haitian art, fosters sustainable development in Haiti, and provides students and volunteers a life changing experiential education in global citizenship. VHP’s contributions are guided by five initiatives: education, medical access, reforestation, clean water access, and women’s health.

This morning we welcome the co-founders of the project: Andrew and Lila Meade, board member Caryn Halle, and Dr. Joassainvil Gueslin.

  Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

This week we will feature the work of: The Excelsior College Online Writing Lab. To learn more we welcome - Dr. Crystal Sands - Founding Director of the Online Writing Lab and Dr. Frank Crocco, Associate Director of the Online Writing Lab.

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