Tribeca Film Festival Community Events

Image courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival

Image courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival

UPDATE: Our PS 150 Tribeca Learning Center chorus will be performing at the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair on Saturday, April 26 at 12:30PM, rain or shine. All TLC students from Pre-K through 5th Grade should convene at the Travelers Building plaza located on North Moore St. between Greenwich St. and West St. at 12:00 noon.

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The Tribeca Film Festival opens today, and while the competing films aren’t suitable for the 10-and-under set, there will be a series of free community events for families to enjoy. Among the highlights are the Tribeca Drive-In, an open air theater on the plaza at Brookfield Place (formerly the World Financial Center), with screenings beginning Thursday, April 17; and the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair, held along Greenwich Street on Saturday, April 26. Take note that at the street fair, Taste of Tribeca will have a booth selling tickets and merchandise, AND our children will be performing, at a time to be determined closer to the event. We will post that when we know it.

For more details about the community events, click here.

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Don’t let your kids grow up to be bullies

By George Hunka

On Wednesday, April 30, at 6.00pm, Dr. Joel Haber will lead a discussion on “Bullying and Cyberbullying: From the Jungle Gym to the Corporate Boardroom” at the Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center, 120 Warren Street. This free Parenting Workshop, the second in a series, will focus on the extreme form of aggression known as “bullying,” a type of behavior that a child might also take with him or her into later life:

Bullying is on every parent’s radar screen, and it has become more scary and worrisome with cyberbullying concerns. This program will help you understand what the real definition of bullying is, how to recognize the signs, talk to your children about it, and come up with solutions. It will help you clear up misunderstandings about the dynamics of bullying and why it is so pervasive, even continuing into the corporate world. It will help you identify those youth who use bullying behavior and get away with it, those who are targeted and how to rally the troops to reduce bullying. Learn the skills and solutions to help our community’s children and reduce bullying. Come begin the discussion!

Admission is free, but you must register for the event here, where you’ll also find more information.

Protesting the new standardized tests

photoBy George Hunka

Yesterday, protests took place at public schools around the city to express dissatisfaction with the latest round of standardized tests based on the new Common Core curriculum, and PS 150 was no exception. The photograph at right was taken yesterday morning during a demonstration at the foot of the steps of PS 150, and in this New York magazine story about the protests, PS 150 Principal Jenny Bonnet described the frustration that she, the teachers, and the students felt as the tests were administered earlier this month:

Rather than evaluating reading comprehension skills, Jenny Bonnet, principal of P.S. 150 in Tribeca says they were “more [about] having [students] have to flip back and forth and look at structural things versus having a deep understanding of what the passage is about … When I first looked at the test, I was just in shock. I was having trouble with my fellow teachers — we sat around and tried to answer some of the questions — and I thought, This is ridiculous. I’m an adult, I should be able to answer these questions. If it’s hard for me, these poor kids — they must be incredibly confused.”

In a speech at New York University on Thursday, New York State education commissioner John B. King Jr. defended the tests as being more reflective of Common Core standards than earlier evaluations, saying, “Unfortunately, the facts around testing seem to get lost. … The new Common Core tests are a much better reflection of the skills students will need for college and career success. They rely less on multiple choice and require students to write more. … They are better tests.” On April 9, Elizabeth Phillips, the principal of PS 321 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times protesting both the tests and the gag order imposed on those who administered them, “We Need to Talk About the Test: A Problem with the Common Core.”

Build Schools Now, tonight on NY1

By George Hunka

This evening PS 150 PTA Co-President Wendy Chapman will be participating as a panelist on NY1’s Inside City Hall as a representative of Build Schools Now. The host is Errol Louis, and panelists will include Deputy Mayor Richard Beury, NY1’s Education reporter Lindsay Christ, and Wendy Chapman. This represents a great opportunity to provide city and nationwide visibility (NY1 is part of Time Warner Cable’s integral package and broadcasts to all TWC customers across the nation) to the issues of overcrowding that we are struggling with downtown.  This evening’s event can be viewed at both 7.00 and 10.00 pm on Channel 1 or 701 for all TWC customers.

Build Schools Now is a non-partisan, independent expenditure only, political committee registered with the Board of Elections of New York. The goal of Build Schools Now is to promote awareness of the urgent need to build public schools downtown.

Please join us in moral support for Wendy as we continue to raise awareness of the overcrowding situation and advocate for more schools.

In the news: Build Schools Now

By George Hunka

Tuesday evening’s initial Build Schools Now meeting at the Manhattan Youth Community Center attracted media attention from The Broadsheet Daily and Downtown Express. Both publications reported on the grassroots group’s effort to expand classroom capacity to keep pace with population growth downtown. Buxton Midyette, who founded the group, concisely explained the necessity to the Broadsheet‘s Matthew Fenton:

“The issue getting the most attention right now is universal pre-kindergarten,” Mr. Midyette says, “which is a great idea, but Lower Manhattan just lost two pre-kindergarten programs to make room for more kindergarten seats, and the Spruce Street School now has so many kindergarten students that it’s not clear they’ll have room to open their middle school, as originally planned.”

The group continues to collect petition signatures. You can add your own signature here.