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The Unity Scoop – February 10

Dear Families of Unity,

I hope that the week was good to you and your loved ones.  As a school, we are excited to continue our celebration of Black History this coming week.  See the fliers below to appreciate the abundance of festivities we have scheduled.  Note that families are invited to take part in various events. Contact Mr. Beckford if you would like to join us!

We have plenty to share with you in this week’s edition of The Unity Scoop, including our debate team’s recent achievements, a recent college visit to Fordham University, and updates from our winter athletic teams!

Have a terrific weekend!


Josh Beauregard

Head of School / Co-founder


Updates as of February 10, 2024:

Updated – Full February 2024 School-wide Calendar: For your family’s convenience, here is a complete school-wide calendar of events for the month of February – print it out and throw it on the refrigerator door!  It is possible that events could change and new events could be added.  An up-to-date events calendar can always be accessed on our website.


New: Unity High Students Visit Fordham University!: A number of our upperclassmen at Unity High visited Fordham Unity last week.  During the visits, students had an opportunity to tour the campus, visit with administrators, and learn more about the college.  Thank you to Mr. Warner and Ms. Peters for coordinating the trip!


New – Recent Highlights Among Unity High’s Debate Team!: Unity High’s Debate Team continues to reach new heights in its second year.  Recent highlights include:

Two of its team members, Vondell Hankies ‘25 and Tamese Pratt ‘24 qualified for New York State Speech & Debate Championship, which takes place at Hofstra University in April.


Coach Conyer’s book, I Wasn’t Supposed to be Here, was recently published.


The team collected major victors of debaters from prominent high school debate teams, including Achievement First and Brooklyn Latin.  A number of team members are vying for the National Championship, which will be held in Chicago this spring!



New – Unity Celebrates Black History this Month through a Host of Festivities!: Unity students on our middle school and high school campuses are in the midst of celebrating Black History Month with an array of events.  See the fliers below for more information on all festivities this coming week, including various workshops coordinated by local community members at Unity Middle on Wednesday!

Middle School Festivities:

Unity High Festivities:


Updated – Save the Date!  Unity’s Middle School Dance Recital is on February 15th, 5:30pm!: Please support the middle school scholars by attending our Winter Dance Recital on Thursday, February 15th in our middle school auditorium (432 Monroe Street). See the flier below for updated details!


Updated (Note the New Meeting Date) – Help Shape Your Child’s Experience in School by Taking Part in our Next Middle School Family Ambassadors Meeting, Thursday, February 15th, 6pm!: The next Family Ambassadors of Unity meeting is scheduled for this Thursday, February 8th, at 6pm on Zoom.  Contact Mr. Beckford with questions – all families or middle school students are encouraged to attend!

New – 2024 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) Lottery:  All students ages 14–24 are invited to apply to participate in the 2024 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), which is now accepting applications for summer 2024 via the general lottery through March 1. If you have any questions, you may reach out to Ms. Behan or call 800-246-4646.


Updated – Unity’s Student-Athletes Continue to Shine in the Winter Season!: There have been a number of recent highlights worth sharing with Unity’s athletic teams this winter season.  Here are a few!

On Thursday, the Unity Prep Girls Varsity Team and Boys JV Team participated in a mentoring event with the basketball team of our neighboring elementary school, PS 44.  During the event, our scholar-athletes worked with PS 44’s team to develop foundational basketball skills, discussed the importance of being excellent students and excellent team players, and, of course, had some fun together!


Unity’s Coach Berkeley is featured here facilitating a co-practice with Unity’s basketball team and PS 44’s basketball team.

Unity High’s 2023-24 Step Team (The Unity Queen Steppers)


Unity High’s 2023-24 Girls Varsity Basketball Team


Unity High’s 2023-24 Girls Varsity Volleyball Team


Unity High’s 2023-24 Cheerleading Team


Unity High’s 2023-24 Boys Varsity Basketball Team


Unity High’s 2023-24 Debate Team


The nonprofit, New York Road Runners (NYRR), recently donated new sneakers to members of our Fall Cross Country season. We thank you for your support and partnership, NYRR!


Recap – Stellar Attendance in January – 95% and Above!: The following lengthy list of students demonstrated a strong and consistent dedication to their education by showing stellar attendance in January.  Kudos to these students – we love seeing you each and every day!  And, of course, we look forward to celebrating additional students at the end of this month!


Recap Unity Family Ambassador Spotlight of the Month!: We are thrilled to resume an exciting feature to the Unity Scoop, a monthly profile of our amazing Unity Family Ambassadors. The Unity Family Ambassadors are a group of caregivers who meet monthly and serve as thought partners for many of our school’s initiatives. If you are interested in learning more about or joining the Unity Family Ambassadors, please reach out to Mr. Beckford.

Casandra Lewis (Mother of Jassaun Thompson, Unity 8th grader)

This month, we are thrilled to profile Casandra Lewis, the mother of Unity 8th grade scholar, Jassaun Thompson. 

Ms. Lewis works as a Therapist.

Favorite Restaurant in Brooklyn?
Crabhouse (in Coney Island)

Your favorite self-care activity?
Sleep and meditation

Why did you choose to send your child to Unity?
It was a new opportunity for my family. 

What is the best advice you could provide for an incoming caregiver?
Stay in communication with staff and educators.

What is your favorite aspect of Unity?
My favorite aspect is the sense of community.

What inspired you to ‘give back’ to our community by joining the Unity Family Ambassadors this year?
Today’s society, and our children. 



Recap – Unity Wear Red in Support of Heart Health Awareness!: This past Thursday, Unity staff and students wore red in showing their support for the heart health awareness and the fight against heart disease.  Kudos to all who took part!  Learn more about this annual event as well as heart disease and how to reduce risks here.

Recap – Unity Calendar for the 2023-24 School Year: The table below reflects our key events and vacations calendar for the 2023-24 school year.  In addition, here is the updated PDF version of the table for your convenience.

Recap – New Students for 2023-24 school year – Unity middle school has a few seats available for rising sixth graders for the 2023-24 school year. Finding the right middle school can be tough, and our current families (you!) are the best advocates. If you know of any interested families, please reach out to Mr. Beckford via email or cell (862-294-0219). For any families that refer a new family, both will be given a free uniform shirt.


Relevant Information from Past Editions of The Scoop:

Free Resources for Unity Families: Unity’s social work team is always looking for resources that may be helpful and of interest to our families.  A host of resources are provided below.  Reach out to Ms. Del Purgatorio, Unity’s Director of Social Work, with questions.

  • Introducing 988, The New Mental Health Hotline: The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, which launched last week, is a new way for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis to quickly reach out for help. Anyone in the US can now call or text 9-8-8 to be connected to a trained mental health professional at one of more than 200 local crisis call centers around the country. Learn more here.
  • INCLUDEnyc Presents: How to Talk to Your Children about Sexuality: This webinar will help parents and guardians of children with disabilities become more comfortable discussing sexuality and relationships, and cover some of the most effective ways to talk about this sensitive topic. Learn more and register here.
  • Free Summer Meals for Students – begins Tuesday, June 28th: NYC’s Summer Meals program offers free breakfast and lunch throughout NYC for anyone age 18 and under. No registration, documentation, or ID is required.  Visit here for details on time, locations, menus and other helpful information.
  • Free Book Giveaway for Kids and Teens: As part of our largest summer program ever, The New York Public Library is giving away 500,000 books for kids and teens to take home and keep. Drop by one of our neighborhood branches to choose yours—plus, explore free events, our summer writing contest for kids, the opportunity for teens to contribute to a new magazine, and more with Summer at the Library.  Visit here for more information.
  • DOE’s Beyond Access Series Presents Self-Regulation TechniquesThis workshop will provide parents, caregivers and students strategies for reducing stress and improving the ability to self-regulate, with simple routines and activities that reduce anxiety and reactivity and promote calm and happy students and families. Spanish and Mandarin interpretation available. Learn more and register here.
  • DOE’s Beyond Access Series Presents How to Access Supports for Students with Behavioral Challenges: This workshop covers the educational rights of students who face behavioral challenges in school, including different kinds of behavioral supports and interventions , along with the opportunity to share advocacy tips. Learn more and register here.
  • The Child Mind Institute offers great (free & remote) caregiver workshops on a seasonal basis!  Take a moment to visit their site and appreciate their offerings.
  • The recent events in Ukraine may be a source of stress and anxiety for some children.  Below are four resources that may be helpful for families:
  • Below are flyers for lists of low-cost dental providers in each borough:
  • Free Child Nutrition Webinar Series: Register for the “An Alarming Rise in Excess Weight and Diabetes in Children: Strategies and Solutions” webinar on Monday, March 7th.  The webinar is presented by French-American Aid for Children as part of the new Child Nutrition Webinar series. Parents and educators will learn about practical nutrition tips and accessible information to encourage children to adopt good eating habits in school—and at home—through an interactive dialogue between Dr. Juliana Cohen, nutrition epidemiologist and associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Dr. Ileana Vargas-Rodriguez, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Children’s Hospital of New York. A Q&A session will follow the webinar.  Check out previous recordings of past webinars, including:
    • Engaging Children in their own Nutritional Journey
    • Smart Summer Shopping and Cooking
    • Nutrition’s Powerful Impact on Children’s Physical and Mental Health
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