The Unity Scoop – November 10
Dear Families of Unity,
Well wishes to you and your loved ones on this holiday weekend.
I want to congratulate our newest members of Unity’s National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) and National Honor Society (NHS). Our new students were inducted during yesterday’s joint ceremony in our middle school auditorium.
To our 65 NJHS and NHS members for the 2023-24 school year: we are so proud of you, and look forward to your positive leadership and service impacting our community this year in a meaningful way!
Thank you to Ms. LaPlaca, Ms. Peters, and Ms. Behan for organizing the affair. In addition, thank you to our fellow staff for attending the ceremony and showing your support. Finally, thank you and congratulations to the families who participated in last night’s festivities!
In this edition of the Scoop, we spotlight our students engaging in school and learning new things alongside their classmates. We also feature exciting new updates on our college & career readiness and alumni success programming. Finally, we celebrate the recent accomplishment of our student-athletes, as well as our P.R.I.D.E. leaders from the month of October!
Enjoy the holiday weekend and much love and respect to the veterans among our family community!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of November 10, 2023:
1. New – Students and Teachers in Action!: It is always thrilling to celebrate the hard work of our students as they engage in their learning each and every day. This week, we spotlight our students and team in action across grades 6-12!
6th grade math students launched their new unit with a partner game. Together, students (Kaleb and Taribbi) identified factors of numbers and challenged each other to collect the most points. Shout out to Ms. Gibson and Mr. Mejia for engaging students in learning and making math fun!
CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO VIEW THE FOOTAGE.
Shout out to 7th grade advisories for keeping the college spirit alive during PM advisory. The chant battle between U of Albany and NYU is epic. Here’s a clip of students and advisors showing their college and community pride.
Anatomy presenting their experiments and going through the scientific method to create hypotheses, design an experiment, and determine a conclusion! Thank you, Mr. Harvey, for providing our seniors with an opportunity to actively practice presentation skills and put science into action.
2. Updated – November 2023 School-wide Calendar: For your family’s convenience, here is a schoolwide calendar of events for the month of November – 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.
- Conferences are coming! On 11/20 and 11/21, we are holding our Fall Family Conferences. Conferences will be held in person on 11/20 from 5pm-8pm and on Zoom on 11/21 from 9am-2pm. Families have the option of participating on either day. Students’ advisors will continue making calls this coming week to schedule conferences with individual families. Students are expected to take part in conferences alongside their families. Conferences will be led by students at our high school.
3. Updated – College & Career Readiness in Full Force at Unity High!: It is an exciting and busy time in the world of college & career readiness for Unity High students and staff. Recent milestones include:
12th grade students visited the campus of St. Francis College in downtown Brooklyn on Tuesday. Thank you, College & Career Readiness team for organizing the trip! And thank you, Aniya Hayes (‘23), for being such an excellent host!
Adewale (Ade) Fasanmi (‘20) is now in his third year of college at SUNY Brockport where he is a proud member of the Men’s Basketball Team. Ade’s team plays at Hunter College, at 695 Park Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (the entrance is between 68th and 69th Streets) on Tuesday, November 21st, at 5pm. Members of the public may attend the game. If you are able to attend, Ade would love to see you in the crowd!
Unity 11th and 12th graders learn about Skidmore College and its offerings during a visit to Unity High from one of Skidmore’s admissions representatives. Unity fun fact: Ja’don Rene, Class of 2021, is now in his third year at Skidmore and majoring in Oceanography and Philosophy. How cool is that!
Our first college admittance of the year! Congratulations to Jaylen Ayers on being offered admission to SUNY Brockport. This is just the beginning of a very exciting season for our community!
4. New – Unity’s Student-Athletes Continue to Compete with Pride this Fall Season!: There have been many recent highlights for Unity’s athletic teams this fall. Here are a few!
Unity’s Middle Flag Football Team wins first 1st place among all middle school teams in Brooklyn!
Congrats to Unity’s Middle’s All-Conference, All-Star Student-Athletes!
- Caleb Rivera – Flag Football
- Jencarlos Hernandez – Soccer
- London Kingston – Volleyball
Unity Middle’s staff and students enjoyed a fun, festive, and always competitive match in our Annual Faculty vs. Student Volleyball Match!
Members of our girls volleyball teams have engaged in mentoring over the course of their seasons to learn, support, and root for one another! Enjoy the photo below of the teams recently taking part in a practice session. Unity’s volleyball program is preparing for greatness!
London Harris is our Student-Athlete of the Month for October. London currently has a 3.8 grade-point average. According to her coach, Coach Patrick, “There aren’t enough good words I can say about London Harris. Quiet leader, but hard worker. Enjoys her time with teammates, and does her best to set the best standards on and off the court. I am very proud to have London on the volleyball team!.” In response to being celebrated, London expressed humility, pride, and appreciation: “It is pretty shocking that I earned the Scholar-Athlete of the Month Award. I definitely did not expect it but I am happy and proud of myself. I want to give a shout out to my mom and dad, because I love them.”
5. New – Kudos to our P.R.I.D.E. Leaders for the Full Month of October!: Our P.R.I.D.E. Core Values of Progress, Respect for All, Integrity, Discovery, and Empathy represent qualities that we covet as a school community. They also represent qualities that we believe empower our students to lead fulfilling lives and, therefore, qualities that we have a responsibility to actively teach and positively reinforce. The students listed below were leaders for the month of September in being recognized by their teachers for demonstrating our Core Values. On behalf of our school community, we are proud of these students, and look forward to continuing to shout out all of our students when they demonstrate P.R.I.D.E. in our community.
6th Grade Students
9th Grade Students
|Edwin Coronado||Le’La Smith|
|Ethan Lee-Sutherland||Elizabeth Pollard|
|Amora Rogers||Amor Johnson-Gregory|
|Taylor Mathias||Amelia Jones|
|Kaela Alexander||Nathaniel Polanco|
7th Grade Students
10th Grade Students
|Nevaeh Rodriguez||Nusiah Foster|
|Ramon Vasquez||Daniel Gabor|
|Brook’lynn Fields||Ibrahima Barry|
|Matthew Danns||Daniel Martinez|
|Eshyra Miller||Lateefah Subair|
|Agneiszka Thompson||Jayden Avila|
8th Grade Students
11th Grade Students
|Papa Diop||Daniella Horsford|
|Latrust Byrd||Destin Mattey|
|Keon Holley||Alice Naranjo|
|Candace Taylor||Stephanie Kwamina|
|Denver Wilkinson||Darnele Nelson|
12th Grade Students
6. Recap – Unity Continues in its Community Service a Community Drive this Month!: Coming off of our schoolwide Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk and fundraiser with the American Cancer Society, we are now engaged in a Can Drive in partnership with City Harvest. Between now and November 17th, all Unity families are encouraged to donate non-perishable food. All donated goods will go directly to providing nourishment to our fellow community members in the greatest need. Unity students who participate in the drive will earn Panther Pride Points for demonstrating our Pride Value, Empathy.
7. Recap – Thank you, Families, for Taking Part in our First Family Ambassadors Meeting of the Year!: We are grateful to our families who participated in our Family Ambassadors meeting on Zoom last week. The meeting was productive, energizing, and, of course, fun! Here are the slides from the meeting. Contact Mr. Beckford with questions. Unity’s Family Ambassadors will meet again on Thursday, December 21st, at 6pm – all families are encouraged to attend.
8. Recap – Attention Unity students in Grades 8-11 – Apply Now for a Paid Internship with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden: The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is now recruiting students in grades 8–11 for the 2024 Garden Apprentice Program (GAP) at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. GAP is a great way for teens to get paid to learn about urban agriculture, science, and the environment while working in one of the most exciting public gardens in the world!
BBG Garden Apprentices:
• Earn a monetary award at the end of the apprenticeship (Tier 1: $600, Tier 2: $700, Tier 3: $800).
• Work their way up the program to become paid staff as a Tier 4.
• Learn about botany and environmentalism through hands-on lessons.
• Grow and harvest fruits, vegetables, and herbs in the Children’s Garden.
• Facilitate lessons to teach children about plants.
• Explore Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s amazing plant collections.
• Develop job skills, including teamwork, communication, and leadership.
Apprentices make a nine-month commitment to GAP, from March to November, which includes spring training, summer programming, and a weekly commitment after school or on weekends throughout the academic year.
9. Updated – Your Feedback Empowers Us – Please Take a Moment to Share Your Experiences With Us By Completing our Fall Family Perception Survey: Thank you to the many families who provided feedback this past week! As mentioned, our purpose as a school is to best serve you and your child’s educational aspirations. And we are best positioned to fulfill this purpose when we have honest and direct feedback from you. With this interest, we request your feedback on how we are doing as we kick off the school year by completing one of the surveys below. The survey includes questions about family communication, engagement, fit, support, school climate, and safety, among other things. Your answers are anonymous; we will use your collective feedback over the coming months to drive our decision-making and best position us to best serve you. As a small gesture of appreciation for your time, the first 300 families to complete the survey by Friday, 11/3, at 4pm will be eligible for a raffle of $100 to Amazon. Simply text the survey complete screenshot to 347-746-1575 to enter the raffle. We thank you in advance for your invaluable feedback, and, more importantly, we thank you for positioning us to act on your feedback.
- Complete the survey by clicking here
- Note: in the event that you have children attending both our middle school and high school, please complete the high school survey.
- Text the survey complete screenshot to 347-746-1575 to enter the raffle.
10. 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.
11. Recap – New Students for Fall 2023 – 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 Techniques: This 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:
- Helping Kids Cope with Frightening News from Child Mind Institute
- How to Talk to Kids About War from verywellfamily.com
- How to Navigate Difficult Conversations with Children from The Relation Station
- How to Talk to Children about War: An Age-by-Age Guide from Today.com
- 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