The Unity Scoop – November 3
Dear Families of Unity,
I hope that the week has been good to you and your loved ones after a full week of learning. Kudos to our middle school families who participated in this week’s Grade Level Family meetings. Moreover, I want to thank those who participated in last night’s Family Ambassadors meeting. Indeed, there is strength in Unity!
In the coming week, we have a four-day week with no school on Tuesday due to elections. Get out the vote!
In this edition of the Scoop, we spotlight recent milestones with our college & career readiness programming. We also congratulate our newest National Junior Honor Society and National Honor Society members. Finally, we highlight recent achievements among our student athletes and share details on current community service initiatives.
We turn back the clocks this weekend – I hope you indulge in something fun for you and your family during that extra hour on Sunday!
Head of School / Co-founder
Updates as of November 3, 2023:
1. New – 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. Milestones include:
Unity 11th and 12th graders learn about Skidmore College and its offering 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!
Select 12th graders are gearing up for a college campus tour of St. Francis College on Tuesday of next week. This photo is from last year’s visit to St. Francis. Another Unity fun fact: Unity alumni, Aniya Hayes (‘23 and Class Valedictorian), Danille Howard (‘23), Anthony Moreno (‘23) Zariya Millington (‘21), and Isheanna Matthias (‘20) all attend St. Francis. Also incredibly cool!
2. New – 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 night. 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.
3. New – Congratulations to Unity’s Newest National Junior Honor Society and National Honor Society Members!: Unity’s chapters of the NJHS and NHS have expanded in their membership. Congratulations to the over 50 new inductees! We will be celebrating them in an induction ceremony next Thursday, November 9th, at 5:30pm at our middle school.
4. New – Unity’s Middle School and High School Teams Embrace Mentoring! 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!
5. New – A Shout-out to our Student-Athlete of the Month!: Congratulations to our Student-Athlete of the Month, London Harris, of Unity Middle’s Junior Varsity Volleyball team! Congratulations, London, and go Panthers!
London Harris is our Student-Athlete of the Month for September. 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.”
6. New – 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 – 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 6-8. Thank you to Ms. Williams and her team for spotlighting these highlights for our community!
7th grade Scientists engineer earthquake-resistant structures. They sketched, built, and collaborated with their peers to create the best possible design. Shout-out to Ms. Victor for fostering inquiry and teamwork with her scholars!
Ms. Pierre’s ELA tutoring group diligently works to read, annotate, and identify key features of their non-fiction text. This culture for learning, grounded in high expectations coupled with high support, created opportunities for students to exemplify progress and respect for all in their learning.
|6th grade historians draw comparisons between what they’ve learned about the first encounters and how Disney portrays it in Pocahontas. These two scholars are so intrigued by the portrayal that they ask to research some information about Pocahontas’ life. #Discovery #Curiosity
8. Recap – 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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