Life Around Here

The mid-winter season is always a thoughtful and deliberate time here at Parker. The sharp novelty of winter has tempered, and students are ready to settle into deep investigations that will busy their minds and bodies until spring. With all that is happening in each of our classrooms daily, it can be difficult to fit all of our “news” into one weekly Snapshot. Therefore, as we head joyfully into spring break, we want to shine a spotlight on a few additional stories and events from the past few months that deserve some air time.
The Robert C. Podcast
Traditionally, Parker has dedicated several weeks of spring to learning about performance theatre and hosting a school-wide Shakespeare Night. Last year, our middle school kept this tradition alive by recording and sharing Zoom performances. This year, grades 5-8 continue to evolve their study of drama in the form of radio broadcasting.

Each middle school class performed a “live” radio drama to inaugurate The Robert C. Podcast – a new forum for the publication of student work. Their podcast is available on a variety of platforms including: Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic and Spotify (with more on the way).

Please be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform so as not to miss future projects!

Without further ado, I give you the first five published episodes of The Robert C. Podcast.

“Sorry, Wrong Number” presented by the Class of 2021
“The War of the Worlds” presented by the Class of 2022
“Dracula” presented by the Class of 2023
“The Origins of the Lone Ranger” presented by the Class of 2024 

Bonus 8th Grade Project
“The Issue of Population Displacement” (Class of 2021)
Parker Readers Give Back!
Last week, we were humbled beyond measure to learn the final results of our Read-A-Thon, held in the lower school on March 8. Together, Pre-K through 4th grade raised $3,050.00 in donations to The RED Bookshelf, an Albany-based non-profit that provides books free of charge to local children. 

Our donation was made on March 24th, and we have been in touch with Executive Director, Paul Collins-Hackett, who expressed his gratitude, saying our efforts were “truly incredible”. Paul went on to thank the students of Parker, saying “The Parker school continues to demonstrate our shared commitment to learning and community engagement. During a time when education is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, meaningful, tangible actions like this serve as a model for our communities and the nation at large. We thank the superheroes over at the Parker school and look forward to bringing literacy to young readers everywhere!” We couldn’t agree more. Thank you to all our families and friends who generously supported this worthy cause.
Sending Spring Cheer
About a month ago, our assistant teacher Sara Schomaker reached out to Parker faculty with a request from her father, Ken Schomaker, who works for the Columbia County Office for the Aging. This agency provides services to senior citizens throughout Columbia county. According to Ken, many of their seniors are housebound and have struggled significantly with the life-changing effects of the pandemic. Ken asked if our students would be willing to engage in a spring-themed project aimed at spreading cheer to this vulnerable population. Over the next few weeks, Parker students, faculty, and even faculty members’ families, illustrated cards and wrote thoughtful and uplifting messages for these senior citizens. Sara collected these cards and delivered them to her father, who in turn distributed them to nearly 250 seniors in the Columbia County area. The results can be seen for themselves on the beaming faces of these grateful recipients.
PreK Sunflower Garden Grant
Finally, we would like to thank the Greenbush Garden Club for their generous $250 grant to our Pre-K Sunflower Garden Project. Several members of the club visited us on campus this week to deliver the check and view the grounds where the garden will be planted. Despite the 50mph winds, the meeting was filled with warmth, hope, and gratitude, for the coming months that will bring us outdoors and hopefully closer together in our mutual appreciation for stewardship to our one Earth.