PS 84 was abuzz last Saturday during Town Square’s 5th annual SchoolFEST. From 12- 4 pm, North Brooklyn public and private schools, from day care to high school, gathered along with community-based after school programs to meet with parents and their prospective students.
Susan Anderson, Executive Director of Town Square began organizing SchoolFEST in 2008 as a one-stop shop for parents and students to see what educational opportunities are available in the North Brooklyn community. “Learning about the whole New York City public and private school system on your own can be very complicated and complex,” she said. By getting educators, parents, and students together in one place, Anderson hopes not only to inform parents about the educational possibilities in the community, but also to engage them. “A strong school is founded on a strong parent base,” Anderson stated.
Throughout SchoolFest 2012 parents were introduced to educators face-to-face and offered workshops on various educational topics. On the agenda for the day were presentations by District 14 Superintendent Alicja Winnicki, Jessica Glorieux of Motherburg NY, and a one on special needs students by New York League for Early Leaning (NYL) Greenpoint School. Student performances were interspersed throughout the workshops.
Parents and children weren’t the only attendees of SchoolFEST 2012. Assemblyman Joe Lentol is a dedicated supporter of SchoolFEST, and hasn’t missed one yet. “I guess the most important thing to understand is that a lot of parents are wary and confused about what they should do for their children,” Lentol explained. “They want to send their children to the best schools. And this offers a venue where they can visit them all at once, and compare them so they can send their kid to the right school.” Lentol is currently working on implementing a rooftop garden on PS 84 to promote hands-on learning about environmental science.
Councilmember Steve Levin, also a five-year attendee of SchoolFEST, came out to support the kids of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. A member of the Education Committee, Levin is “very proud of the afterschool programs that are in the community.”
“I think the most important thing is that we provide the supplemental services, the enrichment programs, the arts programs, the sports programs to be sure the kids all have an opportunity to have a well-rounded education,” Levin said.
Winnicki was thrilled to be speaking at SchoolFEST. “We have this opportunity for our district schools, community-based organizations, our local officials, and most importantly, the parents to meet and learn about each other and learn opportunities for the children,” she commented; “I’m a big supporter of the school fest and grateful for Town Square and Susan Anderson for organizing it every year.”
Information about Town Square’s upcoming October events can be found on their website, www.townsquareinc.com.
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