Saturday, August 30, 2014

Good Books







DECEMBER!
 Does this month of festivity fill you 
with dread and anxiety?  
Unplug the Christmas Machine by Jo Robinson can help.  

This book saved my life 
when I was parenting young children.  
No matter what your faith tradition may be, 
it is terribly hard not to get sucked
 in to the secular "Christmas Machine".  
This book gives us concrete ways of warding off the 
seductive calls of marketing 
and can strengthen our resolve to let December 

be a time for family, friends and sharing.

The picture books can all be found in our Lower School Library.  
They all offer insights into the nativity stories found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.










"How Many Miles to Bethlehem?"
  is a lovely, poetic vision of the Christmas story.

Sweet tales from around the world can be found in "Joy to the World".


"Christmas Soul" is rich with real experiences, written by singers, artists, and actors.

"Carol of the Brown King" features magnificent poetry by Langston Hughes.

"Mary's First Christmas" is an excellent example of "midrash" -
a Hebrew tradition of imagining what has been left unwritten in the scriptures.

"B is for Bethlehem" is marvelous alphabet book for young readers,
and will introduce them to the details of the Christmas story.

Getting Involved in Chapel

Does Your Child Want to help in Chapel?
They may write a note to Mrs. Z, and give it to their classroom teacher. 
 They should Include their name and room. 
 I then write back to them to let them know when they are scheduled to serve.
Here are some ways they can serve God and our community…
Acolyte – Light candles, ring chime, help as needed
Cantor - Leads us in song
Lector - Read psalm or other sacred text
Prayer leader – Lead us in prayer
Faith sharing –share a story about your family’s faith traditions .
Art - Art work can be displayed on screen during chapel.  
Praise Projects – Dance, skits, raps, playing an instrument, singing…
Projects may need recess time to get them ready.

Donation Opportunities


Breck Lower School offers many ways to support our neighbors in need.  
Our collections for food, books, clothing and other items are ALWAYS optional.  
These drives help children learn about the needs of their community and world.  
We talk about hunger, poverty, and injustice.  
The simple act of remembering to tell you of their wish to bring in a gift of food 
or clothing can be the beginning of a lifetime of compassion and responsiveness.

Where should students bring donations?  Younger students should bring their
 donations to their classroom.  
Older students can usually find our pink and yellow "Service Shelf".  

There are a few items that we collect throughout the year:Books
Boxtops
Poptops
Empty paper grocery sacks

Chapel & Religion Classes

Chapel & Religion Classes 



 Students in gr. 1-4 participate in Chapel once or twice a week, and have a 30 minute religion class every other 6 day cycle.  PreK students participate in chapel twice a month, and have a 20 minute religion class every other cycle.  Chapel and class are interwoven.  In class we delve into stories and questions rigorously and intellectually. 
 In chapel we contemplate the power and mystery of God - 
we praise, we pray, we sing, we listen, and we abide in God's love. 

Schools can no longer simply feed children the answers, and ask them to regurgitate information with which we've filled their heads.  Our world today requires THINKERS and PROBLEM SOLVERS and CREATIVITY.  We will ponder and ruminate and reflect on the truly profound questions that children ask. 

The primary texts for Chapel and Religion Class come from the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.  We explore other faith traditions as well, and often use picture books to learn more.  Parents and students are always welcome and encouraged to speak in chapel about how you live out your faith or values.  







Service Learning

 “Treat everyone with equal kindness. Never be condescending, but make real friends with the poor. Do not allow yourself to become self-satisfied.       Romans 12:16-18

Breck’s mission calls us to provide experiences that foster a deep sense of social responsibility. We believe that service projects at Breck should advance spiritual and social maturity by building reflective, personal relationships with people and communities within and beyond Breck.  Service is done with people, not for people. Service opportunities are woven into the life of Lower School students. 
  •  Pre-schoolers learn to share and help each other. 
  •  K-Gr.2 service curriculum centers on their visits to near by nursing homes.  They learn valuable skills, gain compassion, brighten the days of the residents, and they are served by the gentle one on one attention that the residents are able to offer.
  •  Kindergartners make cards and sing for the residents at Walker nursing home twice a year.
  •  1st graders visit a neighborhood nursing home twice a year.  They sing and read to the residents.
  • 2nd graders make three nursing home visits visits throughout the year, singing, and playing games with residents.  Their confidence and compassion increase with each visit. 
  • 3rd and 4th graders “biddy” for pre-K students, helping to serve the younger ones their lunch. 
    All of these experiences are previewed and reflected upon in class and chapel.  Teachers value these experiences, and help children understand why we do them and the positive impact their service has within our community. 

   Teachers often develop community relationships particular to their class, for example corresponding with people in the military, or with students from another school.  Our C.A.R.E curriculum is utilized by all lower school staff, and gives children a consistent context and vocabulary for understanding aspects of service.
   
   Our 4th grade service committee helps organize giving opportunities throughout the year. These collections of food, books and clothing are a starting point for children to learn about the needs of their community.  They give teachers the chance to talk about hunger, poverty, and injustice.  The simple act of remembering to tell their family of their wish to bring in a donation can be the beginning of a lifetime of compassion and responsiveness.
   
   Children are invited to serve in a variety of ways in chapel; as acolytes, lectors, cantors, artists.  Our 4th grade chapel committee provides leadership and support for our corporate worship.  Students come from a variety of faith backgrounds, and by serving together in chapel they are able to practice what we hope to do in the world, to “Go forth in peace, to love and serve God, and one another.”

   Gr. 4 Chapel and Service Committee members typically deliver collection items and then share what they have learned about the agencies with their fellow students.  They also serve as “escorts” for a “prom” at Jones-Harrison residence.  This is a nice opportunity to for them to re-visit the skills they gained in K-gr.2.
    
   Families are invited to participate in the service opportunities organized by the parent run Community Outreach committee – leaf raking for neighborhood seniors, assisting at the Special  Olympics event hosted by Breck, and an annual spring celebration of service.
Other service opportunities arise throughout the year, and teachers and students respond as needed.
    Money from the collection of boxtops supports the Philanthropy Project.  We raise over $1000.00 each year.  Students may then apply for grants to fund philanthropic work.


   Poptops are also collected year round.  This money supports the work of the Ronald McDonald House, a refuge for families with children who are ill.


In 2013 we established a "Little Free Library at Penn & Glenwood Ave. We hope to continue supporting other Little Fee Libraries throughout the city.  Your donations to these book drives are so appreciated!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

LS Chapels


Chapel 2016-17
All School  - 8:40-9:15 AM    Lower School – 8:35-9:05 AM          PreK – 9:30-9:50 AM
Date:
Day:

Notes:
Tues. Sept. 6
6
AS
Convocation
Mon. Sept. 12
4
Gr. 1-4

Mon. Sept. 12
4
PreK

Th. Sept. 15
1
Gr. 1-4

Sat. Sept. 17
Blessing of the Animals
Tues. Sept. 20
4
Gr. 1-4

Wed. Sept. 28
4
Gr. 1-4

Wed. Sept. 28
4
PreK

Tues. Oct. 4
2
AS

Mon. Oct. 10
4
Gr. 1-4

Tues. Oct. 18
4
Gr. 1-4

Tues. Oct. 18
4
PreK

Tues. Oct. 25
1
Gr. 1-4

Fri. Oct. 28
4
Gr. 1-4

Tues. Nov. 1
6
AS

Mon. Nov. 7
4
Gr. 1-4

Mon. Nov. 7
4
PreK

Th. Nov. 10
1
Gr. 1-4

Tue. Nov. 15
4
Gr. 1-4

Wed. Nov. 23
Grandparents Day!
Tues. Nov. 29
4
Gr. 1-4

Tues. Nov. 29
4
PreK

Fri. Dec. 2
1
Gr. 1-4

Tues. Dec. 6
3
AS
Advent
Wed.. Jan. 4
1
Gr. 1-4

Mon Jan. 9
4
Gr. 1-4

Tues. Jan. 17
3
AS
A Celebration of the Work of Dr. King
Wed. Jan. 18
4
PreK

Mon. Jan. 23
1
Gr. 1-4

Th. Jan. 26
4
Gr. 1-4

Fri. Feb. 3
4
Gr. 1-4

Fr. Feb. 3
4
PreK

Tues. Feb. 7
6
AS

Mon. Feb. 13
4
Gr. 1-4

Th. Feb. 23
4
Gr. 1-4

Th. Feb. 23
4
PreK

Tues. Feb. 28
1
Gr. 1-4

Wed. Mar. 1
Ash Wednesday Service, 7:30 AM
Tues. Mar. 7
4
AS

Wed Mar. 15
4
Gr. 1-4

Wed. Mar. 15
4
PreK

Mon. April 3??
1
Gr. 1-4

Tues. April 11
1
AS

Th. April 13
3
Maundy Thursday, 7:30 AM
Mon. April 17
4
Gr. 1-4

Mon. April 17
4
PreK

Th. April 20
1
Gr. 1-4

Mon. April 24
3
AS
Trustee Day
Wed. May 3
4
Gr. 1-4

Wed. May 3
4
PreK

Tues. May 9
2
AS

Th. May 11
4
Gr. 1-4

Fr. May 19
4
PreK

Wed. May 24
4
Pre-Gr. 4