Thomas Cornell Academy has had a partnership with the Katonah Museum of Art since June of 2016. The effervescent Pam Hart has coordinated the logistics and taught poetry for students in Grades 2-6. She has exposed the children to a form of literature that often is overlooked in school. Children have been taught the significance, intricacies, and strategies for creating poetry. Each semester for the last two years, we have had culminating activities where children read their work in front of their peers and parents at our school. It has been a wonderful learning experience. Over the years, I have seen first hand Ms. Hart in the classroom teaching her love and joy of poetry. And with the rare occasions I have offered a suggestion, she has taken the advice with open arms and infused it into her lessons.
Last spring, under the initiative of Pam and one of our teachers (Mr. Deveaux), we stepped up our partnership with an enhanced grant that infused dance along with the poetry and moved the culminating activities from TCA to the KMA. Choreographer Maria Colaco worked with students on structured improvisation dance pieces. The grant also included having a special bus for parents who wanted to attend the session along with a translator to accommodate our Hispanic population. We had over 40 parents attend three culminating activity sessions in January 2018.
I visited the “teaching sessions” with Pam and dancer Maria on a number of occasions at our school. I was just as impressed with the teaching abilities of Maria who has a great command of the student audience.
How lucky I was to listen to Pam’s urging to attend the third and final culminating activity for Fourth Grade on January 30. I was blown away by the student poems and dance. The students were awesome because of the tutelage both KMA educators provided for our children and teachers. The attention to detail and team work was clearly evident throughout the 45-minute performace. I was very proud of our students as well as the Katonah Museum of Art.
We hope our partnership can last for many years!
Please continue to encourage your child to read daily.
Edward T. Beglane, Ed.D.
Dignity For All Act Coordinator
Thomas Cornell Academy
15 St. Mary’s Street
Yonkers, NY 10701
“We persevere at home and in school…”