The Red Hook Education Foundation has sponsored the following initiatives in its first year of operation: The Martha Strever Scholarship for Achievement in Mathematics; the garden classroom project at Mill Road School; the middle school and high school debate clubs, a co-venture with Bard College; and the college and career night event for the high school.
2nd Annual Careers and College Fair
The second annual Red Hook High School Career Fair was held on April 27th from 2 to 6PM at the Red Hook High School
With over 60 Careers and Trades, 20 Regional Colleges, and numerous community organizations presenting, it was a high-impact and well-attended event. Over 500 community members, including more than 360 students, as well as a number of parents, attended this event. Originally conceived in an effort to provide Red Hook students with a much needed opportunity to explore various career options in a hands-on manner, the Career Fair has achieved a momentum of its own.
The parking lot was full; walking up to the school one could hear and feel the vibe of engaged youth, enhanced by some great music, including an impromptu performance in the front hallway by a great local student violinist. Delicious, healthy food was provided by one of our local food gurus, Joe Baldwin of Earth to Table. It was great this year to see many students from the Middle School participate in the Career Fair. It’s never too early to begin the long and important process of career exploration and choice. A panel discussion regarding “Owning Your Own Business” was also offered. A number of local business owners shared their perspectives on the rewards and challenges of starting a business. County Executive Marc Molinaro also participated in this panel.
Another great dimension of this career fair is the multitude of parents who generously offered their time to share their passion for their chosen professions with students. One presenter whose booth generated a lot of student interest was Helena Hobson, a physical therapist with a practice in Rhinebeck. What a rich resource this community has in its parents and other adults who show their commitment to our students by offering their time and presence. One freshman commented on the fair, “It was a great opportunity to learn more about things we are interested in, and see what careers paths we could take to fulfill our interests.”
A huge thank you goes to Tara Sullivan, who spearheaded this event, as well as all the volunteers who created a seamless experience for the attendees.
All recipients in this first round are Red Hook Central School District teachers. The mini-grant program is designed to support innovative educational programming that enriches student learning.
$1,000 awarded to Kim Goldhirsch, at Linden Avenue Middle School for the Mid-Level Leadership Conference.
$1,000 awarded to Lydia Cordier for the Garden at Mill Road.
$275 awarded to Eleanor Lydon-Clements at Linden Avenue Middle School to help support the Medieval Times field trip.
$665 awarded to Steven Hughes at Linden Avenue Middle School to help support the First Lego League Robotics Competition.
$1,000 awarded to William Decker at the Red Hook High School to support the Model United Nations.
Works continues on the garden classroom. Many more classes are interacting with garden and garden volunteers. The RHEF has commissoned a new shed from the High School Technology class that will allow teachers to store tools and materials.
As its inaugural project, RHEF has raised over $10,000 in funding to support the garden, has offered professional development workshops to teachers, and currently has two grants under review to help fund the next phase of the garden. There are many research-based learning benefits for students who engage in a garden classroom, including enhancing their nutritional awareness, and strengthening their connections to nature and their environment. From harvesting pumpkins and potatoes, to making literary connections by drawing and writing about the garden, as well as composting lunch scraps, students and teachers are getting their hands dirty! Your help is needed, too; spring tasks include building new beds, a garden shed, a meeting area, and installing a watering system. No experience necessary! If you are interested in helping out in any way, please contact Georganna Ulary at 757-2199 or send her an email.
The garden classroom was the recipient of a grant from Amy’s Naturals Foods this year and has also been selected to participate in the prestigious Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard Academy this June. We look forward to hearing all about it from parents Tricia Paffendorf, Christine Lankenau and Marla Walker as well as from Clara Wittek, director of food service for the Red Hook School District and teacher Lydia Cordier, all of whom will be attending.
The Red Hook Education Foundation has funded the creation of debate club programs in both the Middle School and High School
On March 9, Red Hook students competed in the Bard Debate Union’s first annual Debate Tournament, featuring 2 rounds of debate competition, luncheon, and an awards ceremony. Linden Avenue Middle School sent 5 teams, which competed against each other, and Red Hook high school sent 2 teams, which competed against 2 teams from Rhinebeck, and 4 teams fielded from the Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) schools in Queens, Manhattan, and Newark, NJ. The RHEF was a sponsor of this event, hosted by the Bard Center for Civic Engagement.
Team and individual awards were given to the following participants: in the high school division BHSEC A took 1st place, with Rhinebeck A in 2nd place, Red Hook A in 3rd place, and BHSEC B in 4th place. Individual high school debate awards: Hannah Frishberg (BHSEC A) 1st; Callie Goldstone (Rhinebeck A) 2nd; Joe Bryant (Red Hook A) 3rd; Gabe Haddad (BHSEC D) 4th and “Mo” Tyler (BHSEC C) in 5th place. Individual middle school debate awards: Caleb Wootan, 1st; Elenore Zellneck, 2nd; Joseph Becker, 3rd; Abby Foster, 4th, and Aidan Murtha in 5th place.
Working in partnership with Bard Debate Union and the Bard Trustee Leader Scholar program, the RHEF has helped to start up the LAMS and Red Hook High School debate clubs over the last year. Many thanks to Red Hook faculty Ronald Dombrowski, Tom O’Connor, and James Armstrong, Bard Debate coaches Ruth Zisman and Jennifer Rankin, and especially to the Bard Debate Union students, for supporting the growth of debate in our community and beyond.
Field Trips and Supplies
The RHEF was also able to show support for our schools this year by providing funding for academic field trips to Bard College, new agendas for our incoming High School freshman and Professional Development funds for our teachers and staff.
With the hard work of parent volunteers and community members, garden beds are taking shape and a garden classroom is being developed at the foot of the nature trail. The garden will be available to teachers for use with their classes, and students will have opportunities to have hands-on experiences growing healthy food and using the garden for educational enrichment.
Thank you to Red Hook Sand & Gravel, Unifuse, Williams, Red Hook Fence, DeerGuard Systems, Ken Migliorelli, Montgomery Farm, Norbert at Phantom Gardner, Kesicke’s Farm, Terry O’Keefe and all of the other community members who have volunteered their time and donated resources to help us build the Mill Rd. Outdoor Classroom Garden.
8th Grade Field Trip to Bard College’s Reem Kayden Science Center
The Red Hook Education Foundation donated funds to the Bard Center for Civic Engagement, to help underwrite a portion of the expense for the Linden Avenue Middle School’s 8th Grade Field Trip to Bard College’s Reem Kayden Science Center, October 4 and 6, 2011. Bard Professors Matthew Deady, Lauren Rose, Keith O’Hara, Brooke Jude, and Chris LaFratta along with student organizers Madison Fletcher and Brian Liu, as well as students from the fields of Physics, Math, Computer Science, Biology and Chemistry, guided 8th graders through hands on science experiments at the Reem Kayden Science Center Labs. Thanks to all who helped make this field trip possible, with appreciation to all the Bard collaborators as well as the Linden Avenue folks, including include Katie Zahedi, Amanda Greene, and Amanda Stoddard – with cooperation and help from all science faculty at the middle school.
The Strever Scholarship:
In celebration of Martha Strever’s 50th year of teaching in Red Hook Schools, the foundation is soliciting donations for The Martha Strever Scholarship for Achievement in Mathematics. We are building an endowment for the scholarship so that it will benefit graduating Red Hook seniors for many years to come. The first Strever Scholarship of $500 was awarded on June 2, 2011. To donate to the Strever Scholarship make a check out to “The Martha Strever Scholarship” and send it to:
The Red Hook Education Foundation
PO Box 2
Red Hook, NY 12571
The Martha Strever Scholarship for Achievement in Mathematics is awarded to a Red Hook High School senior who has shown outstanding success in high school mathematics classes and has chosen a college program requiring a heavy background in mathematics. A panel of faculty members reviews all applications. Funds for this scholarship are invested at The Community Foundation of the Hudson Valley. Please contact us to receive application materials for the 2012 award.
The 2011 awardee was Kristen Nugent.
During the last school year, the Foundation worked in collaboration with Bard College and Linden Avenue Middle School to develop a Debate Club. Bard College is continuing the collaboration this year, under the Trustee Leader Scholar program. Many thanks to Bard College Debate Union Coordinator Jennifer Rankin, Red Hook faculty member James Armstrong, and principal Katie Zahedi for supporting this new program.
Career and Colleges Fair:
Over 200 students and their families attended this successful community event held April 29, 2011 at the Red Hook High School. The Red Hook Education Foundation, Bard College, the Red Hook Central School District, and the Red Hook Parent Teacher Student Association partnered to support our students in planning their futures. The event featured over 40 career presentations, regional colleges and trade schools representatives, workshops on applying to college and careers of the future.
Thanks to The Palombo Group, Software Consulting Associates, Inc, TD Bank, Professional Computer Associates, Northern Dutchess Hospital, Bard College, and the Red Hook Chamber of Commerce, all of whom donated money to the education foundation, underwriting the total cost of this event.