RIISE Encounters…

RIISE has had the pleasure of three, no five great encounters within the last thirty days. They have been so rewarding and full of promise. An exchange of best practices was the common denominator of them all.

The first in the series of encounters was withFieldston’s Middle School Multicultural Parent Committee. RIISE was invited by Primilla Nadarsen, a mother at Fieldston who recently sat on RIISE’s Fall Boutique Recruitment Event panel. As a guest, we shared our mission, what we were up to, and what we look towards in 2012. We also learned about the committee’s achievements thus far as a group of involved parents. The middle school parents at Fieldston are committed,warm, informed, productive,and fun. We had a good time and look forward to brainstorming with them again. We closed the evening with ideas on ways to bring together the greater private independent school parent’s committees to network. One idea is to extend invitation for a fun interschool exchange in the 1st quarter of the new year. Going bowling or hitting a wine bar were the first fun ideas to come to mind. Once bonds are formed we feel a level of trust can be built for earnest exchange of best practices among parent committees as we move forward. Look out for your invitation! Thank you Fieldston Middle School Multicultural Parent Committee

The second cool encounter was with Calhoun’s Andrew Hume. As a RIISE member,Calhoun is entitled to Spotlights that illuminate their goals and successes as an independent school community. Andrew invited us to lunch in Chef Bobo’s cafeteria. This was an epic cafeteria lunch! And for the next hour Andrew shared the strides Calhoun has made this current school year. By the way, if you are stool looking to apply to a private independent school check out Calhoun, December 1 is the deadline. Read more about our visit by clicking here.

Speaking of the application process, good luck to all that have applied! And to those still on the fence you still have a little bit of time…a little bit. The admissions director at Speyer Legacy School on West 86 St., asked that we extend an invite for their final open house TONIGHT, Tuesday, November 29 at 6:15p, click here for more information. Speyer Legacy, an independent school for advanced learners is accepting applications for K-8 until December 15. RIISE looks forward to working with Speyer Legacy community. There are still some great schools looking for great candidates, but hurry.

As you may or may not know, RIISE is a grass root, organic organization started by me, Gina Parker Collins, a mom of two wonderful private independent kids of color. As a parent, I was asked to take part in a fun recruitment event. Speed dating was the set up for the recruitment event. Every 10 minutes a prospective parent engaged a current school parent about the their public, private independent or charter school.  Let’s Talk Schools hosted the event and they are talking about all of the educational options available to parents in NYC. As a parent at Riverdale Country School, I encouraged families committed to dynamic learning opportunities to apply to private independent schools despite the sticker shock of the tuition. Many schools have a strong commitment to strengthening their communities with socioeconomic diversity through financial aid.

The fifth encounter was with a dear woman named Jenny at the matinee of the play The Mountaintop. By the way, loved the play. Jenny consults schools on creating stronger environments for learning allowing  children to center themselves before joining in on the wonderful chaos of a school day or the transition from school at the end of the day. In less than 10 minutes she introduces the act of quieting the mind, of being still. Consider all of the stimuli our children face as soon as they wake up and until they go to bed. Active school days, extracurricular activities, internet, and electronics all converge as some point. As a new practitioner of a model of meditation for school age children, Jenny is going to offer this age appropriate 6 week methodology and practice to RIISE school members and students to experience. We will share the power of centering and focusing on nothing, and the creativity and peace it brings forth. Don’t you feel relaxed already? Will keep you posted on what schools and parents think about the trend and how kids react and benefit.

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