Learn more about our search for a new Head of SchoolCLICK HERE

Learn more about our search for a new Head of SchoolCLICK HERE

Learn more about our search for a new Head of SchoolCLICK HERE

June 2021

Mon
21

First Day Of Summer Program

Mon
05

Independence Day Weekend

Summer Program Closed

Fri
30

Last Day Of Summer Program

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Letters from Ronnie

Stories with Pictures: A Letter from Ronnie

Dear WMS Community,

We understand that so much is going on. We continually wake up to a newsflash about the new Covid variant in NYC. Our Duane and Hudson sites have been closed for deep cleaning and only our online program carried on undeterred. We are having conversations about the timing of Pool Testing and we are thinking about how the quarantining rules differ between CDC and DOH. It’s eleven months into the pandemic and we are absorbed in these questions while so missing the early childhood experience that originally brought us to our school. We miss the wonder of being together with children physically and so, through our online program and through your educational involvement at home, we must do our absolute best to keep our precious young children engaged. And we educators believe that a great way to do that is through reading.

At this stage in their development, our children are immersing themselves in picture books. These books actually “excel at the twin arts of visual and textual storytelling”, according to a recent article in 2/21/2021 NY Times by Pamela Paul, “You’re not too old for Picture Books”.

While we expect our children will learn to read and move on to chapter books like the Harry Potter series, Ms. Paul strongly believes that the use of picture books should continue. And how could teachers and grandparents not agree? For our children, these books provide a sweet, multi-pronged approach to experiencing the world. As the article states, “While you’re reading one story, told in words, she is reading another, told through art”. And a good illustrator “does not merely reflect the words on the page; she creates an entire narrative of her own, adding details, creating story lines.”

The writer goes on to talk about how we live in a highly visual culture and if “including 21st century skills-teaching your child to communicate through a Google slide show, write code or create a video presentation-is what you’re after, then encouraging the reading of picture books serves the purpose”.

But this is getting ahead of ourselves and we know that the potential future purpose is a shadow of the real reason we love these books, which is that they “are also of the literary world’s great pleasures.” We adults still lose ourselves in Sendak’s In The Night Kitchen, search for new connections in “Good Night Moon” and continue to imagine ourselves in Dr. Seuss’ Mulberry Street. As Paul says, “What are all those manga and graphic novels and pricey coffee-table books and online comics we’re all staring at, not to mention Instagram stories and TikTok videos – if not, in essence, picture books for grown-ups? Stories with pictures.”

So yes, we will continue to discuss safety and health protocols and how we can understand infection rates and the aspects of mandated vaccinations for schools.

But right now, go and find the books that makes you smile in your child’s room and know that picture books will be there when we are done talking about Covid.

Ronnie

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