Challenge Day Ignites Compassion at Berkeley High

As Berkeley High teacher Shannon Erby pointed out in her Classroom Grant application for Challenge Day, “Students can be mean. Sometimes they are intentional bullies, other times they don’t realize the impact their words and actions can have on others. Unsafe and/or contentious environments are not conducive to learning.” Erby’s solution (or, beginning of the […]

A Visit to Berkeley High’s Orchestra Rehearsal

Visiting Karen Wells and Mary Dougherty’s Berkeley High orchestra rehearsal, we were pleased to observe two types of Schools Fund grants in action. The first, a contrabass clarinet, was the result of a directed gift from Another Planet Entertainment. The second was a Classroom Grant for Professional Music Mentors. Another Planet Entertainment’s Annual Gift to […]

Building Artists: Preschool to High School

Last week I had the opportunity to visit two Berkeley student art shows: one at Berkeley High and another at Franklin Preschool. The shows covered the full spectrum of student artistry, but both were gratifying and impressive in their own right. In both I found abstract thinking, narrative explorations, self-reflection, and out-of-the-box creativity. I also […]

Storytelling Festival at Berkeley High

I sat in Berkeley High’s Little Theater waiting for the Storytelling Festival to begin, listening to student conversations happening around me. Some quietly tackled math homework, others sang in Spanish, a few more chatted about their crew team. Soon one conversation melted into another, the crew kids picking up on basic Spanish phrases, exclaiming, “You’re […]