Thursday, April 28, 2016

BVP Musings has Moved!

Hello, 

If you are trying to read our latest blog or re-read and oldie but goodie, you can now find BVP Musings at our new location on our new BVP website, blackstonevalleyprep.org.

Thanks for your interest and we hope to see you at our new site!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

BVP in Six Words

"Be proud of your difference."

"BVP has changed my whole life."

"Eight hours of school, worth it."

       If you've ever tuned in during a #BVPSnowDay chat on Twitter you know that we're fans of six word stories. On these days, we often ask staff to reflect on their work at BVP through a series of tweets using only six words, but our love of six word stories extends beyond snowy days at home. 

       In our schools, six world stories (or memoirs) are included in unit plans. Last year, scholars were challenged to write a Six-World Memoir about themselves and create a visual to go with it. After seeing the potential in the project, use of these memoirs was expanded throughout our 2015-16 curriculum. The results have been fantastic and we're happy to share that our work, specifically in our 6th Grade English Language Arts Classes, has been featured on the Six Word Memoir website. We invite you to take a look and learn more about how we built this activity into our lesson plans. Click here to view the feature

Friday, April 15, 2016

Playing with the Philharmonic

       It isn't often that a child can say they have played with the Philharmonic, but thanks to an amazing program called Link Up that was developed by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute, 13,000 students in Rhode Island can now say just that. 

A musician showing her instrument to BVP scholars.
       Over the past two days, more than 300 scholars from BVP's Elementary School 1 and 2 took field trips to The Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence and participated in an interactive experience where they were guided through tuning, playing, and singing along with the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Now in it's fourth season of Link Up, the RI Philharmonic's show is high energy. Before it began, musicians walked up and down aisles with their instruments, playing short tunes for children up close. Our scholars "ooohed and aaaahed" over hearing the melodies so close and were full of excitement once the show began. 

       For weeks, our scholars, like many students throughout the state, have been practicing a selection of tunes to play along with the orchestra on their recorders. Under the direction of the conductor and host, both full of humor and making our scholars laugh throughout the show, the auditorium full of children moved from tune to tune. 

       The excitement and joy was infectious and as the children took in the opera, dancers, and energy you could tell that if the children attending didn't already love music, this was one of those experiences that would instill a life-long love of it. 

Dancers performing the can-can during the Link Up show
with the Rhode Island Philharmonic.
       Elementary School 2 music teacher, Raffi Rachdouni, has been looking forward to sharing this experience with his scholars. After the show he shared, "Whether it was singing along 'Ode to Joy' with the hundreds of other students in the room, playing Mozart's 'Nocturne' along with the orchestra or even just getting up and dancing to Rio de Janeiro's theme song, 'Cidade Maravilhosa,' our 2nd and 4th graders truly had a top-of-line musical and interactive concert experience."

       Thank you to the Rhode Island Philharmonic for including Blackstone Valley Prep scholars in this wonderful program!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Origami Bouquets for Rhode Island Hospital Patients

(Left to Right) Elementary School 3 Art
Teacher Kayleigh Smith, Artist Joyce Kutty,
and Art Director Michelle Turner. 
       Many of you may remember from attending or from reading our blog post about the event, that our recent For Art's Sake Scholar Art Show featured workshops presented by guest artist, Joyce Kutty (See the blog post here.) Throughout the day, Joyce lead groups of visitors through tutorials on how to make origami flowers. This alone was a great experience for art show attendees, but Joyce makes paper flowers for a deeper purpose beyond her love of origami.

       For the past 3 years, Joyce Kutty Designs has been crafting beautiful bouquets out of origami flowers for the patients at Rhode Island Hospital. While in school, she learned from a friend in the medical field that many patients, especially those with cancer undergoing treatment, cannot receive real flowers. Inspired to brighten the days of patients, Joyce started gifting her hand-crafted bouquets.

       The paper flowers carefully made by participants in her workshops were turned into 3 bouquets that were delivered today by Joyce, BVP's Art Director Michelle Turner, and Elementary School 3 Art Teacher Kayleigh Smith.

Joyce Kutty and Arielle Lee, nurse at The
Comprehensive Cancer Center at Rhode Island
Hospital.
       Arielle Lee, RN, BSN, and nurse at The Comprehensive Cancer Center at Rhode Island Hospital who has known Joyce throughout the three years she has been making these deliveries had this to say:
"The beautiful origami bouquets by Joyce Kutty, created in conjunction with the students from Blackstone Valley Prep, are such a wonderful and welcomed gift to our patients and The Comprehensive Cancer Center. We cannot have real flowers in our cancer center, so our patients who are facing difficult diagnoses and treatments especially appreciate this creative gift to brighten their days."
       We are truly thankful to have had the opportunity to contribute to Joyce's work and support her contributions to Rhode Island Hospital.




Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Head of School for a Day

Scholar, Savannah Benskin, acting as Head of School for a
Day at BVP's Middle School 1.
       As she did last year, Governor Raimondo invited young women in 5th through 8th grade throughout the state to enter an essay contest for the chance to be Governor for a Day. The contest, held in honor of Women's History Month, asked young ladies to answer the question "What would you do if you were Rhode Island's Governor for a Day?" Many of our scholars submitted essays. While we wait to hear who has been selected to act as Governor for a Day, we held a contest of our own. Mrs. Souza, Middle School 1's Head of School, and the middle school's deans reviewed the essays and selected a scholar to be Head of School for a Day.

       Today, with a little support from Mrs. Souza, Savannah Benskin, a College Class of 2027 scholar, took the reins and acted as Head of School. Savannah spent her day experiencing what it was like being a leader at BVP. She met with staff, provided feedback to teachers, supported lunch duty and dismissal, and even greeted scholars with morning handshakes. Ms. Souza had this to share about Savannah and her day: 


I think what amazes me the most about Savannah is the level of leadership she shows among her peers. Today gave her the opportunity to take her leadership skills and apply them by participating in leadership meetings and even providing some of her teachers with feedback. Savannah is an amazing scholar destined for greatness. We’re all so proud of her and couldn’t think of anyone better for the job.


Scholar, Savannah Benskin, with Middle School 1 Head of
School, Joy Souza.
       Savannah's essay, which can be read here, spoke to a need to set up programming throughout the state to provide middle and high school scholars with the opportunity to experience or shadow professionals in order to become more educated about potential career paths to consider. When asked for her thoughts on the need for a program like this she said, “Young people need more chances to interact with different jobs and careers out there that they might not see in their day to day lives. I think if they had the chance to see what they could be it would be good for them.” We couldn't agree more. Congratulations to our Head of School for a Day! We're so proud of you!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

For Art's Sake 2016

BVP art teachers (left to right) Kayleigh Smith, 
Nicole Delanos, Michelle Turner, Whitney Bates, 
and Katelyn Guignard.
       This past weekend the BVP and friends gathered to celebrate our artistic community. For Art's Sake, our annual scholar art show and artisan fair, puts artwork on display for every scholar at BVP. Which means that this weekend we showcased over 1,400 pieces of artwork including photography, paintings, sculptures, and more. 

       The festivities began with our opening reception, held the evening before the scholar art show. This event collects proceeds to underwrite Saturday’s free scholar art show for families and the greater community through ticket sales, a silent auction, and in-kind donations. The evening was a great success thanks to the proceeds and items generously donated by area businesses, local artisans, and supporters.


A young visitor painting at a creation station.
       The next day, our scholar art show was bustling with scholars excited to share their artwork with family, shoppers visiting artisans selling handcrafted items, and guests participating in creation stations to make art throughout the day. Among the activities available were workshops presented by our guest artist, Joyce Kutty. Joyce taught participants how to make origami flowers that will be arranged into bouquets and donated to patients at Rhode Island Hospital.


Visitors enjoying our scholar art gallery.

       Overall, this year's art show was a success! Not only will proceeds support our ongoing art program, but this annual event helps us build community among our entire network and celebrate the hard work of our scholars and staff. Thank you to everyone who attended and showed support for this important facet of our programming and community.

To view more photos, click here for our gallery