Monthly Archives: November 2013


A huge thank you to all the generous families that contributed to the Allen AME Church’s Turkey Drive!  We were able to help 33 families have a turkey dinner this Thanksgiving.  Students received a standing ovation when they entered the church to drop off the turkeys! They were able to see the joy they spread and felt empowered  knowing that they can make a difference and spread holiday joy to families that are going through hard times.

We celebrated being thankful for this amazing middle school by having our annual “Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” Toast, pretzel sticks, ice cream and jelly beans were on the menu this morning. Forgive us if they come home a bit crazy today!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and thank you for sharing these amazing kids with us!

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Allen AME Church and Food Drive

Yesterday we had our last visit to a place of worship and were able to visit the Allen AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church in Tacoma. This church’s roots go back over 300 years to Philadelphia, where Richard Allen, a former slave was its founder. The students talked with Pastor Barrett who discussed Richard Allen’s influence on the church and the civil rights moment in the United States.

The students had the chance to work in the church’s food bank. They set up and distributed food to members of the community who need help to make ends meet.  They directly experienced the warmth of the AME community and the friendliness and gratitude of the people they were helping.  They especially enjoyed the sweet potato pies they were served!

Upon returning to school they reflected on the fact that the church is trying to distribute over 200 turkeys next Tuesday night (Nov. 26) and they quickly organized a turkey drive.If you’d like to contribute a turkey or other items, we’ll be collecting them at both the lower school and middle school next Monday and Tuesday. Other items needed are diapers, and boxed and/or canned food.

Here’s a link to best turkey deals:

Thank you in advance for anything you can contribute! The kids will personally and proudly deliver it.

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Sikh Gurdwara of Seattle

We were fortunate to be able to visit the Sikh Gurdwara today. Students were welcomed with gracious hospitality. We were able to hear the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, being chanted aloud. It is currently being read aloud for 48 continuous hours. We were given prasad, a mixture of flour, butter and sugar to share and later served snacks from the kitchen. Students were able to ask questions and were welcomed back anytime.













Parallax Experiments

Students have been working on Science experiments for the past couple weeks. First we became familiar with the concept of parallax. If you’re not familiar with parallax, close one eye and hold up your thumb in front of an object, blocking it out. Then open that eye and close the other. Your thumb is no longer covering the object. That’s parallax. Astronomers use it to measure how far away stars are. Once students understood what parallax is, they generated questions they want to investigate that test parallax. Then they chose one and constructed an experiment. Today we did a group critique where students explained their experiments to the class, and the other students asked questions and made suggestions to make the experiments stronger. One big advantage of doing the group critique is that students get to think critically about several experiments rather than just their own. So it’s great practice in experiment design. Next week students will actually be carrying out their experiments and analyzing results.