The Brick Church School


Greetings from Marie


Welcome to the Winter issue of Brick by Brick, The Brick Church School’s newsletter for parents and grandparents of alumni, adult graduates, friends of the school, and our current families. It is our pleasure to share a window into the current life of the school, with highlights from our classrooms and special school events, as well as updates about alums, and ways to stay involved in our vibrant community. We hope you enjoy reading Brick by Brick and will share it with others in the Brick family!


With kind regards,

Marie Fabian, Director

Community News & Events

The year has been filled with exciting happenings and meaningful ways for our community to gather, learn and make a difference. Here are some recent highlights:


  • We are thrilled to share that Marie Fabian was appointed the next Director of Brick! Culminating a thorough and inclusive search, the Director Nominating Committee voted unanimously to recommend Marie to the Day School Committee and Session, which voted, both unanimously, in favor of appointing her Director. Read the full announcement here.
  • The entire community enjoyed the first annual Joint Book Fair & School Store Sale. The two-day event featured Faculty book favorites and recommendations, library donation opportunities, and a special story time and craft event!
  • Our annual Parent/Caregiver Visiting Day took place in November. Families, children, and teachers enjoyed these special opportunities to visit and connect in the classrooms.
  • The Brick community participated in the New York Common Pantry Turkey Drive, the 2nd Annual Memorial Blood Drive (in honor of Breck Denny, class of 1994) and the African Dream Academy Dream Christmas Drive.

Classrooms in Action

The Story of Us, Exploring Families in the Fours

After the holiday break, the children were excited to reconnect with their peers and share stories about their time with families and loved ones. This connected beautifully with the Story of Us Curriculum. Reading a variety of books on family resulted in rich discussions during large group meeting times. In small groups, children were prompted to draw a picture of something they love to do with their family. Their words were copied by their teachers and written underneath their pictures. They also thought about families by graphing “How many people are in your family?” during morning meeting. During this activity, the children worked on a variety of math concepts such as more and less, number recognition, and counting. The curriculum also made its way into the children's play. While a few children were building with pandas and bamboo blocks, they created panda homes. A student announced, “Watch out, the cousin boat is coming this way,” driving their structure filled with panda “cousins” over to the panda family home.

Winter Study in the Twos

During their study of Winter, the children in the Twos classes collaborated in creating an Arctic mural landscape using recyclable materials they collected. They helped the teachers place and glue the materials on a large piece of cardboard. Children painted the structure in white and varying shades of blue to make it look like glaciers in the Arctic. They had to move around, leaning in or moving their bodies sideways, to make sure they painted over every corner of the mural. Children happily narrated as they worked: “I want to paint the tunnel!”, “Look! I did the TV!” (while painting the large triangle), “Let’s paint it this way!”

The Power of Singing, Music Class

Our Christmas Chapels were beautiful. Through song, the children were able to act as leaders of the service and the confidence and determination they showed were impressive. Preschoolers love to sing just for the sake of singing! At this age they are not self conscious about the sound of their voice and most are eager to sing out loud and strong. Some favorite songs at Brick are This Little Light of Mine, Love Grows, Skinnamarink and We’re Going Up. All of these songs include hand motions which help the children build on their fine and gross motor skills, coordination, body awareness and rhythmic proficiency. Singing as part of a group also promotes self-regulation, self confidence and leadership skills!

Where Are They Now: Catching Up with Brick Alumni

 

What makes a Brick education so special? While there is no one answer that would encompass all the values, traditions, and experiences that make Brick so incredible, we thought there was no one better to ask than some of our Alumni, who not only spent their formative years here at Brick but now have their children here as well. Ted Clement, John McLaughlin, and Robbie Pennoyer were in class together in 1987, and now in 2023, each has their own child here (all three are in Classroom 5 South!). We asked them to share their fondest memories of being a student here and what they hope their child will gain from being a student at Brick. We are pleased to share their answers below, along with some photos, past and present.

 

Is there a specific memory from your time at Brick that has stayed with you?

I have so many memories from my Brick childhood: cooking projects with Ms. Clark in Room 1; listening to books on tape in the lofted reading area in 5N; magical trips to the library; Mrs. Irwin's storytelling visits; acting out Peter and the Wolf under Mrs. King's expert direction. I remember the feeling of pride when friends and I built an upright piano out of the blocks--complete with long skinny blocks as the white keys and shorter ones as the black ones. Robbie Pennoyer

 

What makes you excited about having your children here at Brick?

It has brought my wife, Sarah, and me immeasurable joy to watch Lucy discover her love of learning at such a warm and nurturing school. The relationships she has built with her teachers and classmates are important building blocks for social and academic success. John Mclaughlin

 

What do you continue to value at Brick? What makes it so unique?

Brick does a wonderful job of giving young children their first experience at school, away from parents and caregivers, helping them grow, and ultimately preparing them for kindergarten. Ted Clement

 

Also noteworthy is that Ted is our current Day School Committee Chair and Robbie also serves on the Day School Committee. Alice, Cooper, and Lucy are all in Classroom 5 South with beloved head teacher Nancy Trush. Mrs. Trush previously taught in Room 1, then moved to 5 South when Room 1 became the director’s office. 

Farewell to Nancy Trush: Celebrating 30 Years at Brick

Do your memories of Brick include a Teddy Bear Picnic?  A hunt for dinosaur eggs and bones?  A transformation from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly taking place right before your eyes?  If so, you might be one of the many lucky children to have called Mrs. Trush your teacher.  For 30 years, the Brick Church School has received so much from Nancy Trush, through her teaching of children, her partnership with parents, her collaboration with her colleagues, and her dedication to the entire Brick community.  As she prepares to retire in June, we are grateful for the opportunity to express our gratitude for all Mrs. Trush has done for our school!


In Mrs. Trush’s classroom, every child is loved and respected as an individual.  Children know they are seen, heard and cared for, which allows them to comfortably explore, try new things, and express their feelings.  Children learn the importance of appreciating each other's differences and showing kindness to all.  For Mrs. Trush, it is always a priority to ensure every child loves coming to school each and every day.  Her goal is to instill in her students a lifelong love of learning and for them to leave her class feeling confident and capable, ready to take on whatever challenge or opportunity comes next.


For Mrs. Trush, her next opportunity will be to spend more time at her beloved Daniel’s Music Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by the Trush family in 2006 to empower individuals with developmental and physical disabilities through music.  She looks forward to having more time to support DMF’s amazing staff and community members and grow the foundation’s Disability Awareness Program, including The Danny Awards, a global awards show highlighting the musical talents of individuals with disabilities. 

 

As we prepare to say Happy Retirement to Mrs. Trush, we know it is not goodbye.  Brick will always have a special place in her heart, and she in ours, and she will forever be part of the Brick family.  The entire Brick community has benefitted from Mrs. Trush’s kindness, generosity, and passion for teaching. Please join us as we share our gratitude and joyful wishes for the future to a truly wonderful and extraordinary teacher, colleague, and friend.

 

To share a message of well wishes or gratitude to Mrs. Trush, click here.

Going, Gaining & Growing: Fall/Winter 2022 Professional Development


From Italy to Texas to NYC, Brick’s Faculty has been busy participating in a broad range of meaningful professional development opportunities this school year. Here are some highlights:


  • NAEYC Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., 3 Staff Members, 1 Administrator: This annual conference brings early childhood educators from around the country together to learn, celebrate, and connect around the importance of Early Childhood. Attendees experienced learning opportunities around Leadership, Emotional Development, Assessment, Learning Differences, and so much more. Our own David Bedard presented on Music in the Preschool classroom to a full house audience.
  • Reggio Emilia Study Group, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2 Staff Members: Brick teachers traveled to Italy to study with educators from The Loriz Malaguzzi Center in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The focus of this study tour was on documentation and it is used to deepen learning and make connections with families.
  • Brick All Faculty Conference, Mohonk Mountain House, New York: This powerful retreat brought the entire faculty together for reflection and learning. The staff was joined by Haakmat Consulting to kick off our reflection and study of DEIB work this year. 


In addition, Staff and Administrative Team members have attended numerous NYSAIS workshops and conferences including: Supporting Children Who Stutter, The Assistant Heads, Division Heads, and After School Directors Conference, and The Annual Conference for NYSAIS Heads of School.


Giving to Brick


The School’s Annual Appeal is the cornerstone of all fundraising, allowing us to provide the exemplary education that we have been giving to children for over 80 years. Each donation to the Annual Appeal touches every aspect of school life, and your gift creates a powerful and lasting impact on our community. As you reflect on how the Brick Church School has impacted you, we hope that you will feel inspired to be a part of our giving community. Please reach out to Lindsey Guercio with any questions.

Donate Now

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