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Another SASF Chopped Challenge

Dec 28, 2017

Avocado. Beans. Celery. How would you use these mystery ingredients to create a winning dish? SASF’s second annual elementary school “Chopped” competitors were up for the task.

This year, 178X, 109K, 96Q, 362Q, 116Q, and 146Q competed in two rounds to win the title of “Chopped” champion.

Tomatoes diced, avocados sliced and Sunbutter spread across celery sticks. Each school brought a unique twist to successfully execute the main dish and dessert. Judges scored each meal based on flavor, presentation, creativity and variety.

Overall “Chopped” champions (and main dish winner): 178X

Dessert round winner: 116Q

Staff Spotlight: Meet Karina Suirano

This month, we recognize 264K program director, Karina Suirano. For the last decade, Karina has supported the needs of the SASF community from Bay Ridge and beyond. Read more about her story with SASF.

Tell us what brought you to SASF! How long have you been with us?

I have been working for SASF for over 10 years. Working for SASF is the right fit for me. The work is both challenging and rewarding.

When it comes being the Beacon Director of 264K, what are you most proud of?

I enjoy meeting the families, it allows me to assess the needs of the community and implement programs that will support and strengthen the Bay Ridge Community.

Tell me about someone who has inspired you at SASF.

Marisol Guzman is an inspiration to me.  She is open and transparent – a teacher and one who believes in your potential.

How do you keep a healthy work/life balance?

I meditate and enjoy reading a good book.

How do you define success?

Being able to inspire and encourage others to think positively and develop a growth mindset in children and adults.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

The ability to manage and support all of those around me and myself.

SASF Presents: Earthworks Mandala

Over the past season, SASF students had the chance to create “earthworks mandalas.” A mandala is a symmetrical structure organized around a center point.

Creating a group mandala is a unifying and communal experience in which people may express themselves individually while contributing to a larger, unified structure. Traditionally, Buddhists work for days to weeks on sand mandalas which they then destroy after its completion. Mandalas represent impermanence and wholeness.

Students were allowed to use sticks, rocks, leaves, flower petals, sand, berries, dirt, shells, grass, or any other natural items. They could also opt to adhere their natural items to a surface (if they wish to preserve their project) or destroy their mandala.

Credit: 121X


Credit: 382K

Credit: 590K

Credit: 376K

Credit: 207Q

Leading Through the Arts: The Power of Professional Development

Nov 28, 2017

“Workshop” did not do November 20th’s professional development day justice. Nearly 100 visual and performing arts teaching specialists gathered to take part in one of their regularly scheduled professional development days. The theme was Leading Through the Arts.

Led by the Arts Department, SASF teaching artists explored two questions:

How do we foster healthy communities?

How do we model and build effective leaders?

Through energetic and hands-on activities that utilized this school year’s theme of technology, creative art forms took on a new meaning. For example, the performing arts team looked at volume and intensity while the visual arts specialists focused on shape and symmetry.

Why do SASF teaching artists do what they do? As one staff member shared “art builds self-confidence which can help them invoke positive change in their communities.” We could not agree more.

SASF Celebrates Latino Heritage

In honor of Latino Heritage month, the Education team asked our students to rise to the challenge and write about the importance of maintaining this culture.

Here are excerpts from the winning essays!

Cuisine and accessories are an important part of culture…

“Food in Colombia has a lot of flavors and is very tasty. Colombians eat all different types of meat. They flavor their meat with a lot of seasoning, which makes it delicious. Colombians love to eat vegetables and chocolate. A very popular dish is empanadas.

…Colombians love to wear jewelry. They use their jewelry to express their creativity.”

  • Brandon Kanhai, 1st Place – P.S. 96Q

Being bilingual opens doors for all of us to learn more…

“As a Latina, I’ve realized that having Spanish as a second language has been very helpful for me in different ways and I have also found myself in situations where knowing Spanish has helped me more than knowing English. I also believe that knowing Spanish…is as important as knowing English, since Latinos are the largest minority in the United States. Therefore, I believe no Latino should be ashamed of speaking their native language.”

  • Veronica Fernandez, 1st Place – M.S. 308K

“Mexican immigrants should be able to travel out of Mexico to apply for jobs and to come across new opportunities. There are many different things that the U.S. can give to immigrants. Mexican immigrants have an advantage of speaking another language other than English. Some Mexicans who speak English also have the advantage of being bilingual. Speaking two different languages can be a big thing when it comes to applying for jobs. In my opinion, immigrants are underestimated because people think that they don’t know anything because they’ve been living in the same place their whole lives.”

  • Arianna Perez, 3rd Place – M.S. 223M

Because no one should be without a place to call home…

“…should not build the wall is because many people will have to move out if there homes. This is due to the fact that the walls location will cut straight through a lot of people’s homes in places like, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. This could also upset a huge amount of American citizens that don’t want to move out of their houses. This could also lead to rioting and multiple protests on American soil.”

  • Jordan Bartlett, 2nd Place – M.S. 680Q