Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Every American school has talented students. It’s time to start acting like we believe that.

Posted on: February 1st, 2018 by nye No Comments
Jonathan Plucker, Ph.D. February 01, 2018

Excellence gaps are among our country’s most serious problems. They widen inequality, rob students of their intellectual dignity, and cause serious cultural and economic damage due to lost talent. We need to build on this helpful report to conduct additional policy research on advanced education, use universal screening with local norms to close identification gaps, and attack the widespread bias that restricts access to high quality programming.

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​SASF’s Day of Service: Keeping the Dream Alive

Posted on: January 26th, 2018 by nye No Comments

SASF’s students created “superheroes” who stomped out segregation, marginalization, and oppression. They also experienced the joy of competition and fitness through floor hockey clinic.

Here are some of the highlights!

​Ready for #SASFspells?

Posted on: January 26th, 2018 by nye No Comments


Each elementary school grade will have the opportunity to compete in their own Spelling Bee. The day will also consist of storytelling and literacy activities for both students and families as well as an interactive game show hosted by Hollyrock Entertainment.

The Year of the Innovator: Art Day

Posted on: January 26th, 2018 by nye No Comments

Art + Technology + Leadership – Boundaries = Innovation. Art + Technology + Leadership – Boundaries = Innovation. This was the winning formula for another inspiring Art Day.

Art Day is part of the SASF Art Department’s educational series designed to build self-confidence and empowerment. Throughout the day, students from about 40 schools learned that art has the power to transform perceptions of identity and reality. This is an opportunity to use artistic expression to explore difficult social situations and work collaboratively to find solutions.

This year, the theme was “innovator in you.” The inspiring day combined STEAM with an educational, hands-on arts experience. The day concluded with a culminating event featuring fashion garments, music, dance, theater and spoken word.

With the help of professional teaching artists from all over the New York metropolitan area, Art Day was another successful occasion where over 200 students explored, created and found the innovator in themselves.

Check out some of the highlights! Credit: Ben Ko Photography

A Message from Director of Sports and Wellness: Giving Back to Brooklyn

Posted on: January 26th, 2018 by nye No Comments

The Sports and Wellness Department runs an annual Elementary School floor hockey tournament on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This event, like most sports events, showcases our diverse group of students coming together for one common goal: to have fun!  There was once a time where children from different neighborhoods and ethnicities could not do something as simple as that; where floor hockey was a focus of the day and giving back to the Brooklyn community truly stole the show.

At the event, each child took a moment to learn about what a food pantry was and the importance of eating healthy, no matter your circumstance. Everyone had a chance to design brown paper bags and fill them with healthy snacks that would later be donated to a food pantry in the same Brooklyn neighborhood. The bags included an apple, 100% juice box, granola bar and pretzels! But what made the bags special is the handwritten notes that each child wrote and put in the snack bags.

Here are a few samples:

250 bags were made. This means 250 people not only had healthy snacks, but also felt the love from one of our students. The bags were donated to Urban Strategies Inc, a Food Pantry in Brooklyn. They were so pleased to accept the donation. They shared that the messages made some of the Food Pantry clients emotional.

As you can see, compassion is something we are born with and it’s clear our children are filled with it. I aspire to be more like our SASF children – the future leaders of the world.

“ Without love, there is no reason to know anyone, for love will in the end connect us to our neighbors, our children and our hearts”

—Martin Luther King Jr.

SASF Presents: Earthworks Mandala

Posted on: January 2nd, 2018 by nye No Comments

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

Another SASF Chopped Challenge

Posted on: December 23rd, 2017 by nye No Comments

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

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor, SASF! Elect to Be Fit

Posted on: October 27th, 2017 by nye No Comments

In the United States, Election Day is set by law for the general elections of public officials. Here at SASF, we know it as Elect to Be Fit. The annual event took place at Truman High School and hosted nearly 300 elementary and middle school-aged students.

This year’s theme was Hunger Games. “The theme provided students with all skill-sets an opportunity to have fun, on an event playing field,” noted Shanon Morris, Director of Sports & Wellness. “Rotations were based on the Hunger Games’ districts and included activities that were a reflection of the district.” 

In the mining district, children participated in an obstacle course to accumulate a pile of coal. For the livestock district, they learned archery. Competitors aimed to hit the nutritious food targets and avoided the processed food ones. 

“You can have fun without playing traditional sports,” Shanon said.

Now that is for certain! See what our winners thought:

“…I finally won something. I was more than excited…at first, we did not know we were going to win. I was confused when they called out our names and then I knew – we were champions!” – Elysia B., age 9

“It feels so good to be able to participate and then win. I felt excited that we won because the teamwork always makes the dream work.” Hector O., age 9

Take Control of Your Stress!

Posted on: October 27th, 2017 by nye No Comments

Let’s face it: stress is a normal feeling we are all too familiar with both in and out of the workplace. Because we spend the majority of our time at work, getting a handle on a work-related stress can change one’s overall quality of life.  Many assume stress only comes when you are unhappy at work but no, a job can have stressful elements, even when you love what you do!

Stress can be caused by many factors, including work overload, long hours, increased pressure, big events, feeling lack of support, incompatible management styles, and much, much, more. High stress in the workplace can lead to poor decision making, increases in mistakes (which will cause even more stress), increased absences, poor eating habits, high staff turnover, increased chance of skipping the gym, and poor workplace relations.

Learning how to better manage your stress even just a little bit can make you happier both at work and home, as well as be more efficient and prevent burnout on the job. Easier said than done, right?

Ways to Manage Stress

  1. Re-connect to your why. This might sound like a cookie cutter answer, but remind yourself why you love your job is a good question to reflect on, on a regular basis. It keeps you aligned with your own mission and hopefully, the organization’s as well. Sometimes stress can push us off track. We need a reminder of our own bigger picture.
  2. Be mindful of passing on your “vibe.” Be mindful of “oversharing” when something is going wrong..  Get it off your chest and then start thinking of solutions. We can commonly share our stressful “vibe” onto others. That’s not cool either. !
  3. Feed your stress with the good stuff (literally). Skipping meals, overeating or choosing unhealthy foods during a stressful time are common effects of stress. Unfortunately, they add to the problem. . DO yourself the favor and put good fuel in your body to handle stress rather than put your body through more stress by making bad choices. Preparing meals at home will prevent you from skipping meals and picking unhealthy lunch/snack options while at work.

Tip: Making healthy changes can be challenging at work, especially when you are stressed. However, in a world full of things you can’t control, controlling what you eat can bring a great sense of accomplishment and well-being. Don’t believe me – TRY!

Click here to find foods associated with battling stress.

  1. Be on your “A” game. In order to get ahead of stress, you need to be at your best! This means: planning ahead, seeing patterns, and preparing yourself and your team. Being reactive is a big cause of stress. Try to be proactive and prepared instead. Take time at the end of the week to prepare for what you can control for the following week. When the “uncontrollable” events occur,, you are not thrown off completely and are able to pivot rather than fall.
  2. Let go of what you cannot control. You will constantly face obstacles that you cannot control. When under a great deal of stress, make a list of what is stressing you out. Put your list in two columns: those you can control and those you can not. Conquer the side you can control, not just for the problem at hand but to avoid seeing them on the list again next time.
  3. Just keep on swimming. Whatever you do, just keep moving! The brain loves when you are active ( it actually works better when you increase activity).  Take activity breaks such as 5-minutes walks or 1-min stretches. Be mindful in these moments. Consider not taking your phone. Just be with yourself for that time. We can’t always unplug for long durations but studies show even a few minutes every day can go a long way.
  4. Find your go-to de-stressor. Some people go to the gym while others enjoy a glass of wine. Many treat themselves with comfort food. Find a healthy de-stressor…why? If you are always stressed then you have an excuse to keep doing unhealthy things. Whether it’s 5-minute meditation, writing down your stresses, taking a walk, hitting the gym, dancing, playing with your kids, venting to your significant other, cooking dinner, cleaning or throwing darts, pick something that helps you and not the other way around.

Remember: where you can’t control everything you CAN control how you take care of yourself. Try just one tip listed above and in time, you’ll feel a difference in your overall wellness!