The 2012-2013 school year marked our 5th year of providing a high-quality educational experience to boys in our community. Thank you for the many gifts of time, talent and treasure that helped us reach this significant milestone in our development. With your support, our dedicated faculty and staff are working in partnership with our boys’ families to live out our mission to help our students reach their full potential as students, as citizens and as children of God. Following is a brief summary of some of the highlights that made the year special:
YO-YO MA HEADLINED A LIST OF DISTINGUISHED VISITORS TO BWS
We were delighted to host dozens of visitors who were interested in seeing our work first-hand. Acclaimed cellist and virtuoso, Yo-Yo Ma visited Bishop Walker School on November 30, 2012. Ma delighted our students with an impromptu performance during which he challenged them to identify the animal sounds he beautifully created on his 300 year-old cello! He also visited each class and engaged the boys in thoughtful conversation about their dreams and the path he chose to pursue his own.
Several times throughout the year, our teachers guided their classes through a celebration of their writing skills. Students were coached in writing and illustrating stories related to a particular theme. The boys shared their stories with each other, parents and staff. The Author Celebrations are a way for our students to display their developing literary skills in front of a supportive audience. Regular trips to the public library and our continued participation in the Reading is Fundamental program helped reinforce our emphasis on the importance of literacy.
As an alternative to Halloween, BWS hosted a Storybook Celebration on October 31. Students were encouraged to dress as their favorite storybook character and bring copies of the books in which the characters are featured.
In conjunction with the celebration, BWS held a "mini-walk" in support of Samaritan Ministry’s efforts to acknowledge homelessness in our community. Boys marched around the block in their costumes, sharing stories and good cheer with our neighbors.
In an effort to expose them to the range of future opportunities that exist for them, our 2nd and 3rd graders spent a morning learning about surgery with Dr. David Reines of Inova Fairfax Hospital, while our 3rd graders participated in an externship at Howard University’s Dental School.
A CELEBRATION OF THE ARTS
In January, select BWS students participated in the opera,Amahl and the Night Visitors, at St. Albans Parish. In February, our 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders participated in a master class offered by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre at THEARC.
Our annual Christmas, Black History Month and Friends and Family Day performances met with rave reviews. During Friends and Family Day, our boys serenaded the audience in 6 languages! Our 2nd and 3rd graders’ Black History Month portraits set a new standard for artistic excellence.
IN SERVICE TO OTHERS
In our effort to help our students understand the importance of making a positive contribution t our shared communities, our 2nd graders, as part of a unit on compassion, launched a successful drive to collect needed supplies for dogs that live in the city’s animal shelters. Their work was recently highlighted in a new promotional video for the Washington Humane Society.
Not to be outdone, our 3rd graders sold lemonade and donated $280 to relief efforts for those impacted by this spring’s devastating storms in Oklahoma.
LEARNING FROM THE LAND
Our outdoor education program continued to thrive. In addition to completely overhauling the garden beds in which our boys grow a variety of spring vegetables, our Living Classroom won the prestigious Founders Fund Award from the Garden Clubs of America.
FEEDING BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT
To ensure our boys had the energy to fuel their full days at BWS, we served over 32,940 meals this school year. Our chaplaincy, community outreach and counseling programs help form a comprehensive network of support for our boys and their families.
GENTLEMEN IN TRAINING
Our growing chaplaincy and religious education program is helping our boys embrace the spiritual principles that will form the foundation of how they’ll interact with others for the rest of their lives. We’re teaching our boys to be both scholars and gentlemen. In addition to the many daily opportunities our students have to practice living out the golden rule, as part of their unit on etiquette, our 1st graders visited the Jefferson Hotel where they were able to test their skills while being treated to tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches on fine china and white linen.
SPOTLIGHT ON FAMILIES
|Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys | 3640 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE | Washington DC 20032|