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January 2016 Newsletter
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Kicking Off 2016! 
 State of the Union, by Tawana Purnell, Head of School 


 
Three weeks ago, I watched the final State of the Union address by President Obama.  He spoke about the healthy economy, lowered unemployment rates, and various acts of courage.  What I witnessed was the fulfillment of an individual dream, the opportunity actualized in a child's always unpredictable future, and the magic of potential.  "This leader," I realize, "was yesterday's child."

Each day, as I welcome our children into the school buildings in southeast Washington, I am reminded of our greater obligation - to create the good citizens of tomorrow.  Fortunately, I have been an educator long enough to have witnessed my former charges grow up.  Predictably, most of the strong students of good character have become successful adults.  They worked hard, lived according to the general rules of society, are now gainfully employed and taking care of themselves and their families.  There are also, however, the surprises.  Many of the children from whom members of the community expected less, by some stroke of fate, also often become successful adults.  It is because someone, somewhere, eventually cared enough to inspire, to dare to expect, and to believe in them.

Each day, as our boys spend their day at BWS, I watch dedicated teachers work with them towards achieving personal excellence.  With calm discipline and a strong academic ethic, our boys are reaching into their minds and creating the building blocks of great intellects and responsible citizenship. Their young minds are expanding by leaps and bounds as they conceptualize ideas that have been deconstructed by their teachers into the most basic elements. Moreover, the real world exists here at BWS, and with it will come the ability to live without fear as budding relationships suggest a healthy regard for "the other."  These early years are, indeed, magical... 

So, as these frenetic political months ahead unfold, so too, will the lives of our youngest ones. This election will come and go quickly—as  will these beginning phases of childhood.  Make it a point to remember, then, as you think of us, that today's boys grow ever-so-quickly into tomorrow's men.  And, with our support, the best years lie ahead. 

Tawana Cook Purnell
February 2016  

Greetings from our Executive Director  
 
Winter greetings from the Bishop Walker School!  We survived the Blizzard of  2016 and are happy to be back in school learning and growing after several days playing in the snow.  There are a couple of  important events  coming up that I want to make sure  you are aware of – I hope you’ll be able to join us!
   
First, Absalom Jones Celebration: Sunday, February 7, 2016 - 3:00 pm @ Washington National Cathedral 3101 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Washington, DC. This service celebrates the legacy of the Rev. Absalom Jones, the first African American ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church in the United States. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will preach at the service. Rev. Andy Barnett of Theodicy Jazz Collective will lead the music, including a mass choir.The service is co-sponsored by St. Andrew’s, College Park, the Washington Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians, and the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. The offering will support the Bishop Walker School.

Second, our signature fundraising benefit the Bishop Walker School Annual Dinner: Thursday, March 3, 2016 @ The Willard Intercontinental Hotel Grand Ballroom 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC. Reception and Cocktails at 6:30 pm will include a silent auction with select items. Dinner & Remarks at 7:30 pm include an appearance by the Bishop Walker School Chorus. Ron Suskind—Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League—is the guest speaker. Thanks to our generous event sponsors, proceeds from the Annual Dinner directly support the Bishop Walker School and its 93 students in grades JK though 6th. Cost: Ticket prices begin at $300 and table and sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please click here for more information or contact Suzanne Burrows, Director of Development, at 202-591-3074 or sburrows@bishopwalkerschool.org.

I hope to connect with you personally at one of these events.  Thank you for helping us encourage boys of limited economic means to achieve academically and develop the personal leadership skills that will serve them throughout their lives. We appreciate your support and value our partnership.   
All the best, 

James R. Woody
Executive Director and President  
 
Fourth and Fifth Grade Field Trip, by Courtney Martin
 

On November 4, the 5th and 6th grade students ventured to the Howard University- Beltsville campus. They spent time at the Beltsville Center for Climate Systems Operations, which was established at Howard University through a cooperative agreement with NASA in 2008 to promote research and education in the study of atmospheric sciences.

The boys spent their time participating in hands-on activities where they studied the effects of air pollution and also predicting weather conditions. Students were able to experiment with state of the art scientific equipment while learning from experts in their fields.  The boys were able to have this experience due to the thoughtfulness and generosity of one our lunch buddies, Dr. James Turner—the director of the Percy Julian Institute. The Institute works along with the Daniel Alexander Payne Community Development Corporation to provide STEM opportunities to elementary schools. We are excited to be a partner with this wonderful organization and look forward to stimulating STEM field trips in the future.

Courtney Martin
February 2016
   

Photos from Other BWS Events
 
Junior Kindergarten’s Writer’s Workshop Celebration

A JK student holding the book that he wrote and illustrated

 
Another JK student reading his book to one of the classroom parents

 
  The JK class and their teacher, Ms. Gaines
 
Roots of Empathy

The second grade class listening to Mr. Davis


  Several boys talking to Baby Peter

 
The boys were excited to ask questions about “their” baby

Upcoming BWS Events:
 
Absalom Jones Service: Sunday, February 7, 2016 – 3:00pm
at Washington National Cathedral
 
Black History Month Program: Friday, February 26, 2016 – 10:30am
at the Holy Communion Campus
 
The Bishop Walker School Annual Dinner: Thursday, March 3, 2016
Reception – 6:30pm & Dinner – 7:30pm
at The Willard Intercontinental Hotel Grand Ballroom
Click HERE to view the Annual Dinner Invitation
Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys | 3640 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE | Washington DC 20032