Spring 2016 Newsletter

Swing into Spring

with BWS

Reflecting on our Annual Dinner 


At our recent Annual Dinner, over 300 guests joined us in the ballroom of the historic Willard Hotel as we gathered in support of our ongoing mission to lay a solid educational foundation for the boys entrusted into our care.  
For me, a highlight of that magical evening occurred early in the program when our boys took to the stage and tenderly sang, In My Fantasy (Nella Fantasia).  One verse spoke of imagining “a warm wind that breathes on the cities, like a friend”.  Thanks to our many generous friends, the Bishop Walker School has become a warm wind that surrounds our students with the guidance, support and encouragement that is helping them develop the confidence, competence and character that will enable them to turn their youthful fantasies into futures overflowing with purpose.
Thank you for the countless ways you contribute to making our boys’ dreams come true.  I hope you enjoy reading about the many exciting things that are taking place in the life of BWS.  As always, we’d love to have you come for a visit to see our work first-hand.  Our development office is happy to arrange a personal or small group tour.

James R. Woody

Executive Director and President


Spring Time   

Spring has sprung!  And with the season, images of peeping crocuses, golden daffodils "fluttering and dancing in the breeze," and a tidal basin replete with cherry blossoms.

More importantly, however, we are reminded of the potential for fresh starts.

Every day at Bishop Walker School, but especially as we prepare for spring break, when I see the children's faces, I am reminded of their infinite possibility.  Before they are defined by society, each child is the purest expression of potential.  Genetics, community, and cultural impositions notwithstanding, the truth is that anything and everything is possible.  And because I also believe in the innate goodness of children, it stands to reason that if they are cared for in the most loving way, they will rise to meet the loftiest expectations. 

And yet, for each child, there will follow the metaphorical summer... and autumn... and winter.  Society bears down on them, parents mandate requirements for "success," and they can fall prey to underwhelming personal aspirations.  Life can become complicated. That also makes the spring of their lives that much more important.

So for us - for now - we are welcoming fresh starts!  As supporters and advocates of the Bishop Walker School mission, we owe it to each child to hold fast to this expectation.  Expecting kindness, expecting laughter, expecting confidence.  For today, start with the proposition that all children are the expression of potential and goodness. 

Happy new beginnings! 


Tawana Cook Purnell

Head of School


The Value of a Diverse Education: Field Trips  

One of the biggest strengths of the Bishop Walker School is the diverse education that our boys receive. That is clearly evident in the field trips that the students have in the coming weeks. On March 22nd, the fifth and sixth grade classes will be visiting NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.On March 24th, the sixth grade class will be visiting Ford’s Theater, and the third grade will be taking a trip to the White House.

Field trips like these help the boys visualize where their education can take them. It makes the world more tangible and provides meaningful experiences that bring education to life.  Our goal is for our students to gain a deeper appreciation for the world around them. We are fortunate to have so many resources in the Washington DC area where our young men can get exposure to politics, the arts, science, and history. We look for ways that students not only discover their own city, but how that connects to the global community.  A student interested in math and science will see that he can become a rocket scientist working for NASA. Another can see history come to life by visiting the place where one of our nation’s most loved presidents lost his life.  We hope that all of our boys can see that their dreams—no matter how large—can come true while visiting the home of the President.  Providing our students with a diverse education through field trips like these truly opens many doors for their futures, allowing them every opportunity to fully develop their unique gifts. 

Courtney Martin

March 2016


Black History Month Program 

During the closing days of February, both BWS campuses joined together for the 2016 Black History Month Program. This year’s program’s theme was From Martin Luther King to Barack Obama: Viewing Black History through Icons.  The JK class dressed as African Americans who had accomplished firsts, like Barack Obama and Guion Stewart Bluford,  the first black astronaut. Following Martin Luther King’s example, the Kindergarten Class spoke about and drew pictures of their hopes and dreams. The First Grade read a poem about the 1963 Birmingham bombing, performed a skit about Rosa Parks, and read an excerpt from Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The Second Grade dressed up as famous African Americans, like Malcom X, Muhammad Ali, and Jackie Robinson. The Third Grade performed a skit about a superhero named Kid Awesome, who helped other students by showing how their problems can be solved using things created by black inventors. The Fourth Grade demonstrated a performance art piece about black identity, inspired by the work of Hank Willis Thomas. The Fifth and Sixth Grades performed a rendition of Maya Angelou’s poem Still I Rise. The boys learned a lot about Black History while preparing for the program, and they look forward to next year! 


Upcoming BWS Events: 

Shakespeare Steps Out Student Festival

Date Forthcoming


Spring Grounds Work Day

Saturday, April 9th 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Holy Communion Episcopal Church


Politics and Prose Book Fair

Saturday, April 16th

Click HERE for more details!


Friends and Family Day

Wednesday, May 11th


Field Day

Wednesday, June 15th

Holy Communion Episcopal Church

Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys | 3640 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE | Washington DC 20032