Agents of Change
Nightingale-Bamford, an all-girls K-12 independent school located in New York City, has partnered with the Sisulu-Walker Charter School, a K-5 public charter school located in Harlem, NY. With a school population that is 87% on free or reduced lunch and many of its students reading below grade level, the main purpose of this partnership is to help increase literacy rates at Sisulu-Walker. As part of the Nightingale-Bamford 9th grade Agents of Change class, students receive instruction from early childhood educators on how to foster a love of learning, a level of comprehension, and a fluency in reading. The Nightingale students are then buddied up with 3rd grade Sisulu-Walker students and they work together throughout the semester. The Nightingale girls bring their own books to share with their buddies and often engage in reading and active discussions. The partnership between the Nightingale and Sisulu-Walker students not only allows for the students of Sisulu-Walker to improve their reading skills, but also it allows for the Nightingale student to learn the value of early childhood education, the significance of the charter school movement and the ability to make a change in the community.
Upper School students from Nightingale-Bamford travel each week to work with the Middle School students at the South Bronx Classical School, a college preparatory K-8 charter school based on a classical curriculum. While there, the Nightingale-Bamford students participate in fun academic activities such as skit writing and game playing. This student-driven initiative came about as a result of a Latin competition where the Nightingale-Bamford students met the teachers and students from SBCS and a relationship was formed.
Debate at Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem
Once a month from October through February, Nightingale-Bamford Upper School girls visited sixth grade students at the Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem to teach them debate. With curriculum written by the students, the girls taught all components of debate including research, argument development, strategy and public speaking. The program concluded with a formal debate, whose winner was elected by votes from the participants from both schools, demonstrating a clear improvement in their public speaking and persuasive skills from the beginning to the end of the program.
This program grew from an action plan that one student developed during her semester at the School for Ethics and Global Leadership in D.C.