A DAY AT SAMARA COMMUNITY SCHOOL
All learning in our school takes place in English and Spanish. Children alternate days in English and Spanish. 50% of the children in each class are native speakers of either English or Spanish and help each other learn the second language, fostering empathy, friendship and strong collegial bonds. For example, in math class, children learn number sense. In Kindergarten, a Spanish dominant child might be paired with a dominant English speaker and in Spanish, the English speaker can turn to his or her partner for the first line of help before turning to the teacher when practicing adding two sets of objects together during math. With this structure, children get the opportunity to help one another, and also receive help from a peer. Teachers review vocabulary in both languages and use visual aids and other supports to make language comprehensible. Teachers help children make connections with both languages and find similarities within both language structures.
The English and Spanish language arts program utilizes a balanced literacy curriculum. Children learn to read and write, sing songs, read poetry, share experiences with literature learn how to read in both languages, just to name a few. Language comes alive through books, storytelling, dramatic role-play and song.
Our curriculum is developed to achieve our mission: to develop compassionate, bi-literate and bi-cultural individuals who are able to reach high levels of success in our global community. Through hands-on experiences that require communication and collaboration, children will learn how language works all the while gaining knowledge in reading, writing, math, the arts, science and social studies. Our students engage in experiences that spark curiosity and allow for creativity and problem solving skills to evolve. As a result, we have a Spanish/English dual language program, focused on developing basic skills and deepening our children’s understanding of the world through experiences that connect their prior knowledge to new knowledge, challenging them to think deeper by asking questions.
Art comes alive in every dimension of our school every day. We incorporate visual arts, music, dance, and drama into our daily curriculum and design experiences that allow children to explore their own creativity through a variety of mediums. With the support of community arts organizations, students will have additional opportunities to engage in visual and performing arts. In learning about the Bronx River, children might paint what they see, or collect leaves to make collages or printmaking, as a way to enhance the curriculum. Drama and song brings both languages alive and allows children to feel comfortable in the second language.
Samara Community School
Our community, Claremont Village, which includes many parks and the Bronx River, is full of enriching opportunities for our children. We believe that children learn best when they are able to relate to the curriculum; drawing upon prior knowledge and making connections through relevant, real world experiences. Children spend a significant amount of time outdoors learning about their natural environment. In kindergarten, children learn about the weather and have the opportunity to think like scientists as they spend time outdoors observing the change of seasons and what they notice. Check out our current partnerships to see whom we are working with in the community. If you have any suggestions, please let us know!
Most of us have trouble getting out of bed on Monday mornings. Not at the Samara Community School. On Monday mornings, children come ready for our sing along where they have a chance to show off their voices to their family members and sing songs in both Spanish and English. Throughout the year, children learn many songs that are rich with new vocabulary in both languages and have the opportunity to practice their language skills through song. We encourage you to join us on a Monday to brighten the beginning of your week.
Swimming and Fitness
Our goal at Samara Community School is to instill the love of physical activity and staying healthy. Our children learn to swim starting in Kindergarten and through this wonderful experience, build their confidence and self-esteem as they progress through the year. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise and children love water for its calming effects and down right fun. For those that find swimming to be their passion, there is one of three registered teams in the Bronx right around the corner at the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club. Children also participate in all types of physical activity, including capoeira and yoga, organized sports and extended recess. Check out the article about our swimming program, featured in the UFT Newspaper: