Always Learning Newsletter - June 2019

Greetings From Epiphany!

Dear Friends,

I usually open my remarks to Always Learning with highlights of the various articles, but today I want to talk to you about…money. Over the years, I have given kids the Money Savvy Piggy Bank, to introduce them to the basic idea of budgeting. Each Piggy Bank has four compartments: Spend, Save, Invest, & Give. If you have any money in your Give compartment and if now is a good time for you to make a gift to Epiphany, here is a link where you can do just that:  And, if you give right now, your gift will be matched by an anonymous donor (up to $21,000 in honor of our 21st year). Many of you have already participated in this challenge. Thank you! Our fiscal year ends June 30th, and the results of our fundraising will have a real impact in the lives of these hardworking kids.

With my fingers crossed praying for a YES, I remain as ever,

  Your Grateful Fan,

Mr. Finley's Signature.png

   The Rev. John H. Finley IV

Corporate Partner Spotlight: PNC Bank

We are thrilled to recognize our newest corporate partner, PNC Bank, in this edition of Always Learning. Thanks to our longtime and loyal friend, Jon Bernstein, PNC sponsored our Annual Spring Gala: Reflecting on Our Future, and the banks tremendous generosity translates directly into meaningful results for our students in the classroom.

 Since 2004, PNC Bank’s Grow Up Great® foundation has been helping children from birth through age five develop a passion for learning that lasts a lifetime. PNC is celebrating its 15th anniversary of the foundation which is now a $500 million initiative! We are so grateful to be one of the organizations they support. Thank you, PNC!

Epiphany Stars: Graduate Profile

Toni-Marie ‘15

This month’s Epiphany Star goes to...Toni-Marie! Toni-Marie graduated from Epiphany in 2015 with her twin brother, Taj. She loved being a student at Epiphany, particularly the relationships she built with her teachers that helped her advocate for herself and build confidence. “They had the perfect balance of being strict and down to earth.” Speaking at the Gala was also a highlight when she had the opportunity to share her story in front of supporters, faculty, and families.  

Toni-Marie recently graduated from Winsor School, where she was an active member of the community. She joined the SISTERS affinity group where she met many young women like herself and felt part of the community. She is very proud of what they accomplished this year, in particular an event with the SAFE club from Belmont Hill, where they organized an assembly to discuss the importance of being a person of color in a private school in the US.

In January, Toni-Marie will be attending Boston University on a full scholarship! She will be joining The College of General Studies, London where she will be in Boston for the first semester and then in London for 6 weeks during the summer. Toni-Marie would like to be in the medical field or possibly become a therapist. “My younger brother has ADHD, and therapy has helped him a lot. I would like to replicate that for other young people.” Although she wants to go in the medical field, Toni-Marie would first like to come back to Epiphany as a Teaching Fellow as previous Teaching Fellows have told her it’s a rewarding experience.

We are proud of what she has accomplished thus far and cannot wait to witness the rest of her journey.

Learning is Cool: Epiphany Curriculum Highlights

Building a Tiny House!

As one of their final projects at Epiphany, the 8th grade class had to build a model of a tiny house for their Religion and Math classes. The class was split into groups. Each group was assigned a certain climate and had to research different sustainable features to add to their home. The students used math to measure all the different aspects, and designed the furniture of their homes. Each group then constructed their houses using the 3D printer, laser cutter, clay from the ceramics studio, or any other material they could find in the STEM lab. “Creating our little furniture and assembling the tiny house was my favorite part,” says Naomi.

Here are some pictures of the tiny houses:

8th grade magazine publication party!

The 8th grade teachers joined forces for a final project about climate change. They had the students learn about climate change and wrote an op-ed about a topic related to climate change, including dilemmas or solutions. After two months of research, interviews, and writing, the students showcased their magazines and had a publication party with the entire school. It was great to see their final products.

Early Learning Center Corner

Our Early Learning Center (ELC) is up and running, and the babies are growing up quickly immersed in a curriculum of play, early literacy/numeracy skills, an understanding of the natural world, and self-expression. In addition to working and/or going to school, their moms and dads are involved in a number of parent education workshops. Parenting Journey, for example, helps us deliver small group and individualized parenting education focused on social-emotional wellness, including training that is specific to those who are new to our country. Parenting Journey, however, is only one of our partners. We also get valuable assistance in our work from Codman Square Health Center, Room to Grow, Jeremiah Project, Neighborhood Villages, and Metro Boston Housing.

During the research process to understand what we wanted for our Early Learning Center, the Charlestown Nursery School welcomed us with open arms and shared their strategies and best practices. Their mission is to “employ the most current research in child development and learning, to ensure the highest quality early childhood practice.”  Like Charlestown Nursery, Epiphany’s ELC is also committed to “celebrating the great potential of young children, the value of professional teachers, the importance of parent collaboration, the responsibility of service to our community, and the richness of the world beyond the classroom.”

Charlestown Nursery School is a special place, and we are grateful to them and all our partners for their inspiration and support.

Epiphany News

Congratulations Class of 2019!

On June 15th, we celebrated the achievements of the Class of 2019.  We look forward to seeing the new graduates succeed in high school and will stay connected with each of them through our Graduate Support program.

Epiphany graduates are headed to many good high schools including: Archbishop Williams, Boston Arts Academy, Boston Latin School, Cardinal Spellman, Cathedral, City on a Hill, Cristo Rey, Excel, Henderson, John D. O'Bryant, Neighborhood House Charter, and Roxbury Prep

Ashanti at graduation.

Ashanti at graduation.

Project Week

At the end of each year, our students immerse themselves  in "Project Week" where they participate in creative and educational projects developed by various Lead Teachers and Teaching Fellows. Here are some of the fun projects offered this year:

  • Anime: Students watched and discussed themes in anime, compared and contrasted anime from different parts of the globe, and read “manga,” the comic book art form that corresponds to anime. By the end of the week, they used the techniques they learned to create their own manga.

  • Cooking and Gardening: Students worked in teams to learn how to make new dishes and competed in a series of Top Chef Challenges.

  • Dj-ing: When Mr. Wilson is not at Epiphany you can find him at weddings DJ-ing. He taught a small group of kids the basics, and the music they produced was fun!

  • High School Tours: Students spent time thinking about their expectations and goals for high school, and they visited high schools in the Boston area. At the end of the week, they created a road map to visualize their upcoming middle school years and how to get to the school they want.

  • Law & Order: Students visited the Dorchester Courthouse, to learn about different career opportunities within the judicial system.

  • 3D Printing: This project took students into the workplace to learn about different jobs and careers in S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

Graduating 8th Graders go to Washington, D.C.

While our younger students were busy with Project Week, our 8th graders took a 5-day field trip to Washington, D.C. They explored our nation’s capital, visited museums, national monuments and several universities. They met Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley who talked about her path to congress.

Thank you to all of the teachers that make our D.C. trip such a success year after year!

Greenhouse Opening & Blessing 

On Wednesday, June 5 the entire Epiphany community gathered at the new Greenhouse for the grand opening and blessing of the space. We loved learning about the different projects the kids worked on throughout the year to fill up the greenhouse and gardens. It was a great event; thank you to everyone involved!

End of the Year Showcase

The performances were filled with creativity and talent as our students shared all they have worked on in their electives this semester. The 5th and 6th grade Theatre elective performed a musical that our very own Ms. Henderson, 5th grade teacher, wrote. There was lots of acting and of course, laughter...a great way to end the school year!

As the school year comes to an end, Mr. Deleveaux and the rest of the Arts Elective Teachers produced an outstanding final show! What a great way to end the school year! We cannot wait to celebrate everyone's creativity next year!

Peter Reynolds visits Epiphany

Peter H. Reynolds, author and illustrator of children's books, visited Epiphany on Friday, May 17. During the first hour of his visit, he shared his life story and how he started drawing. Then, he met with the students in our Illustration Elective to look at their work and play games together. Our students left the Assembly room inspired and ready to draw their hearts out. Thank you, Fields Corner Branch Boston Public Library, for making this possible for our students!

Career Day

On Friday, April 6th, our Graduate Support team hosted a Career Day for 7th & 8th graders at our new building, where we were joined by more than 20 professionals working in diverse fields around Boston. Following breakfast, Senior Vice President of the Team Leadership program at City Year, Stephen Spaloss, kicked off the morning with an inspiring keynote address. The students then split into smaller groups based on areas of interest, and our guests spoke to our students about their work, what led them to do what they do, and answered our students' questions about themselves and their fields.

Thank you to all the participants for sharing their moving life stories with our kids!

Farm Trip

In April, our 5th Graders travelled to Vermont for their week-long Farm Trip with Farms for City Kids! They made cheese, tapped trees to make maple syrup, milked cows, collected eggs, mucked out stalls and experienced every aspect of life on a farm. Here are some pictures of their wonderful experience.

Annual Spring Gala 2019 Recap

On Friday, April 26 we hosted our Annual Spring Gala, and it was incredible! The room was full of support and love. What an honor to celebrate our students and families with all of you.

The event was a huge success, and we owe it all to YOU! Thank you for never giving up on our students and families!

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