A testament to King School’s commitment to developing community partnerships, lower school students recently engaged in discussions and lessons with community leaders, authors, artists, researchers, and scientists from King and beyond.
Grade 1 students met Mayor Caroline Simmons on Wednesday, November 8, expanding their social studies unit on the concept of community to the city of Stamford. Simmons highlighted the many jobs that help a city function and commended police, firefighters, contractors, and other city workers for their important work. Students enjoyed asking Simmons questions about her career and personal life, including why she wanted to become mayor and what she likes to do with her children. After the meeting, students recorded videos for the Stamford Kindness Project, sharing ways to bring kindness to their community.
Author and Ridgefield, CT resident Julie Leung discussed her work with lower school students on Monday, November 13. During presentations in the Lower School Library, Leung discussed her book “The Truth About Dragons” with Prekindergarten through Grade 2 classes and “Paper Son” with Grades 3 and 4. Learning directly from authors and illustrators helps students make real-world connections with literature while exposing them to various cultures and backgrounds.
Each year, the Lower School welcomes a visiting artist as part of the O.P.E.N. (Originality, Personal Vision, Experiences, Novel Approaches) art experience. The selected artists typically work with students over the course of the year, culminating in a unique collective art piece.
This year, artist Muffy Pendergast has been working with students, teaching them about form, 3D shape, and construction. Students have been tasked with creating large puppets of their own design using cardboard, tape, paper mache, and paint. Work on the projects will continue in O.P.E.N. art classes through the spring. Upon completion, the puppets will be unveiled in a parade around campus incorporating music and movement lessons from lower school Music Teacher Rachel Salem.
Upper school students Grant Dietz ’24 and Science Department Chair Nick DeFelice shared their areas of expertise with special lessons for lower school students.
Grant visited the Grade 5 science classroom where he presented informative slides about the climate crisis. Grant has been researching the topic as part of his capstone senior project and caught the attention of lower school science teacher Shevon Morris, who completed a sabbatical studying the effects of climate change in Venice this past summer. Grant answered questions from students during his presentation and concluded his talk by discussing ways that people can make a positive impact on the climate.
On the opposite side of campus, Prekindergarten students visited DeFelice’s classroom where they learned about the lifecycle of the Oophaga lehmanni, the species of focus for the Frog Project in the Upper School. King’s youngest researchers were inquisitive and attentive throughout the lesson as they moved through the stages of the frog’s growth with construction paper illustrations, mimicked frog calls, observed the frogs hatched at King, and watered plants to be used in future vivariums.