8th grader, Chloe Frelinghuysen, as part of her Making History project, is pleased to invite you to a limited release screening of the exceptional film: GirlRISING EDUCATE GIRLS, CHANGE THE WORLD a powerful, uplifting film Thursday, May 16th, 7pm Convent of … Continue reading
Here’s an article about Sacred Heart Sophomore Mary Grace Henry. Mary Grace honed her philanthropic organization through her 8th grade “Making History” project.
Wunderkinds 2013: Mary Grace Henry, 16
Founder, Reverse the Course
In addition to playing two sports, completing her homework, thinking about college, and socializing with her friends, Mary Grace Henry, a 16-year-old high school sophomore who lives in Harrison, runs Reverse the Course (RTC), a successful international nonprofit organization that she founded in 2008. RTC sells reversible headbands to raise money to send girls living in impoverished countries to school.
From a young age, Henry was aware that girls in other countries did not have the same opportunities she did. Her school, the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, Connecticut, had a sister school in Uganda that they raised money for through jump-rope competitions and penny wars. But she was not happy with just supporting one school; she wanted to find a way to send more girls to school so they “could be in control of their own lives” and “give back to their communities.”
After attending a headband-making class in 2008, Henry knew she had found her revenue source. She asked her parents for a sewing machine and quickly made 50 headbands to sell in her school’s bookstore. They sold out quickly, and she started selling more in boutiques, at sidewalk sales, and at craft fairs across Westchester. By 2010, she had raised enough money to send two girls to school in Uganda. Now, she has raised enough (more than $35,000) to send 32 girls in Uganda, Kenya, Paraguay, and Haiti to school for at least two years. (RTC also works with the girls individually to determine which institution they should attend.)
“It’s kind of shocking to think that I’ve lived on Earth for about 16 years, and I’ve sponsored 75 years” in tuition, she says.
Organizations such as Pencil for Hope, the Philanthropic Educational Organization, and the Girl Scouts have recognized Henry’s success and have asked her to speak at their events. She also received the Richard A. Berman Leadership Award for Human Rights from the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center. But Henry knows her work is far from over. Her short-term goal is to sponsor 100 girls, and, in the long term, she hopes to keep the organization up and running as she graduates high school and goes to college to study business or journalism.
“I think that for the rest of my life,” Henry says, “I will in some way be connected to this organization.”
► For more 2013 Wunderkinds, click here.
Our Summer Enrichment Program is offered to girls entering grades Preschool – Grade 12 in the fall. It provides students with engaging, hands-on learning experiences and offers a wide variety of options to choose from. Our goal is to stimulate curiosity and open young hearts and minds. Our learning sessions are all participatory and allow for creativity and collaborative work.
We offer programs in the following areas: music, dance, drama, athletics, arts & crafts, chess, vocabulary, creativity, yoga, fitness, Native American history, mosaics, clay, French language and culture, swimming, broadcast journalism, labyrinth design, computer programming, crochet, photography, journalism, field hockey, tennis, fun with DNA, canning and jam making, cooking, quilting, watercolors, robotics, soccer, basketball, astronomy, musical theater, lacrosse, volleyball, intro to the Middle School, creative writing, forensic DNA science, poverty – awareness and action, shadow a professional, non-fiction writing, service learning trip to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, online PSAT prep, online English.
Convent of the Sacred Heart fifth graders are taking a virtual tour of Mars as they build a rover and design a system to land the rover on another planet.
NASA Project Gives Students Virtual Tour of Mars
The Curiosity, an SUV-size vehicle, is roving the surface of Mars, collecting information on soil, rocks, and other data that scientists hope will enhance their understanding of the red planet.
Soon, students from across the country will be roving, virtually, right along with it.
Beginning Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m., Eastern time, a trio of organizations will be hosting a “virtual field trip” to Mars, which will give students and teachers detailed information on the rover’s mission and its work. The virtual program, titled “Journey to the Extreme: Your V.I.P. Pass to Mars,” also will be archived for schools’ future use, for those who miss the initial launch.
The program will include information presented by scientists and engineers who have worked on the rover project, including Leland Melvin, NASA associate administrator for education and an astronaut, and Dave Lavery, program executive for NASA’s solar system exploration and the Curiosity’s mission.
The project is a joint effort of the i.am.angel foundation, NASA, and Discovery Education. (The i.am.angel foundation was launched by will.i.am, a founding member of the musical group the Black Eyed Peas.) The virtual trip is part of an overall, five-year project called i.am.STEAM, meant to engage and inspire students through interactive projects to consider “STEAM”-related fields—or those focused on science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math.
The virtual program’s primary audience is students in grades 3-12, with a focus on middle school, Discovery officials say. While the event can be used in the classroom, they note that the archive will allow students, families, and other school officials to return to the resource after the event. Pre-virtual trip activities, which are aligned with academic standards, are available for download on http://www.iamsteam.com.
Photo of the surface of Mars courtesy of NASA.
From Greenwich Time:
There were more to the tiny worms that Convent of the Sacred Heart sophomores saw through microscopes than meets the eye.
On Monday, the students, part of the school’s science research program, were introduced to C. elegans, a worm used to study gene regulation and function. The students learned about how the worms formed the basis for cutting-edge research into aging and even cancer.
The lesson, given by visiting scientist Bruce Nash, kicked off a partnership between Sacred Heart and the world-renowned Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory‘s DNA Learning Center. The laboratory, across the Sound on Long Island, N.Y., was once run by James Watson, who, with Francis Crick discovered the double helix structure of DNA.
Each student in the science research program works for three years on an independent project. Through the partnership, students interested in exploring genetics will have the opportunity to visit the laboratory as they work on projects.
“So many of them want to go into the medical field, and several of them mentioned genetics,” said Mary Musolino, director of the Upper School’s science research program. “That’s why it’s such a perfect fit.”
The charter membership also includes opportunities for field trips to the lab, as well as summer enrichment programs. The charter membership, which costs $25,000, was made possible by gifts from the school’s Parents’ Association and by the family of Indra Nooyi.
Through the partnership, Middle and Upper School students will receive instruction from the laboratory’s scientists, as the sophomores did Monday. Nash discussed C. elegans, which he referred to as “sort of like the fruit fly of the worm world” and which have cells that behave similarly to human cells.
The students examined petri dishes of regular worms and worms with genetic mutations through microscopes. Nash explained that in research, genes of the worm have been changed, extending their lives of just a few days by 15 times.
Sophomore Lily Pillari said she became interested in genetics after reading articles to help her come up with an idea for her research project.
“It was very informative,” Pillari, 15, said of the inaugural lesson with Nash.
Pillari’s classmate, Mo Narasimhan, said she hopes to one day study the role of genetics in mental disorders, such as anorexia.
“I’d done a little bit of reading on Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, but today’s discussion was very interesting,” said Narasimhan, 16.
Nash, co-author of the textbook “Genome Science,” mainly works with high school and undergraduate students doing independent research projects, and teaches labs and lectures to students, as well as instructors.
“I think they’re great because we can give a more direct link between the students and what researchers do,” Nash said of the partnerships between schools and the lab. “It gives students a good chance at actually doing some science and doing science with tools researchers are currently using.”
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I had the great honor of attending yesterday’s REACH Prep benefit luncheon. See below for REACH Prep’s mission statement:
“REACH Prep helps motivated and talented Black and Latino students from low to moderate income families gain admission to and thrive in competitive independent schools in Fairfield and Westchester Counties and The Bronx. Upon placement, students benefit from an eight-year educational continuum–including comprehensive academic enrichment, leadership training and supplementary individual and family guidance–which prepares them to succeed at competitive colleges.”
REACH Prep scholars are chosen from a large pool of applicants; chosen participants participate in an intensive fifteen-month program including two six-week summer sessions and Saturday classes throughout the school year. There is no fee for partipation in the program as all expenses are covered through individual and corporate donations.
Sacred Heart, one of the founding members of REACH Prep, is one of twenty-five independent schools that supports the program. We currently have four REACH Prep scholars in the Middle School and look forward to having two more girls join us for the 2012-2013 school year. Yesterday’s luncheon featured information on the accomplishments of previous REACH Prep scholars and served as a great reminder of our call to provide a quality education for all children. It also reminded me of Sacred Heart foundress Sr. Sophie Barat’s words: “I would have founded the society for the sake of a single child.”
For more information, or to support REACH Prep, visit their website.