Tag Archives: Belinda Nicholson

Volunteer efforts at @The_School in the aftermath of #Sandy:

Unlike most other schools in the city, The School at Columbia University opened its doors on Thursday and Friday. A great majority of our community made it in for both days; I heard stories of people carpooling over 2.5 hours to get to school on time. Others biked in and needed to wait until the sun was up as many streets still had non-functioning traffic lights. There were teachers and students among us who were evacuated: some still are not in their own homes almost a week later, some are “camping” without electricity or hot water, and some are facing irreparable loss and heartbreaking/expensive repairs.

However, it is amazing how communities rally. Teachers invited colleagues to sleep over, commute together, clean up parks, and gather supplies to be donated. Lisbeth Uribe, science teacher extraordinaire, organized a relief effort over email yesterday. This morning, she and her son filled her car to the brim with items gathered from us: blankets, coats, boots, clothing, bedding, toiletries, toys, diapers, household utensils, bottled water and beverages, dry and canned food, and brownies. They drove to Rockaway, Queens where the items were sorted and dispatched to shelters. Here is a snippet of Lisbeth’s email to the community after returning from the trip:

The volunteers at the distribution center in Rockaway were so grateful and asked that if we make a return trip to please bring more water and cold medicine. The car ride to Rockaway was quick and easy.  We passed many incredibly long lines of cars waiting for gas.  I still have 3/4 of a tank of gas and would be happy to make another trip if we gather more donation items. They can also use volunteers to help with unloading cars, sorting items and then reloading the items onto Red Cross vehicles that take things to the shelters.
For more information about how we can help victims of the Hurricane, please go to the following links:
Support one of the initiatives the University is launching. The Office of Communications has provided this list of programs at http://news.columbia.edu/home/2946.
You can sign up to volunteer through Bill de Blasio’s Public Advocate office.

Eve Becker (8th Grade English) called to invite me to Rockaway with her on Sunday (tomorrow), and we’ll be delivering, sorting, and dispersing mountains of supplies. Joining us will be Belinda Nicholson, Middle Division Head.

*** My photos from the trip are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/specialkrb/sets/72157631935174207/

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Just had our first Tweetup at @The_School! Lots of teachers and administrators in attendance. :)

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We just had our first Tweetup at The School at Columbia University. (I was totally inspired by the iPad App Shares that Gina Marcel (@fpgina) initiated this year.) For about 45 minutes after school today, teachers and administrators joined together to talk about how we can/do use Twitter to build a PLN (be it a Personal or Professional Learning Network) and collaborate, share, learn with others.

My 3 immediate goals were for attendees to share:
1. How to find people to follow
2. What “chats” to join
3. How to use a hashtag

I showed Jerry Blumengarten’s (@cybraryman1) ridiculously comprehensive list of educational chat hashtags: http://www.cybraryman.com/chats.html

In attendance today were:
Kathryn Kaiser (@110kaiser), Primary Division Head (K-2)
Kevin Fittinghoff (@kfittinghoff), Intermediate Division Head (3-5)
Belinda Nicholson, Middle Division Head (6-8)
Don Buckley (@donbuckley), Director of Innovation
Cristina Martinez (@cmfinlay), Server Manager Extraordinaire
Karen Blumberg (@SpecialKRB), Technology Integrator (5-8)
Stacy Bolton, Director of Communications
Nadine Renazile (@infobirdie), Librarian (5-8)
Nancy Wong (@scampnyc), Math Liasion (K-2)
Joyce Tsang (@jyc_nyc), Kindergarten Teacher
Catherine Georges (@CatherinGeorges), 7th Grade Social Studies Teacher
Clarisa Leal (@leal_cm), Spanish Teacher (multi-grade)
Talia Gonzalez (@TaliaGonzalez2), Spanish Teacher (multi-grade)

Based on the success of today’s gathering, Don (my boss) suggested holding another share in two weeks. 🙂

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