CMS Principals Beth Wardy (Sterling Elementary) and Carolyn Rodd (Huntingtowne Farms Elementary)

Date: January 28, 2014 Author: Categories: Testimonials

Principals Carolyn Rodd and Beth WardyPrincipal Carol Rodd from Huntingtowne Farms Elementary and Principal Beth Wardy from Sterling Elementary were two of the speakers at the 2013 Brooklyn Castle movie fundraiser benefitting Shalom Park Freedom School. Both schools have CMS faith-based partnerships with Temple Israel and Temple Beth El, respectively.
Nearly 200 people attended the Shalom Park Freedom School (SPFS) Brooklyn Castle movie fundraiser on April 25, 2013 at the Sam Lerner Cultural Center, featuring a chess documentary where low-income minority inner city chess whizzes with the help of dedicated parents, teachers, and administrators become the country’s leading junior high chess team and secure places in New York’s most prestigious public high schools and at colleges. But perhaps the real drama of the evening was not on the big screen but rather at the podium where Principals Beth Wardy of Sterling Elementary and Carol Rodd of Huntingtowne Farms Elementary reacted emotionally to a SPFS slideshow which showed their students enjoying enrichment during their 6 weeks of a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® literacy-based, character building program at Shalom Park: learning how to swim at the LJCC, listening to storytelling at the Levine Sklut Judaica Library, molding ceramic masks in the LJCC Ceramic Studio, learning photography in the beautiful outdoors by The Light Factory, learning about the Holocaust by participating in the Butterfly Project, dressing up for drama, stretching while doing ballet in the LJCC dance studio, cooking in the Dumas Activity Center, and learning how chess pieces move in the CJDS cafeteria. Both principals stressed that their schools are high minority schools with nearly 90% of their students living in poverty situations, and as many as 40 homeless students at each school who live in extreme crisis from day to day. Both principals credited Shalom Park Freedom School with providing 50 students from these two schools with a safe summer camp which helps 90% of its participants stave off summer reading loss – with 65% gaining one or more levels of reading comprehension after just one summer.