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298 6th Avenue | Brooklyn, NY | 11215

Dear BFS Families,

As I left the school yesterday at dusk, I was reminded of the shift in season and all that brings for our children and families. The air was crisp and the sky that deep blue that only comes when there are no clouds in the sky and fall moves into winter.  It wasn’t late, but the light was already slipping away. A month ago, I sent you a letter speaking about the onset of this season, how we as a school live in gratitude and how the children were actively embodying shared values of kindness and community. Even the youngest among us show what connection means to them. When a child in Jitterbug was missing her mother, another came up and patted her shoulder, offering her own transitional object to help ease the sad feelings.  By the time I left the room, the two were sitting at snack and having a silly conversation over veggie sticks.

We are almost upon our first winter break, some of us have already left, and perhaps we may be taxed a little by the intensity of the season, the change in routine and the inevitable passage of milestone birthdays.  All these things can throw some of us off our game and feel alternatively exciting and overwhelming. Children thrive on consistent routines and familiar patterns. They know what to expect and feel safer for this structure.  This time of year is hardly typical and can prompt even the most enthusiastic of us to be a little more cranky and prone to tantrums (adults included!) The onset of birthdays can result in children and adults putting weight upon the occasion,  “I/You am/are a big kid now,” which can be a lot of pressure for children who are still so young.

In the classroom, we acknowledge these complex feelings by naming them and providing as much structure as we can.  Which is why, almost every class left our Holiday Sing yesterday and went to JJ Byrne to ground the children in a familiar routine!  It worked. When they all returned, they had successfully managed to gather back together into the familiarity of their classrooms.

We all thank you so much for your presence yesterday and the gifts you shared with our families and teachers. It was a beautiful way to mark the transition into break.  As I walked around the school, in and out of rooms, I saw the effort teachers and children put into creating a welcoming space for our community. The warmth from contented bellies, smiles and laughter were incredibly restorative. 
I wanted to take a moment to mark an important transition for one of our long standing families, the Rivers’ clan, who are relocating to Australia.  Over the past decade, Oliver, Elliot and Alec (Sunshine this year) all passed through our school. They are a quintessential BFS family and have been a part of our school for as long as I have been here.  This is their last week in New York; and, although I may have mentioned their departure before, I wanted to take a moment say our goodbyes and wish them joy in their new adventure.

We are sending you all joy and peace over the break and into the new year.  We could not be more blessed to be sharing this year with all of you and, on a personal note, thank you all for making my first fall as Executive Educational Director so remarkable.  Here is to the New Year and the delights and explorations to come in 2019.

Very Sincerely,

Medina Khalil

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Medina Khalil - Executive Educational Director | Mikia Eatman - Operations Director | Daniela Vancurova - Educational Assistant Director

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Brooklyn Free Space · 298 6th Avenue · Brooklyn, NY 11215 · USA

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