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298 6th Avenue | Brooklyn, NY | 11215
Dear BFS Families,

As we draw toward the close of the school year, we reflect upon the accomplishments achieved and challenges we have faced.  These are not limited to the growth of the children, but instead reflect our community in its totality: children, parents, teachers and administrators.  We are, after all, a cooperative community, one that values the combined efforts of its members to contribute and help shape its direction. Together we create our shared culture.
Throughout the year, we have held a number of community and fundraising events.  We began with the Fall potluck, gathered in the cold for the Book Fair, joined together to laugh and be amazed at the Animal and Magic shows, danced away the night at the Gala and then romped in the woods for the Family Camping trip.  These events solidified our sense of community and allowed us to develop deeper connection and intimacy.  These experiences are ones our children and families will remember because they resonate as a reflection of how we want to inhabit our spaces and make connection. In the classroom, children have shared stories, drawn reflections of their experiences and enacted in their play the themes and ideas developed during these moments of connection.
 For instance, forest school merged into the camping trip, back into the classroom and then back out when we gathered for our school wide field day. 

Inevitably, when a group of people come together, we bring our combined ideas. Sometimes, this effort brings conflicting points of view.  What makes us special is that we hear each other, have the difficult conversations and, then, respect the collective decision. This is not easy; and, anyone who works in an early childhood setting understands how much modeling and practice it takes to develop  these skills in children.  When we are confronted with these situations and successfully navigate them, we are putting into practice our value structure.  One of the conversations and decisions that we had to make this year was the Pre-K lunch vote.  Our results from that vote, for the school year 2019-2020 are 25 families opting out and 5 abstentions.  We know this vote brought up disparate positions in our population and required continuous discussion to arrive at our decision.  We thank all of you for your candor and willingness to engage in thoughtful dialog.  We learned how important it was to give room in the process to hear our collective voices

Our fundraising efforts represent the commitment of our families and administration to support the place where our children spend their early childhood, learning to trust themselves and discover their voices in concert with their peers. These formative years are crucial to the development of children. When we support places where children can feel safe, heard and nourished we are affirming our belief that children's experiences matter. Children are people who have value. This may feel like an obvious statement, but is a relatively new and revolutionary concept. Together, we intentionally create the culture that allows space for these beliefs.
It has been a privilege to share this year with all of you.  I am grateful for all the points of contact, discussion, warmth and kindness this community affords. Thank you for a wonderful year together. To paraphrase Dr. Seuss and make our own, "Oh, the many places (we have been and) will go..."  
Happy Summer All!

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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