There is always something happening at Pono! Read about our field trips, visiting teachers, classes, and special events.


We're on the go this summer, but you can keep up with us! Just keep reading!

Come And Follow Me...

Performing artist Sayoko Williams returned to Pono this week to lead the children in joyful expression. Our space was soon filled with a swirl of color and the rhythm of finger cymbals. 


Pono parent Adeet Deshmukh returned to Pono to give a skateboarding lesson. Some of our Pono friends had never skated before, but they were soon zipping across Marcus Garvey Park with some assistance and encouragement from Adeet. We would like to give a big thank you to West Village skate shop Uncle Funkys Boards for donating skateboards, helmets, and other protective gear! That's rad!


Our young Pono friend Zuri taught a lesson about Guyana. She presented facts about this South American nation known as the "land of many waters" and pointed out areas of interest on the informative display she had made. Zuni even gave everyone a Guyanese flag, which we can wave in honor of Guyana's 50th anniversary of independence!


Dr. A led our older children in an experiment about density. She brought in a variety of liquids (including honey, dish soap, olive oil, rubbing alcohol, lamp oil, and corn syrup) and challenged the children to predict the order in which the liquids could be stacked in a density column. The excitement level grew with each new layer! 


Dr. A brought a "garden in a bag" with flowering plants from her backyard for the younger Pono friends to explore. They closely observed the different flowers and leaves and enjoyed touching and smelling them. A few stowaway insects emerged from the plants, which made the exploration even more exciting!


Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch...

Madelyn and our younger flock of friends learned about the sounds birds can make and why certain birds sing their particular songs. They also listened to birdsongs and then did their best to imitate them. We could hear a lot of crowing going on!


This week Pono parent and yoga instructor Eric Stoneberg led two yoga sessions for us in Marcus Garvey Park. The children were happy to have extra opportunities to practice their handstands!


Kate and the younger Pono amigos have been practicing their Spanish food vocabulary this summer, and as a tasty end to this unit of study they made fruit salad with uvas, piña, manzanas, plátanos, y yogur de fresa. ¡Qué deliciosa!


The older children have been working on a Kindness Project to assist the homeless in our city and have reached out to businesses in our community to ask if they can assist us. Thank you to Staples on West 125th Street for donating a gift card to cover the printing costs for information packets on resources available to the homeless in NYC. 

We are also pleased to announce that we are helping Hearts of Gold as part of this Kindness Project. Hearts of Gold works with homeless mothers and their children. Maysaa and Pono child Sulaf recently met with the founder and president of Hearts of Gold, Deborah Koenigsberger, to discuss what Pono can do. Please see below to find out one way you can help!


This week in literacy with Julietta, our younger students revisited the spelling of the word where, and they learned to spell another word in the -ere family: there. They also learned to spell the word make and relearned the fact that an e, i, or y following letter c has the power to turn it into an s. They then made a group pattern book using at least two of those three words on each page. At the end of the week they focused some more energy on their word study books and independent reading.

Our older students spent some time learning how to create an interesting acrostic poem and then had a go, with topics ranging from water to ninjas to Pono!



Madelyn led a lesson on birdwatching and then our young birders searched for and identified feathered friends in Marcus Garvey Park. They also paid homage to the park's birds by making feathered masks.


The children continued exploring ideas and strategies underlying place value within the context of taking inventory of the materials at Pono. They were invited to find ways to mathematize situations in their immediate environment. David and his group explored more mathematical concepts related to multiplication and division. Another group was introduced to the concept of division though making hand sanitizers.


Francesca led a movement lesson for the older children this week. They warmed up with an exercise called "flocking," in which everyone moved as a cluster, following the improvised movements of the person at the front of the group. Francesca then invited the children to look through books and choose sentences rich with verbs and adjectives to interpret through improvisational movement. 


You can often find our Pono friends enjoying a book or wearing a costume, and it is not unusual to find them reading a book while in costume! The children always find time for exploration, sharing, and play.


Here We Go, Pono, Here We Go...

On Monday we visited NYU’s LaGuardia Studio to learn about 3D printing. Our host, Blair Simmons, gave us a tour of the Studio’s 3D printing facilities and showed us various examples of this advanced printing technology. Blair also demonstrated the 3D scanning process as she scanned Pono intern Lieh’s face!


Before we headed back to Pono, we took time to stop and smell the roses in the lush LaGuardia Corner Gardens.


On Wednesday we hopped on the 3 train for a visit to the New York Transit Museum. Our guide, Roberto Chavez, explained how severe weather affects the subway and showed us photos of subway tunnels after Sandy. He challenged the children to fortify a model of a subway tunnel and tested its effectiveness by simulating a hurricane (i.e., pouring water over the models). Later, the children enjoyed taking turns steering a city bus and visiting the museum’s fleet of vintage subway trains. Roberto explained how operators drive subway trains and what type of training they need for their job.


Mentorship Fridays...

Our comic book team is really pulling together and showing their heroism in more ways than one. Julietta declares they're in the home stretch—there may yet be a future in Gotham!

Lieh and songwriter Zoë embellished the scenery Zoë has been working on. It is now shinier and even more colorful!


Pono Says Hello...

Join Pono at the Hearts of Gold Back to School Block Party on August 27th from 11am–4pm on West 25th Street, between Broadway and Sixth Avenue! The Pono children will facilitate some of the party's activities and will hand out school supplies they are collecting from Harlem businesses. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to join the Pono children in their Kindness Project!