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



The dog days of August don't slow us down! Read on to learn about our latest Summer in Pono adventures.

Come And Follow Me...

Young Pono friend Caroline led this week's student-led class. She and her Grandma Dee read The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name, a book with a very special character—Caroline!


Artist and illustrator Bek Millhouse reviewed the silkscreening process with the older children and gave them a refresher on making paper stencils. Each student made a "mini" design that will be arranged into a group design and silkscreened. We look forward to seeing the finished result!


Bek led a class for the younger children on emotion in art. They talked about their trip to MoMA earlier in the week and discussed the idea that a work of art can make you feel something. Each child then identified an emotion and selected a colored crayon to represent it. Bek had brought a colorful felt turtle to help inspire the children, and they drew their colorful compositions with lots of feeling!


Dancer Sayoko Lale Williams and the children filled the Pono space with a swirl of colorful scarves and graceful movements.


Pono parent and yoga instructor Eric Stoneberg led the children in guided meditation and yoga practice. They are truly becoming balanced human beings!


Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch...

This week in literacy with Julietta, our younger students spent more time getting to know what, when, and why, and they also met some other common wh friends: whale, wheel, while, whine, and white. They played a dictation game with these words and later did a treasure hunt for them. They also enjoyed independent reading time. 

Our older students finished their haiku this week. They mastered this poetic style with ease! Then it was time to learn about free verse poetry. They were excited to read this new genre of poetry and spent the whole lesson reading, analyzing, and reciting!


In math this week, one group of older children continued working on more challenging multiplication problems. The other group exchanged the measuring tool they created last week for an open number line, which they used to record and explain the two and three digit addition strategies they used to solve computation problems.


Francesca led the younger children in a creative movement class this week. They joined together to move a colorful parachute up and down and side to side. Then they turned the parachute into a tent and climbed inside to sing a rousing rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."


Musician Jacob Sokolov Gonzalez returned to conduct his "orchestra" of Pono children. Jacob encouraged the children to express themselves with a unique musical voice.


Kate and the younger children played a game to review the parts of the body en español. Cabeza, brazo, mano, dedo, pierna…Bingo!


Summer in Pono is one of our favorite times of year because we welcome new and returning campers. This week we said "See you soon!" to several campers and to our summer interns, Francesca, Lieh, and Greis. The children and the interns gave speeches, enjoyed a popcorn party, and of course, joined in several really big group hugs!


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

We started our week with a trip to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), led by artist and illustrator Bek Millhouse. Bek encouraged the children to ask themselves three questions when they looked at an artwork: What am I looking at? Is it real or imagined? How does it make me feel? She guided the children to examine works by Rousseau, van Gogh, and Picasso, among others. The children were amused by Warhol's soup cans and one group found life imitating art (or the other way around?) in front of Matisse's Dance (I). The younger children also enjoyed finding creative inspiration in the museum's Art Lab, where the current theme is "Process."


On Wednesday our older children took a trip to Brooklyn Research, a lab where researchers build new technology. Co-founder Alex Dodge explained how his background as an artist informs his work in science, and he talked about wearable technology, advanced printing technologies, problem solving, and the benefits of making mistakes. He also surprised the students with puzzle kits made specially for them! Co-founders Johnny Lu and Ezer Longinus introduced the children to a new-to-them form of technology: a jukebox stocked with 45-rpm records! Johnny and Ezer then took the children into the future with a virtual reality trip to outer space. It was a thrilling visit!


Madelyn led the younger children on a tour of the High Line. They studied wildflowers growing on this former elevated railroad and observed how conditions on the High Line, including temperature and access to sunlight and water, affect the growth of plant life in this urban green space. The children also enjoyed seeing public art during their outing.


On Friday our older children headed downtown to Google's office in Chelsea. Our guide, Apurva Panse, explained how Google started with the goal of democratizing information and answered the children's questions about the company. Apurva took us through Google's computer "museum," Lego area, gaming room, and auditorium. She pointed out a "micro-kitchen" and explained the policy that no Googler be more than 150 feet from food. The children decided they could get used to working there! 


Mentorship Fridays...

Our Earth Savers had their work cut out for them this week. Julietta and her intrepid crew began tackling Chapter Eight, the final chapter of their long-awaited comic book. Might there be a musical in their future? Tune in next time!

Bek Millhouse and Zoë added finishing touches to scenery for the future performance of the songs composed during the songwriting class. They then made a series of ink drawings to create a pop-up Pono gallery!



Pono Says Hello...

Pono felt honored to participate in the Hearts of Gold Back to School Block Party on August 27th. Hearts of Gold is a charitable organization that assists homeless mothers and children in New York City transition from the shelter system to permanent homes. Hearts of Gold children received backpacks and school supplies at the block party and enjoyed food and fun activities. Pono had a hand sanitizer making station, a basketball play area, hopscotch, and lots of sidewalk chalk at the event. We enjoyed meeting new friends and celebrating the start of the new school year with them.


Pono would like to extend a big "Thank You!" to two Harlem businesses that made donations for the block party. Wild Olive Market donated boxes of fruit bars for the event. Artist and Craftsman Supply Harlem donated school supplies, including pencils and sharpeners, erasers, construction paper, crayons, and sidewalk chalk. Pono's older children enjoyed meeting the art store's assistant manager, Alphonso Ortiz, and the manager at Wild Olive Market, Tenisha Sterling, to pick up these donations for Hearts of Gold. We appreciate the generosity of these donors and are proud that we have such good neighbors in Harlem!