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


Read on to keep up with our Summer in Pono adventures!

Come And Follow Me...

Dr. A and the older children explored buoyancy this week. She asked the children to predict if a series of objects would sink or float and then challenged them to construct an aluminum foil boat that could stay afloat while holding dried beans. There was a great deal of suspense as Dr. A added the 217th bean to Zoë's boat!


Later in the week, Dr. A and the older children conducted a chromatography experiment to separate ink into its individual colors. They used nonpermanent markers to draw dots on filter paper and then suspended the paper in water. For permanent markers, they used rubbing alcohol as a solvent. The children were fascinated as they watched colors separate and travel up the strips. They were especially surprised to learn how many colors make up black ink!


Pono parent and chef George Duran set up a work station in the Pono kitchen and demonstrated how to make summer rolls. (Or should we say "Summer in Pono" rolls?!) The children soon mastered the art of filling their rice wrappers with the perfect balance of vermicelli noodles, shrimp, and fresh veggies and were ready to roll, just in time for lunch! Yum!


Dr. Magda Teter, Professor of History at Fordham University, returned to Pono to continue talking with the older children about the history of books and how they have changed in both format and content over many centuries. She explained how books came to have title pages and eye-catching bindings and examined how local contexts influenced the way information was preserved and accessed. Dr. Teter brought in Jewish and Christian books, printed and in manuscript, some on parchment scrolls. She invited the children to touch books printed hundreds of years ago, as far back as the 1460s. As she put it, the children "touched real history."


The younger Pono children enjoyed showtime with Maki! Actor Makiko Miyai played the role of a baby; read a Japanese story about an exceptionally strong toddler; and invited the children to decorate babyfaced masks. The children and Maki engaged in various imaginative scenarios, including buying ice cream from an ice-cream truck vendor and cooking an onion (played by Kate, making her root vegetable debut).


Dr. Martha Eddy, the director and founder of The Center for Kinesthetic Education, returned to Pono this week for neurodevelopment evaluations. She observed the children's movement coordination while they crawled, jumped, hopped and wiggled. The children always look forward to having their turn with Dr. Eddy!


Pono child Sulaf led two student-led lessons about the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi. She shared the circumstances that inspired Gandhi to fight discrimination while he was living and working in South Africa, and how he came to lead the independence movement in India. Sulaf explained satyagraha, Gandhi's nonviolent resistance movement, and the significance of Gandhi's Salt March, an important act of civil disobedience. 


Pono parent and yoga instructor Eric Stoneberg invited the children to join hands with a partner and make a safe space for practicing their yoga movements. Then they were ready to stretch, balance, and even climb the wall!


Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch...

When it's just too hot to play on the swings and slides, bubbles make for perfect outdoor fun!


On Friday the older children braved the hot pavement and walked to our neighborhood art store, Artist and Craftsman Supply. Their mission was to request donations for the upcoming Hearts of Gold Back to School Block Party, and they were thrilled with the store's quick and generous response!


This week in literacy with Julietta, our younger group finished making their Make Where There book, and read it; then they played the dictation game and acted as word detectives to identify and write these sight words.

Julietta introduced odes to the older group. They read various examples, including the poem "An Ode to Stinky Breath," and discovered myriad poetic devices. Needless to say, they had LOTS of fun with this poetic form!

Literacy specialist Jennifer met individually with our youngest students. Playing with letters and words even inspired Milai to strike a ballet pose!


Madelyn taught our younger Pono friends how to make soap! She gave them salt and a variety of aromatic ingredients, including mint, lavender, brown sugar, vanilla, and coffee beans, and the children added their choices to star-shaped molds. Madelyn poured shea butter into the molds and explained how the mixture would harden. At the end of the week, the children were delighted to take their fragrant, all-natural soap home. Cleanup time just got more fun!


In math this week the "Tomatoes" group played "Up and Down the Ladder." This game is designed to give the children experience in moving pieces up and down a "ladder," compensating while maintaining equivalence, within the context of a sleepover on bunk beds!

Some of the older children started "The Art Show," a new unit in their math studies with Maysaa. This unit focuses on the development of the open number line model within the context of measurement. The story in this unit provided opportunity for a series of mathematical investigations in the Pono space!

The oldest children, who meet with math instructor David D'Alessio, worked on the basic concept of division: quotients and remainders. Students had to arrive at their own methods for solving a real-life situation (opening a truffle store) based on their knowledge of multiplication, working backwards to arrive at a process of division. 


Francesca led our younger friends in a movement lesson. She asked the children to imagine they were a tornado, and they twisted around the room before their storm lost momentum and they shifted to gentler movements.


Madelyn, Lieh, and the younger children painted with watercolors in Marcus Garvey Park. The grassy area proved to be an inspirational setting for creating artwork. Later, they explored the field and the children shared discoveries (including an adventurous ant) with their friends.


The Pono space is home to discovery, learning, and wonder.


This week in Spanish, Kate taught the young Pono amigos vocabulary about their bodies. Then she traced each friend, labeled parts of the body en español, and the children added colorful details. 


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

On Monday we celebrated Pono friends Shohei and Caroline's birthdays with a visit to our friendly neighborhood firefighters at the FDNY Engine 35/Ladder 14/Battalion 12 firehouse on Third Avenue. They explained the work they do to keep New Yorkers safe and how they trained to be firefighters. They invited the Pono friends to climb into one of their trucks; asked them to spray water from a tank; and helped Kate don full firefighting gear. When the children saw that she could barely move with all of the added weight, they opted to try on just the hat and coat!


After our firehouse visit, we headed to Marcus Garvey Park to make giant bubble wands with sticks and yarn and blow some impressive bubbles! Later, Madelyn taught the children about a fascinating discovery, a yellow tussock moth caterpillar. 


We kept our cool this week at Pier 25 in Tribeca. The children enjoyed splashing in the water features. playing in the sandbox, and scaling new heights on the playground, while enjoying views of the Hudson!


Mentorship Fridays...

The Earth-saver comic book team is almost finished with their final chapter. Some last touches, and then it's on with the show!

Songwriter Zoë and Lieh worked on a poster announcing Zoë's future performance. It shows a lot of personality!


Pono Says Hello...

The Hearts of Gold Back to School Block Party is this Saturday, August 27th, at West 25th Street, between Broadway and 6th Avenue. Please join us in supporting this charitable organization that provides assistance for homeless mothers and their children.