Our weekly field studies on Wednesday serve as the centerpiece of our weeks, and a crucial part of a LGCS education, which builds curiosity and competence through engaging experiences.
On Wednesday, classes board school buses around 9:30 a.m. and take short rides to our partner institutions in Brooklyn. The energy is high among students as they look forward to exploring the Prospect Park Zoo, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden or the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
At the destination, the class is often met by an educator from the institution, who leads the class through a prepared presentation. Students also have time to explore. We return to our partner institutions for three or four weeks in row, so the educators get to know our students are able to develop material from week to week.
On a trip of kindergartners to the zoo, for example, the educator brings in a ferret, and the students get to see the domesticated mammal up close. In the zoo’s Discovery Center, they’re encouraged to use their five senses as they develop their abilities to observe and imagine. They learn about the colors of animals, and how those colors help with their survival in the natural world. They pretend to be animals with puppets available in a puppet booth. Then they go outdoors to see animals. They feed the Baby Doll sheep, watch the turkeys strut by, and watch with utter glee as seals and sea lions cavort about their outdoor pool at feeding time.
Each year, we expand the number of field study partnerships with local institutions. In that way, our students will continue to broaden their knowledge, visiting new resource locations each school year.
Parent volunteers play an important role at LGCS.
The main vehicle for volunteering is the LGCS Parent Association, which organizes the school's book fair, and events for students. Each classroom has at least one class parent who helps arrange for parents to volunteer in the classroom, reading to students, or assisting teachers and aides. Parents with a particular expertise can talk with students about their specialties. They can also serve as chaperones on the weekly field-study trips to educational sites in Brooklyn.