Last week, the students in Ms. Kathlyn Kolenda and Mr. Nathaniel De Leon’s Silver Cluster class brainstormed all of the reasons they love Stephen Gaynor School. They then wrote individual letters to Yvette Siegel-Herzog, Gaynor’s Co-Founder and Director of Education. On Wednesday, November 17, they met Ms. Siegel virtually to share their letters with her, and to thank her for founding the school.
Head Teacher Ms. Kolenda said, “To show our thankfulness for Stephen Gaynor School, Class 505 crafted messages to send to Ms. Siegel to express their gratitude. Working closely with our speech and language pathologist, Taylor Deedy, students were able to express both verbally and in written form their feelings that Stephen Gaynor School provides a calm, inclusive and safe environment to learn and thrive.”
Jack B. wrote that Stephen Gaynor School is, “a good school because it helps kids who have learning challenges. Also the classes are smaller so it’s easier to learn.”
In his letter to Ms. Siegel, Nicholas B. said, “I love Gaynor because teachers understand me. I love Gaynor because I get the help that I need. I have a lot of good friends. I learn while having fun. I get to hang out with my friends. The classes are not too long and not too short. Thank you for founding our school.”
Julia C. wanted to let Ms. Siegel know that, “I enjoy that each and every one of us is different and unique and are allowed to be creative. I also feel supported because I get the learning that I need to be smarter. Gaynor meets me at my individual level and helps me in that way.”
Alexa S. wrote, “Stephen Gaynor School is a good school for kids who have learning challenges. The teachers are really nice! Gaynor has extra support with challenging subjects. Gaynor also celebrates uniqueness and differences. I get to see all my friends and it’s easy for me to learn.”
Ms. Kolenda also expressed her appreciation, saying, “We were fortunate enough to have Ms. Siegel virtually visit our class, so each student could personally thank her for founding our school by reading their compositions to her. Some common themes were that they felt understood by their teachers, supported in smaller classes, enjoy their friendships and are being taught at their individual level. Thank you, Ms. Siegel!”
Click below to listen to a brief audio clip of the students reading their letters.