FamilyLetter1-30-15 - The Lower Lab School

From the desk of Mr. Goldspiel
1700 3 Avenue
New York, New York 10128
(Phone) 212-427-2798
(Fax) 212-4230634
January 30, 2015
Dear Families,
This week’s SnowMageddon 2015 had all the makings of a historic moment here in NYC where we as
parents look at each other and say, “Okay we have been sitting indoors for 48 hours, have exhausted all
indoor activities, now what do we do with the kids?” However, The National Weather Service once again
encountered the theme of Kathryn Schulz’s, Being Wrong, “...[W]hen we make mistakes, we shrug and
say that we are human. As bats are batty and slugs are sluggish, our own species is synonymous with
screwing up.” My own children asked me, “Daddy does the weatherman get paid when he is wrong?”
This then led to a very fruitful conversation about how years ago before we had the satellite system used
today, people actually had to use their knowledge of science to predict the weather. To this my seven
year old daughter replied, "I think that I now want to be a ballerina-doctor-weatherman." I then reacted
with a smile, a kiss, and “I think that you'd be a very talented and kind ballerina-doctor-weatherman." Talk
about a niche! I hope that many of you had the chance to enjoy the "gift" of a day off to possibly reenact
your child's (or your) favorite scene from Disney's Frozen, go sledding, watch a movie or two with your
family, or just enjoy some extra family time. I know that I did.
During the month of February, which is Black History Month, we will be incorporating more reading,
thoughtful conversations, and work towards understanding various themes about various African
American figures and events throughout history, including integration, and celebrating diversity. Ms.
Perez and I recently purchased a variety of award winning books that the teachers will enjoy reading
throughout all grades as a read aloud to engage in conversations about these topics. Please be sure to
ask your children about this work throughout the month. I've also included a few of my favorite titles below
if you'd like to add one (or more) to your home library. If you have any suggestions as well, please send
me a note so I can share them with the rest of the school community. Furthermore, below is a clip of Dr.
Martin Luther King's famous speech from the 1963 March on Washington that I viewed with my own
children to extend our conversation about equal rights and celebrating diversity (my own children were
mesmerized and asked such wonderful questions about Dr. King, the audience, and the reason for this
Stay warm, and enjoy your weekend.
With respect,
● Freedom Summer, by Deborah Wiles, Jerome Lagarrigue
● We March, by Shane W. Evans
● Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad, by Ellen Levine
● Martin’s Big Words, by Doreen Rappaport
● Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood up by Sitting Down, by Andrea Davis Pinkney
● The Cart That Carried Martin, by Eve Bunting