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Education is the pathway to the future ― and innovation is integral to paving that road. That’s why schools have a critical role to play in nurturing innovation and in harnessing its power to take us where we never thought possible.

Dwight is proud to play that role for students and faculty, encouraging them to imagine a better world today. Thanks to the support of The Dwight School Foundation, we have launched the Spark of Innovation Program to provide resources, both financial and in the form of mentors, to help take ideas for new products, businesses, public policy, and social enterprises with real-world applications from the drawing board into the marketplace.

While leading universities have created such programs in support of start-ups by entrepreneurs at the college level, we want to bring the same opportunity to students at a much younger age when imaginations know no boundaries. The Spark of Innovation Program is designed for students beginning in kindergarten through grade 12, who think outside the box and envision a better world.
 
I see hundreds of glowing embers of possibilities in Dwight students, and every day and I am reminded that if they can imagine it, we as educators owe students the chance to help make it happen. Thanks to The Dwight School Foundation and its supporters, we’re on a path to nurturing innovation beyond the classroom on a level previously unimaginable. I invite you to watch the Spark of Innovation video here to learn more.
“Working together was the key to the entire day.” Eighth grader DaJaun Piper summed it up quite well, when describing MYP Day, which was devoted to fostering collaboration, communication, teamwork, and leadership among students in our IB Middle Years Program.
 
MYP Day is an annual event designed for students in grades 6-10, specifically to bring to life concepts so that students learn things in context and in connection to their experiences in the real world. They came together this year for team-building exercises, challenging and fun activities, thoughtful discussions, and learning beyond their classroom
 
Students in grades 6-8 participated in activities related to the MYP curriculum’s Global Context Identities and Relationships, reflecting on what it means to work together as a team and what it means to be a team leader. They gathered at the Dwight School Athletic Center, where they were presented with different challenges and problems to solve using interpersonal skills and concepts learned in class to accomplish different goals together.
 
Students in grades 9 and 10 took an in-depth look at the MYP curriculum’s Global Context Fairness and Development, by discussing a variety of topics related to diversity with faculty and one another. Students selected three of eleven different sessions to attend and participated in a mix of activities and thoughtful conversations about gender roles and sexism, ageism, race, socioeconomic diversity, sexual orientation, learning differences, and physical disabilities. In addition, students looked at diversity in the media and stereotyping in advertising. Words such as “understanding,” “appreciating,” “developing an awareness of …” were critically important starting points for dialogues, where participants shared their personal perspectives.
 
Reflecting on this MYP Day program for grades 9 and 10, Eric Dale, Head of Middle and Upper School, said, “It is rare that students and faculty are given license to share their views of, and struggles with, such a personal topic. It is our hope that by encouraging our community to lean into challenging conversations and reflect on their own experiences, we will open the door for further dialogue and meaningful opportunities for service.”
 
Describing the day in greater detail, DaJaun said, “MYP Day was very enjoyable. Just being around my classmates and engaging in activities was great. We usually work together during regular school days, but this was different. We had to use communication skills to finish larger and more physical tasks….Working together was the key to the entire day. We used communication, listening, leadership, and assertiveness all throughout each activity. When we used these skills, the activity became so much easier. MYP Day gave me a chance to work with some of my classmates that I rarely work with. It was a pleasure doing activities with those I often don’t connect with. MYP Day was a huge success.”
 
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Jade Abramson and Anika Kohane are sharing a special honor, serving together as “Co-heads of Lower School for the Day.” These fifth graders are stepping into the shoes of Ms. Martha Hirschman, thanks to The Dwight School Foundation’s Spring Benefit auction, where their parents bid on this wonderful student opportunity.
 
Before assuming their roles, Jade and Anika planned some fun activities for Timothy House students in grades 1-5, including a dress-down day, which began with Jade and Anika greeting students as they entered School this morning. In addition, they went to each classroom to introduce themselves; and presided over the Timothy House Community Meeting. There, the girls handed out the weekly PYP awards and revealed their surprise ― leading the whole division in a “Just Dance” rendition of “Jailhouse Rock!”
 
Their very full day also included chaperoning Timothy House students in the after-school chorus and orchestra to the Goddard Riverside Community Center on Columbus Avenue for their performance for senior citizens. Jade and Anika will conclude by helping with afternoon dismissal.
 
Congratulations, Jade and Anika for doing such an amazing job as community leaders ― and for making Ms. Hirschman proud!
 
We asked Jade and Anika about their big day and how they feel about taking on such important responsibilities. Here’s what they had to say!
Doris Post, the woman for whom our annual oratory competition is named, first came to Dwight in 1953...
Founded in 1872 and located in New York City, Dwight is a leading private international school. The first school in the Americas to offer all four International Baccalaureate programs

for students in preschool through grade 12, Dwight is dedicated to igniting the spark of genius in every child.
Dwight School   291 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-3002   Phone: 212.724.6360