It’s been an exciting fall at Gardner Pilot Academy, with many innovative events and activities to engage students and families in learning and enrichment. Here’s just a sample of some of our recent happenings:

On Friday, December 9, GPA hosted the first Showcase of Arts Enrichment.  Every Friday, the entire school engages in enrichment activities for the first hour of the school day. Students participate in activities like ballroom dancing, capeoira, African drumming, hip hop dancing, sports, and visual arts with the Museum of Fine Arts. Three times per year, students showcase their learning and talents in a school-wide celebration.

GPA celebrated National Inclusive Schools Week (December 5-9) with a school-wide assembly about inclusive schools, as well as a talk by Dr. William Henderson (retired principal of the Henderson School) about his personal story of overcoming visual impairment to achieve educational and career success. Dr. Henderson shared his new book, The Blind Advantage, with students and faculty.

Congratulations to our November Golden Hand Winners (pictured below)!  Each month, one student from every classroom is nominated by the teacher to earn the Golden Hand Award for consistently demonstrating the school’s core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility and Academic Achievement.  At the end of the month these students are presented an award in front of the entire school at our monthly assembly.  Golden Hands is a part of our “High Five” program, which supports the nationally-recognized PBIS (positive behavior intervention and supports) model, in conjunction with the district’s Academic Achievement Framework.

GPA teachers Eric Meuse and Nhan Bang recently participated in a community lecture series for Earthwatch, describing their adventures on an 8-day Earthwatch Expedition, “Songbirds of the Rocky Mountains,” last summer.

Gardner Pilot Academy has been awarded a Read to Achieve grant through Read Boston and the Boston Celtics.  GPA launched the program at the school on October 31 with the Celtics dancers and mascot Lucky. All students who read five times per week for at least 20 minutes receive prizes and incentives from the Boston Celtics.