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The North Fork Education Initiative’s second annual Share: A Celebration of Education fundraiser and cocktail reception was held last Sunday at Golden Earthworm Organic Farm in Jamesport, to benefit the Peconic Community School, a holistic elementary school that uses a project-based, arts-integrated curriculum to deepen learning and promote creativity for children ages 3 to 11. The evening was enchanting as the school shared its progressive perspective on the upcoming school year.
Supporters gathered on the beautiful grounds of the farm to hobnob, sip and nosh on locally sourced farm fare by local chefs: Michael Meehan of H2O Seafood Grill, Noah Schwartz of Noah’s, Lia Stanco Fallon of the Riverhead Project, Amelia and Michael Hegeman of Healthy Gourmet, Todd Jacobs of Fresh Hamptons, an artisanal frozen treat by Joe & Liza’s Ice Cream and pours by Shinn Estate Vineyards, Jamesport Vineyards and Blind Bat Brewery. The Golden Earthworm Farm has served as an outdoor classroom for the Peconic Community School kids, where they plant, harvest and spend time with the animals.
Lea Abrams, a respected and revered educator for 30 years, spoke about the difference between traditional and progressive education. Her speech brought me back to my first grade class where traditional methods reigned and a class activity forced me to make a choice between crawling into my shell or persevere—at the age of seven.
In 2012, the Peconic Community School opened its doors; this fall they will expand to include pre-school. “At the Peconic Community School we approach education through the lens of the child: social, emotional, spiritual and academic. And rather than being bound to one particular singular educational philosophy we are bound to the child,” says Kathryn Casey Quigley, founding member of the North Fork Education Initiative and co-executive director of the school
The Peconic Community School’s holistic approach is a powerful model for our children, for the generations to come and the community at large.
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