January’s Text of the Month


For the month of January, Mr. Bender selected the powerful quote above, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Each classroom has had 3 experiences around this quote and we’d love for the conversation to continue at home.

Below are some resources about empathy – what it is, why it’s important, and how to build it:


“Sesame Street: What is Empathy?


NYC Students: What is Empathy?



Ages and Stages of Empathy from Scholastic (Pre-k through 2nd grade)

5 Ways to Raise Empathetic Children

Activities to Build Empathy

  • This example of building empathy with literal shoes is pretty great, but if you can’t get your hands on a lot of shoes, you could always discuss scenarios like these from the Empathy Game .
  • Reading picture books is a great way to start conversations around empathy. There are tons of amazing books out there but here are some to start with.
  • When reading with your child at home, you can pause and have them put themselves in different characters’ shoes and ask them questions – How would they feel? What would they do?


Once in a Blue Blood Super Moon

On January 31st we will have the privilege of seeing a wonderful celestial event – a Blue Moon, Super Moon, and a lunar eclipse (Blood Moon) will all happen at the same time! Why is this so special, you ask? Well we earthlings haven’t seen something this wondrous in 150 years!

What do these terms mean? Well, a Blue Moon isn’t actually blue, it is a term used to describe the second full moon within a month.  There was a full moon earlier in January so this will be the second one.

A Super Moon is the phenomenon in which the moon is larger and brighter in the sky, it happens because the moon is at its closest point to Earth.  At this point, the moon appears to be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than normal.

A lunar eclipse is when the moon moves behind the earth into its umbra and is bathed in the Earth’s shadow – this phenomenon can only happen when the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon are completely aligned and gives the Moon a reddish tint. (see the image below).


When can I see this Super Blue Blood Moon? 

The eclipse will be best viewed from the Western part of North America, however on the East coast we will be able to see a partial eclipse.

At 5:51 a.m. EST on Jan. 31, space observers in New York City will see the Moon enter Earth’s penumbra (the lighter, outer part of its shadow), according to Space.com. The penumbra slightly darkens the Moon, though only a little. It will touch the umbra, the darker part of the shadow which gives the eclipse look at 6:48 a.m. local time. However, the moon sets just 16 minutes later.

alex-iby-252034.jpgOh and by the way…in case you haven’t guessed…the phrase, “Once in a blue moon,” actually refers to a blue moon, or the second full moon in a month. Blue moons happen about every 2-3 years so when you say, “Once in a blue moon,” it means that it rarely happens.

“Never Lose Infinite Hope”

Dr. Martin Luther King used tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience to advance civil rights.  He was a minister, activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner and so much more. Since Monday our nation will celebrate his great legacy we wanted to share some resources with our school community.  Below you will find a playlist of MLK picture books , a link to his, “I have a Dream,” speech in its entirety, and some events going on around town this weekend.

Picture Book Playlist


I Have a Dream Speech


Activities at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan


The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. all weekend with a number of cool activities.  Please note, all but the mosaic require reservations or tickets.

  • Martin’s Mosaic
    Honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by creating a mosaic of his portrait.
    Saturday – Monday,  January 13 – 15 | 10am & 1 pm| All ages | Drop-in

    Historic Heroines: Coretta Scott King
    Create a children’s book in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King. Learn about The Coretta Scott King Book Award, given to outstanding African-American writers and illustrators of children’s literature.
    Saturday, January 13 | 11:30 am, 12:30 and 4:30 pm | 6 & Older | Sign-up
    Sunday, January 14 | 11:30 am and 12:30 | 6 & Older | Sign-up

    Jumping for Joy with the Double Dutch Dreamz 
    The Double Dutch Dreamz present an intergenerational experience sharing the fundamentals of creative athletics for jumping into twirling and swirling ropes. Join the call and response spoken word and poetry that accompany fast feet movements. The Double Dutch Dreamz have presented at Sugar Hill Children’s Museum, Apollo Theater, Smack Mellon Gallery, BAM, Summer Stage Kids, and Governor’s Island.
    ASL Sign Interpretation provided.
    Saturday, January 13 | 2:30 & 3:30 pm | All ages | Ticketed

    Musical Performance with Lia Holman
    Lia Holman shares the history of African American Music from past to present through song in this musical performance.
    Sunday, January 14 | 2:30 & 3:30 pm | All ages | Ticketed

    Museum of Impact visits CMOM
    Museum of Impact presents Upstanders Fest, a social justice extravaganza. Make art and build power with a healthy curiosity of understanding activism and the role you can play. Discover avenues to action and express yourself through artmaking, songs, games and crafts.
    Museum of Impact creates immersive experiential voyages into the heart of social movements, where visitors leave their own mark.
    Monday, January 15 | 12 – 4 pm | All ages | Drop-in