All Summer the soundtrack in Windham is enhanced through free concerts funded by the Foundation including: Taiko drum performances, jazz performances like the Blackdome music concert series, and live classical performances such as the 23 Arts performances.
Category Archives: Press Release
Windham-Ashland-Jewett’s (WAJ) science club, organized by Deb Valerio, embraces another year of fieldtrips funded by the Windham Foundation. The science club is offered enriching educational fun through Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties. Each month the club can visit The Agroforestry Resource Center and The Siuslaw Model Forest to explore and reflect on the forest ecosystem. The club’s sessions offer youth a chance to brainstorm about insects, explore the benefits of compost and hunt through the forest in search of six legged critters with environmental educator, Andrew Randazzo.
As flying insect populations continue to experience drastic decline, there’s never been a more important time for young people to develop an understanding of the many roles insects play in an ecosystem. This session students were able to develop a hands-on understanding of decomposition and natural cycles while gaining beneficial exposure to the outdoors. As the school year moves forward club participants will be able to further their knowledge as they explore many more topics such as stream ecology and dendrochronology.
With plenty of festivities for friends and family, July 4th kicks off summer in Windham. It’s also the time when Windham Foundation’s sponsored programs begin to roll out. This year started off with the seventh annual concert by the OMNY Taiko drummers at the Windham Civic Center. The group, led by Grammy award winner Koji Nakamura, performed with an intensity and energy that moved the audience. As the audience cheered for an encore, the drums and harmony of the group echoed throughout Windham. The event grows with popularity each year and is truly a special treat for the community every summer. In addition to funding the Taiko Drum concert, the Foundation also contributed to group’s equipment fund.
The weeks festivities continued with Windham’s annual July 4th Parade on Main Street. Fireworks followed at Windham Mountain, also thanks to a contribution by Windham Foundation. So as another 4th of July celebration ends, the countdown for next year’s concert and festivities begin again. The fun does not stop though, summer programs funded by the Windham Foundation continue to roll out, one by one beginning with the Sugar Maples Art Explorer program, followed by the Library Reading program, July 14 Gala concert at the Windham Civic Center, the Black Dome Music Festival, and the 23Arts concert, Swingin’ the Songbook on September 1, Labor Day weekend, featuring the Catskill Jazz Factory Collective.
What a great school year it has been for the students from Windham-Ashland-Jewett’s (WAJ) Science Club. For six sessions out of the year these students got the chance to explore the Forest Ecosystem at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties’ Siuslaw Model Forest. The club participants wrapped up another great year with two sessions in June covering stream ecology as well as freshwater fishing.
With the help of Fran Martino (River Haggie Outdoors) and Deb Valerio (WAJ Teacher), CCE Environmental Educator Andrew Randazzo taught the group about the importance of water conservation. The WAJ Science Club studied stream quality by assessing macroinvertebrates, studied water temperature and PH and got a chance to learn about fish identification. Not to mention, they got to spend an afternoon fishing! For some students it marked the first opportunity they have had to get out and fish, for others it was the first time they thought of fishing through the lens of conservation. While it may be sad the club is ending for the year, no one can say our year of learning wasn’t memorable! Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties looks forward to continuing the club next year with programming on Citizen Science.
The WAJ Science Club would not be possible without the generous financial support of The Windham Foundation. Their support has enabled the science club to run for several years, offering young people an exciting chance to learn about the natural world.
Last month students from Windham-Ashland-Jewett (WAJ) Elementary School Science Club were waylayed by the rain so decided to become indoor naturalists during one of their regular sessions hosted by the 4-H Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties (CCE). Club participants got to test their powers of observation and their knowledge of ecosystems at CCE’s Agroforestry Resource Center in Acra. Participants picked one tree or plant sample to observe and sketch in their field journals. Students were invited to think about the roles that plant might play in an ecosystem as well as any potential impacts they might have.
Deb Valerio, teacher at WAJ, and Andrew Randazzo, CCE Environmental Educator helped the students connect all the plants and their functions into a forest ecosystem canvas that they created. The group overlaid the plants and sketched the animals in a manner they felt would create a healthy forest. Afterwards, they explored the impacts that development might have on the forest and created a verbal development plan that would help to minimize any negative consequences of building on the site. The WAJ Science Club would not be possible without the generous financial support of The Windham Foundation. The next session of the program is scheduled to take place in June and will cover topics related to stream ecology.