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Niskayuna Schools > Birchwood > Special Events/Programs

Debra Berndt, Principal
897 Birchwood Lane, Niskayuna NY 12309
Phone: (518) 344-2910 Fax: (518) 344-5610

special events/programs

Fun Fair

Learning Fair 2012 participant and exhibit
A student chose to research Emperor penguins for Birchwood's 2012 Learning Fair.

An eagerly anticipated event at Birchwood is our annual Fun Fair, usually held in March. We love playing the games and trying to win Monopoly money to earn prizes. Face painting, a staff raffle, and our favorite foods all add to the excitement. A special highlight of the evening is seeing all the former Birchwood students who come back to help run the games.

Learning Fair

Birchwood's Learning Fair, held periodically, provides an opportunity for students to pursue a particular area of interest and share this learning with others. Students may choose to work on their presentations independently, with classmates, friends or family. All work on these activities takes place outside of school. Parents provide encouragement and support to their children in developing and presenting their projects.

Information about the 2015 Learning Fair

To accomplish their learning,
students are encouraged to:

  • Decide on a question, problem or creative endeavor to explore;
  • Gather necessary information and materials;
  • Organize and analyze it to answer the question;
  • Decide on a solution or conclusion or answer; and
  • Plan and prepare a method to display the learning or share their creative work.
  • Ways of sharing include: models, mobiles, graphs, charts, dioramas, slides, videos, computers, tapes, photographs, posters, reports.

Project topics can be from from all disciplines including, social studies, science, math, language, art, music, travel experiences, hobbies, sports and more.

Summer Reading Program

Each fall a special all-school assembly is held to honor students and staff members for their participation in the annual voluntary Summer Reading Program sponsored by Mrs. Collins, Mrs. Disque, Ms. Feig, Mrs. Feyrer, and Mrs. Vermilyea.

The students who participate receive certificates recognizing their achievements and are treated to a party at the conclusion of the assembly. Fifth graders who participate for a majority of their Birchwood years and staff members who participate for five consecutive years are also awarded special Birchwood READing t-shirts.

Visiting Authors

Over the years, we've had the pleasure of having a number of distinguished authors visit our school. They include:

  • Nick Bruel - May 5, 2012
  • Nancy Castaldo - April 8, 2011
  • David A. Adler - March 16, 2010
  • Kyra Teis - April 28, 2009
  • Joseph Bruchac - March 13, 2008
  • Coleen Paratore - May 23, 2007
  • Vicki Cobb - May 23, 2006
  • Gary and Justin Van Riper - March 15, 2005
  • Charles R. Smith, Jr. - March 12 and 25, 2004
  • Liza Frenette - December 5, 2003
  • Bruce Coville - April 29, 2003