Get ready to race those horses. At the start of this year’s old-time themed Edgewood Fair on Saturday, May 11 from 11am to 3pm, classes will watch their decorated styrofoam horses in a Derby. Think: a game board sprint where each class spins to advance their horse. Winning class gets an ice cream party and extra recess!
Fingers crossed for good weather because fair organizers Sara Farnsworth and Sam Carter have invited a stiltwalker and an accordion player to perform. There will also be a selfie booth — say cheese in your Derby hat. Expect all of the usual activities — sand art, spin art, etc. — but with some new crafts, too. Kids are invited to make toys Edgewood kids played with 100 years ago, like Cat’s Cradle and Jacob’s Ladder.
“It will be clean old-time fun,” says Sara. “We’re going for nostalgia.”
The eats are the draw, featuring street foods. You’ll find the usual stands and more, like a nacho bar, grilled Mexican corn, a fruit kebab stand, a funnel cake stand, an Italian ice station, even fresh-spun cotton candy. And there won’t just be a bake sale. There will be a rice balls station as well as a candy table featuring vintage sweets.
And for those wanting to boost school spirit, don’t miss the Edgewood Fair Shop. There are new items are up for sale, like a blue pennant advertising Edgewood School and a blue “E” kickball.
Don’t skip the carnival games — or the Gaga pit. Says Sara: “We’re going to have a lot more games than in previous years.”
This April, the centennial celebrations continued with an Alumni Career Fair on Friday, April 5. A school-wide assembly featured two alumni, Ray Dotoratos and Billy Reilly, who spoke about their Edgewood experience. Later, students had the opportunity to interact with visiting alumni to learn more about their careers and how their lives have been influenced by their experiences growing up in Edgewood
There were a variety of alumni who shared their stories. Laura Neale of Black Kettle Farm drove all the way down from Maine to speak to the students about being an organic farmer. Another alum, Anne Cefola, spoke to students about being a poet.
Tours of the school’s pop-up museum took place that afternoon. The tours were given by third, fourth and fifth grade docents, who led visitors around the building to examine artifacts from the time capsule, maps of the neighborhood through the years, and other fascinating pieces of Edgewood history.
The Edgewood Gala took place the next evening, Saturday, April 6, at the Westchester Country Club. The sold-out event was a hit, with guests dressed to the nines (or like it was 1920) and dancing late into the evening in front of the live band.
Click here to check out many more photos from the event! If you’re interested in reprints of the photos taken by the Scarsdale Inquirer, please contact the photographer, Charles Wiesehahn, directly. He can be reached via email or at 914-629-7427.
Last year, Edgewood parent (and former PTA co-president) Sara Farnsworth had a novel idea: To organize a book swap at Edgewood School. Many of our kids read numerous books only to stack them on a shelf soon after to gather dust. “What if every parent donated a stack of books and other Edgewood kids could take them home?” Sara thought.
The first Edgewood Book Swap was a success, and inspired a new tradition at the school. This year’s second annual Book Swap, held in March, collected about 2,000 books, ensuring that every child who came to the event left with a book.
It was a feat to organize the massive selection of chapter and picture books into categories. Yoko Hayashi, the co-chair of the swap, worked tirelessly with library volunteers to categorize the titles. Once that job was complete, children were invited in to browse the selection with their classroom and buddy class.
“We had so many kids come in with their jaws dropped, saying, ‘These are free!?'” says Sara, who organized the swap with Yoko. “They were so excited.”
Every child could pick a few books, but the organizers were careful to make sure that first few classes of children didn’t clean out the entire selection of, say, Dog Man or Geronimo Stilton books. As the day wore on, children were encouraged to take additional books and since the swap was held on a half-day, parents were invited after-school to select books as well. There was some worry, Sara says, that all of the books wouldn’t find a home, and they would need to find an organization to donate the rest.
In the end, all 2,000 books went.
And since so many of the books were stamped with an Edgewood Book Swap stamp, they expect they’ll see many of the same books cycle back through future swaps. Says Sara: “A book swap really shows kids that there’s value in sharing.”
With more than 50 countries represented in the student population of Edgewood, it’s no surprise that the school’s Multicultural Fair is a big hit every year. Parents who want to share about their family’s culture set up elaborate presentations to give the students a taste of what life is like in other countries of the world.
Each class at Edgewood attends the fair for half an hour, and the students are given “passports” that they can get stamped at each table.
This year, the activities offered at the stations were a huge hit. The kids got to play games, try on clothes and masks, do some arts and crafts, hold cultural artifacts, and play instruments. Here are some scenes from this year’s Multicultural Fair.
Most families living here would agree that Edgewood is a special place. The connection that people feel in the community and at the school is something that’s truly unique. So when one Edgewood mom, Laura Bower, was tasked with writing the lyrics for a song to be performed at a school staff appreciation lunch, she decided to base it on the idea of how Edgewood is “a school more like family.”
The song she eventually wrote, called “The Edgewood Connection,” was sung at the lunch in March by PTA co-presidents Susie Smith and Heedan Chung-Goh, accompanied by Edgewood dad Ray Dotoratos on viola.
Here’s our Q&A with Laura on how she was inspired to write the song, followed by the complete lyrics and a video of the actual performance.
How did you get involved in this project?
I was speaking with PTA co-president Susie Smith, and she mentioned they wanted to do a song for the staff appreciation luncheon called “The Edgewood Connection” (based on the song “The Rainbow Connection”). I offered to help out if she needed it, and she took me up on my offer!
What is your background with writing?
I have always been interested in writing. I have stacks and stacks of journals that I started writing in when I was about eight. I took some creative writing/poetry classes in college. When I graduated from college I got a job at a public relations firm where I was constantly writing press releases, backgrounders, website content, etc. In the past few years, I have been focusing on more creative writing, and so I was happy to get the chance to work on the lyrics for the song.
What inspired you to choose the words that you did?
Susie and Heedan had collected some key phrases about Edgewood from the administration, teachers, and students. I wove those sentiments into the lyrics for the new song. One of the things that was said over and over in the comments was how Edgewood feels like a true community, and everyone looks out for each other, so I decided to make “a school more like family” part of the refrain.
What was the writing process like?
I pulled up “The Rainbow Connection” on You Tube (sung by Kermit himself!) and wrote down the lyrics, word for word. Then I swapped in the new lyrics, making sure they fit into the beat and rhythm of the song. Susie and Heedan did a great job performing it, with a beautiful accompaniment by Ray Dotoratos on the viola, at the luncheon.
The Edgewood Connection By Laura Bower
Why aren’t there more schools
schools just like Edgewood?
A sea filled with blue and white pride.
Families have stayed here
and new families move here
to make Edgewood a stop on their ride.
So we’ve been told and we all now believe it
that Edgewood’s like no other school.
We know we’ve found it
The Edgewood Connection
A school more like family.
We’re lucky our wishes
have been heard and answered
a school filled with kindness and charm.
The assemblies and concerts,
the Edgewood time capsule,
the garden and spring school fair.
A school so idyllic, filled with great teachers
and with good people who care.
We know we’ve found it
The Edgewood Connection
A school more like family.
Someday we’ll leave it,
but never forget it.
A home that’s been etched in our hearts.
We’ll always be eagles with wide open wings,
who’ve learned to soar on our own.
We’ve heard it too many times to ignore it.
It’s somewhere that we’re supposed to be.
We know we’ve found it
The Edgewood Connection
A school more like family
Edgewood parent Debby Franco is into collecting fine wines these days, but it’s all for a good cause — the wine raffle at the Centennial Gala. As part of her fundraising efforts, she set up a “wine cellar” on her front lawn to collect bottles of wine to raffle off. On the night of the big party, if you buy a $10 raffle ticket, you’ll have a chance to win one of these wine baskets stocked with a nice selection of vino.
There’s only one catch: She needs more wine for the raffle to be a success. The raffle is always a big fundraiser for the PTA, but as of Friday, Debby had collected only 10 bottles.
If you could pick up a bottle at the store and drop it at what Debby is jokingly calling her “wine cellar,” she’d be forever grateful. Leave the wine on her front lawn at 34 Edgewood Road, next to the gigantic nutcracker wearing an Edgewood T-shirt and crown. Ring the cow bell to celebrate your donation!
Hand-rolled cigars and long-stranded pearls as accessories. A craft beer tasting from a brewing company owned by an Edgewood alum. A live band. A red carpet with plenty of photo ops. And, of course, a speakeasy password to get in. Welcome to the Edgewood Centennial Gala!
This year’s special edition Edgewood Social promises to be more fun and festive than ever, styled as a Roaring 20’s affair in celebration of Edgewood’s 100th birthday. In addition to the special touches mentioned above, there will be the usual wine raffle, silent auction, and live auction, not to mention excellent food and drink.
Guests are encouraged to wear black tie with a 1920s flare. “If people want to dress in the flapper style, that would be awesome,” says gala co-chair Moira Bandsma. But she also adds that there’s no pressure to do so.
The event will be held at the Westchester Country Club and promises to be an evening to remember. The early bird special rate ends this Friday, March 22! Click here to purchase your tickets now.
To celebrate the Lunar New Year, last week Edgewood welcomed dancers from the Nai-Ni Dance Company to perform a variety of traditional and modern Chinese dances and to talk about China’s history and heritage.
The entire school watched, and some students even got to get up on stage and perform the ribbon dance!
When Lillian Murtha, an Edgewood mom, was approached by the Edgewood PTA with the task of baking 400 cupcakes — 25 of them allergen-free — for the Edgewood Centennial celebration, she didn’t hesitate. “So many kids have allergies now, my own kids included,” she says. “It’s not easy buying something from the store because you either have to read every single ingredient or give bakeries the third degree! I started baking so my kids could have treats they weren’t allergic to.”
Lillian now runs her own online baking venture, Once Upon a Lil Cupcake, specializing in nut-free and gluten-free goodies. The 25 special cupcakes she made for the Centennial celebration were also free of egg, dairy and soy. She baked all 400 cupcakes in three days — with just four cupcake pans and one oven!
Here’s what 400 cupcakes looks like:
The fondant toppers with the letter “E” were made five days in advance and the most time consuming part. “I wanted them to be perfect,” Lillian says.
So would she do it all again? “It was a lot of work. I think my kitchen was covered in a fog of powdered sugar!” Lillian says. “But I had a lot of fun making them and would gladly do it all again.”
Today, our artist in residence put the final touches on a gorgeous Centennial mosaic. Every child in the school contributed a tile to this work of art, which was also designed collectively by the school.
There are design elements that nod to Edgewood’s past, such as an apple tree (the property was once an orchard). And there are other details, such as the names of the current teachers excised into green leaves at the base of the tree.
The mosaic border is composed of national flags. These represent the ancestries of all Edgewood students who have come through the school. The mosaic is installed diagonally from what used to be the principal’s office in recent years, and was once the original library.