News from the Garden
New Leadership at the Garden
In March of this year the brilliant and iconoclastic educator, poet and artist Ned O'Gorman died, leaving behind a vibrant, small school on W. 129th Street in Harlem. Ned spent more than 50 years bringing imagination and hope to the children of Harlem, determined that the physical poverty in which they lived would not compromise their dreams and potential.
Ned's spirit and educational philosophy live on within the school's walls. While the staff, board and other supporters continue to mourn him, all are working hard, not to fill Ned's shoes - as that would be impossible - but to resole them.
The school has carried on, as was Ned's wish, under the careful stewardship of director Alice Buchanan. Ned prepared her over the past several years to continue to implement his vision of a creative and nurturing experience for the neighborhood's kids.
"We revel in the humanities, and our children go on to great futures."
Alice Buchanan was a teacher at The Garden for six years before founder Ned O'Gorman named her Head of School last winter. Alice is a Montessori-trained teacher, who has been an educator on and off for three decades. Prior to joining The Garden, she worked in the Education Department at The Museum of Modern Art.
To create this magical, transformative place for children, Alice is joined by trainee Montessori teacher and Children's Storefront alumnus Elika Cole, as well as an assistant, former Garden parent, Michelle Wilson. Long-time staff member Frances Howard is serving now as the school's community liaison. For the first time, we have welcomed three student teachers who each work one morning a week. Continuing on from the last several years, we are fortunate to have former parents teaching our students in their area of professional expertise, including yoga, music and foreign language. Starting just this month we have a terrific new drama teacher too. These nurturing, creative opportunities enrich our daily work as we use Montessori materials in building the foundation for productive, orderly, confidence-filled lives.
New faces and voices have joined old on the Board of Trustees, including Ned's nephew, Karim Kamal. Ned's sister, Annette O'Gorman Kamal, is serving as an emeritus member of the board.
Chair, Board of Trustees
Ricardo O'Gorman Garden and Center
23 West 129th Street New York, NY 10027 ogormangarden.org
AN ORDINARY DAY AT THE GARDEN
Children enter the space to sounds of classical music, which plays throughout the day. We begin with 15 minutes of unstructured play, followed by special lessons or programs, including
yoga, music, drama and foreign language instruction taught by professional members of our community. The children then have a period of focused work -- primarily self- selected, ability appropriate tasks leading
towards academic skills. Lunch is usually provided by parents, who sign up to bring food one day a week for a month. The day could also include gardening or a field trip to a museum or other cultural destination.
Founded in 1998 by the late Ned O'Gorman, The Ricardo O'Gorman Garden and Center for Resources in the Humanities is a small, independent not-for-profit pre-school in Harlem that promotes neighborhood children's learning, imagination, creativity and self-confidence through a Montessori-inspired curriculum infused with the arts, foreign language study, gardening and yoga.
The school is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.
Board of Trustees
PRESIDENT Susan Manuel
SECRETARY Karim Kamal
TREASURER Alice Buchanan
HEAD OF SCHOOL Allegra Castellini Baldissera
Kyla Kupferstein Torres
Annette O'Gorman Kamal
The Ricardo O'Gorman Garden
and Center for Resources
in the Humanities
23 West 29th Street
New York, NY 10027