"I love Foote through every grade, every second of it, for sure." These were the first words spoken by Levi York, a Foote School graduate of the class of 2023, when sitting down with us to discuss his 10 years as a student at Foote.
The conversation went through all different highlights of his time at the school which included a memorable field trip at the Bronx Zoo. Levi remembered the experiential learning moment as integral to the Foote School curriculum. "I think it really takes the "learning by doing" and incorporates that by learning to interact in a public environment — and also just have fun with the animals."
Levi also talked about his membership in different clubs, like the Leadership Consortium and F-STAND (Foote Students Against Negativity and Discrimination), Amnesty International, and Model Congress. Levi also reflects on the tough years when the school was shut down due to the global pandemic, when as a seventh grader he attended school, "kind of virtual, kind of mostly in-person." He was grateful for how the school handled the pandemic "because not all kids had the privilege to be able to come back so quickly and Foote really made this process so seamless in such new and difficult times."
One of the highlights of his time at Foote included working in the Community Garden, where he feels it really supplemented his classroom education. He explained, "It's not just sitting down and doing math. It's not just sitting down and reading books, but it's experiencing the world and understanding how that feels to the individual."
He also had the opportunity to try new sports as a student-athlete, participating in cross country and tennis as a first-time player this spring. Despite being an inexperienced tennis player, he found joy in competing alongside supportive friends and attentive coaches — and as an older member of the team, he valued the opportunity to connect with some of the younger athletes.
"A lot of the better players were 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who were better than me, but I got to ask for advice and learn from those who were younger than me as opposed to the younger kids only looking up to the older kids," he said. "I think more of that 'learning by doing' from the Foote School teams."
Levi also took on a co-starring acting role in the 9th grade play Eurydice earlier this year, and that experience really rounded out his education, preparing him for the next steps after Foote, both socially and academically. He agreed, "I think Foote has taught me not everything has to be serious, but there are also times where you have to sit down and do the work."
"All students are really engaged. It's really important to be surrounded by a community that is engaged in what we're doing and what we're learning."
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