Susan Anderson, executive director of the nonprofit Town Square, knows that firsthand. She had that feeling when she began researching schools for her son more than a decade ago.
That’s why in 2008, she hosted the first Schoolfest, a showcase of all the schools north Brooklyn has to offer.
Despite the torrential downpour on Saturday, hundreds of parents and families attended the annual event. More than 60 exhibitors, including public, private, magnet and charter schools, tabled throughout the afternoon.
“I think it’s important to the community to have a resource like this, where you can come and see the schools in the area,” said Sonia Hanson, a Town Square board member. “It really brings people together, not just to view the institutions, but also to get to know each other.”
The offerings and programs in District 14 public schools are “amazing,” Anderson said. There has been an “explosion” in dual language programs that teach Polish, French, Japanese, Mandarin, German and Spanish in local schools.
Many Greenpoint schools have an emphasis on environmental sciences, given the neighborhood’s history. Other schools in the district offer green roofs, classrooms and gardens.
Some schools have magnet programs, which allow them to teach the arts, music, dance and other classes.
“The schools work together, the programs strengthen each other and the community,” Anderson said. “That’s what’s so marvelous about this.”
District 14 Superintendent Alicja Winnicki said Schoolfest not only brings schools together to highlight their programs and strengths, but also allows parents to find the resources they need for their families.
“This is a nice entry point before they do a school tour,” she said. “We value this event because our families can get information about financing colleges, school foods, opportunities for parent workshops, health benefits.”
Parents can learn all about District 14 schools, which offer dynamic and robust STEAM programs, Winnicki said.
“District 14 stands for strength in diversity,” she said. “We are a rich mosaic of families, cultures, languages.
“Our middle schools, especially in the past few years, improved greatly,” Winnicki added. “There is a seat and a match for every family in our schools because we are so diverse.”