Narrative 4 Story Exchange Takes Root at Packer

Packer’s professional community returned to school on August 29 and participated in a story exchange based on the model developed by Narrative 4, an organization that strives to “build a community of empathic global citizens who improve the world through the exchange of personal narratives.” Narrative 4 story exchanges have brought together students from public and private high schools in the Bronx as well as gun proponents and victims of gun violence.

In Spring 2017 the Blackburne Library partnered with the Upper School’s ArtWorks for Youth club to host a Narrative 4 story exchange training for a group of students and professionals. The story exchange has been a defining part of Packer’s South Africa Spring Break program for several years, and students who have participated in the program have been eager to bring the story exchange to the wider Packer Community. In addition to this year’s opening-of-school professionals workshop, Upper School student leaders participated in a story exchange in June to help them recognize and appreciate that all of their peers come to school each day with a unique, but not always visible, narrative that is a vital part of they are.

Learn more about Narrative 4 by reading the New York Magazine cover story or visiting the Narrative 4 website


The 2016-17 Textbook Guide is here!

The Textbook Guide for the 2016-17 school year is now available. The guide lists all textbooks required for Middle and Upper School courses. Textbooks can purchased or rented at Packer’s online bookstore through Follett Virtual Campus. Please note, any questions about purchases, rentals, or returns should be directed to Follett at 888-382-3383.

New for this year, English texts will be ordered directly by the school and distributed in classes. Families will be billed through student accounts. This will guarantee that students have new copies of required texts in the correct editions when those texts are needed in class.

Every effort has been made to match course titles and numbers to the information listed on student schedules. Please do not hesitate to contact me or the the appropriate diversion or department head if you have questions about which textbooks to order for your child.To order textbooks you will need:

Best wishes for relaxing summer,

Andrew Parson

Author Visit: George O’Connor

On Monday, April 4th, writer and illustrator, George O’Connor will be speaking with 5th graders about his popular series Olympians! This is riding on the heels of the 5th Grade Greek Plays happening right before Spring Break. For more information on George O’Connor click Here!

You can check out the entire Graphic Novel series The Olympians at the Blackburne Library!

Summer Reading Lists for 2015-2016

We hope everyone is having a great summer and has found some time to dig into a good book! If you still need to complete your Summer Reading Assignment, here are links to the lists for Middle and Upper Schools.

See you in Septermber!

-Ms. Dorfman and Mr. Parson

Incoming Fifth and Sixth Grade Summer Reading List

Incoming Seventh and Eighth Grade Summer Reading List

Incoming Ninth Grade Summer Reading List

Incoming Tenth through Twelfth Grade Summer Reading List

Author Visit: E. Lockhart

On Friday, March 6th E. Lockhart will be speaking with grades 7-9! E. Lockhart is the author of “The Boyfriend List Series”, “The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks”, “Dramarama”, “Fly on the Wall” and her newest book “We Were Liars” which is a NY Times Bestseller.

Author Visit: Jay Asher

On Wednesday, December 10th Jay Asher will be visiting 7th & 8th graders to talk about his popular book “Thirteen Reasons Why” on his “50 States Against Bullying” campaign. We have limited copies in the Blackburne Library for 7th & 8th graders as well as #ReasonsWhyYouMatter Bracelets. If you would like your book signed, visit the Blackburne Library at 12:30. Jay currently resides in California with his wife and son. He loves speaking with students and is very excited about visiting Packer!

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is September 21st – September 27th this year. Banned Books week is a national celebration of the freedom to read! This is part of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The First Amendment states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”

This simply means, we are guaranteed the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. Banned Books Week wants to preserve this right and prevent censorship to materials. We want to ensure the freedom to read. Some of the books that have been banned at schools and libraries around the country would be very surprising to you!

This includes but is not limited to:

Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

As you can see, some of these books are books that you have read for school here at Packer. These are books that give us insight into other worlds and ideas. By censoring books like these we lose so much in learning about other people and cultures.

Stay aware of what is happening and fight censorship whenever you see it.

During the week of September 21st try your hand at a banned book!

“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.”
Ray Bradbury