Keeping Up With Cooke – Will We Reach 1,000,000?

Feb 25, 2020


165,250 Minutes and Counting!

Did you know being read to and spoken to when you’re young stimulates brain development in the areas that promote language acquisition? Did you know reading for pleasure promotes vocabulary development? Did you know reading supports short-term memory, concentration, and writing skills? Did you know that unlike speaking, reading is not natural and must be explicitly taught to all of us? 

At Cooke, we understand the significance of, complexities in, and connections between the reading and writing processes. Cooke teachers explicitly model and practice discrete literacy strategies while building vocabulary and content knowledge. In school, Cooke students laugh and sing with Pete the Cat by James and Kimberly Dean; make 3D models of Wild Island while reading My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Gannett; invent their own superpowers after reading Matilda by Roald Dahl; share their own untold stories after reading Maya Angelou’s “Caged Bird” and “Still I Rise;” quickly turn the pages to see how Batman cornered the villain; and take urgent action to help others after reading Refugee by Alan Gratz. And that’s just the narrative texts.


To promote a love of reading outside of school, Cooke launched its second Million Minute Reading Challenge last fall. For the 2019-2020 school year, students and staff are hoping to read 1,000,000 minutes as a K-12 community by June. Students access the classroom and local public libraries to choose their own books, magazines, or newspapers and track how many minutes they read at home either independently or with someone. Each week, they report their minutes to their English Language Arts teachers and a new Grand Total is revealed every Friday! Students also use video shoutouts to recommend books to their peers. Currently, we’ve read 165,250 minutes! 

Cooke teachers want reading to be fun because we know the impact reading regularly can have on a person. Reading independently and listening to stories read to us exposes us to the narratives of people and places both familiar and foreign, promoting empathy and perspective-taking. We learn about ourselves as we learn about other people. Narratives capture the human condition and allow for finding experimental solutions to problems. Reading engages creativity, and telling stories is an important part of daily communication. The narrative is the format of human communication. Attend any Cooke event and you’ll hear about our school’s own origin story.

Perhaps most importantly, Cooke students read so they can tell the stories that have yet to be told.


#1: Our new school will have a regulation-sized basketball court, which can convert to a theater space that accommodates 500 people for stage performances (e.g., school plays).

#2: Our new OT/PT rooms will include traversing walls, suspended equipment, separate office spaces for clinicians and breakout sensory and fine-motor skills rooms.

#3 Our new school building will be fully ADA compliant and will have an elevator that accommodates up to two wheelchairs.

#4: Our new school will have 29 classrooms (each with a breakout room and large windows).

#5: Our new school will have 6 teaching kitchens and a daily living apartment lab.


JOIN US ON MAY 19, 2020 

You Won’t Want to Miss …

Celebrate our honorees:
Andrea Pollack and Adam Usdan

Mark Your Calendars:
for a fun-filled night that will bring our community together and highlight
the progress of our new school building

Secure Your Childcare Now:
come and enjoy a carefree evening featuring 25 NYC chefs, top-shelf wine and spirits
and beautiful views of the Hudson River at sunset!


Cooke Academy’s STEAM Night brings together Cooke students, families and staff members for engaging, hands-on, fun-filled activities and games that promote the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) curriculum and teach our students how to use Google Expeditions research and create experiments.



•March 6: Alumni Event
•March 12 & 13: Parent Conferences
•March 20: Alumni Event
•March 26: Cooke Academy  STEAM Night (6-8PM)
•March 27: NOON DISMISSAL (All Schools)

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Planning Giving

Legacy giving is very important to Cooke’s sustainability.  Please contact Michael Eaton at for more information.

Through the Affinity Membership Program, TD Bank will make an annual contribution to Cooke School based on the activity of all participating members’ TD Bank accounts.

Eligible accounts include:

  • Checking – Business & Consumer

  • Savings

  • Money Market

  • Certificate of Deposit

  • Retirement

If you are already a TD Bank customer, please visit any one of their locations and ask to have your balances included as part of the Cooke’s Affinity Membership Program (code: A1923).

Please see the Affinity Membership Program flyer for more information.