Cooke Celebrates Pride, Joy and Acceptance!

Pride Month at Cooke


June is Pride Month, a time to embrace self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, has been the call to action in the decades-long struggle for acceptance. Cooke celebrates and honors those individuals who continue to advocate and carry the work of this movement forward. This month, we inform and empower our students to cultivate and spread acceptance and respect for all.

We  have compiled a collection of picture and chapter books about love, inclusion, family diversity, the LGBTQ+ experience, and pride! We will be referencing some of these resources as we study the history of the Pride movement, exploring the challenges and triumphs that these communities faced. We’ll work with students to understand lessons learned and the advocacy work still to come. Check out our titles below:

Learning Continues: Cooke Transitions Students Forge Ahead

This year, Cooke teachers and staff have excelled at transferring unique and meaningful instruction to a virtual platform. At Transitions, the vocational team quickly moved the entire internship program from in-person placements to virtual settings. Our team of Community Inclusion Assistants, who provide job coaching services (and a whole lot more), found creative ways to bring the internship experience into students’ homes and hearts.

Institutional partners, like HSBC, also played a role, bringing vocational lessons to students through a series of virtual workshops. From December through May, teams of HSBC employees volunteered their time to mentor Cooke Transitions students in resume/cover-letter writing, mock interviewing, problem solving in the workplace and job exploration.

Many HSBC employees (including Senior VPs and Division Heads) fell in love with our students, returning to participate in multiple workshops so they could have the opportunity to share what they know with our amazing students!

As we wrap up this unusual school year, let’s remember the contribution of our village of students, teachers, staff and community partners, who worked together to forge ahead with learning despite the odds against it.

Cooke Snapshots: An Insider’s View

The halls of Cooke have been buzzing with life ever since our students returned for in-person instruction. Although we were all adjusting to the challenges of the past year, there was a pent up energy just waiting to shine through. Once our students returned, they brought exhilaration and excitement to school.

As the months passed, students explored, studied, researched and created a body of work that has steadily filled the walls of the classrooms and hallways. There is artwork everywhere,  from mask workshops, quilting projects, and mathematics classes. There are  even advertisements promoting products or services developed in Upper School entrepreneur/business class projects.

The creativity that is reflected on the walls within our school building represents the flavor and uniqueness that each student brings to Cooke.

Their freedom of expression, their curiosity and their love of learning are what make this school community like no other, and all of this comes together thanks to the amazing faculty who bring out the best in them each day.

Cooke Shared Success Stories of Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mary Clancy, Cooke’s Associate Head of School, recently participated in Fordham’s PDRC Chat & Network event. She shared Cooke stories of student success during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out Fordham’s article on the event here.

Cooke Students Making Their Own Decisions

Amelia, a delightful, 19 year old Cooke student, recently signed her Supported Decision Making Agreement alongside her mother and her volunteer facilitator, Rosie. Amelia lives in Manhattan with her parents, and has now reached a point in her life where she is ready to make decisions that can impact her future.

Making decisions can be difficult and everyone needs some guidance from time to time. Our students are getting that guidance thanks to Supported Decision Making. They realize that a part of growing up and becoming independent is planning for the future and that means they have to consider various outcomes and make good life choices. Congratulations Amelia, we are all very proud of you! 

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