April 25

EAL VIP: Olya Barskaya

With her participation in the 11th annual GIN (Global Issues Network) Conference, continued hard work towards mastering English, and her caring personality, Olya Barskaya was chosen as the next EAL VIP. Olya was interviewed by Julia Machado, a fellow EAL student from 3rd grade, about her experience at the GIN Conference. Watch the interview below to learn more about Olya, the Dwight GIN Team, and what she thinks is the hardest part about high school!


Olya’s VIP interview from Kristy Benfante on Vimeo.

(Interview questions and transcript by Julia Machado, 3rd grade)

What city are you from in Russia?

I’m from Moscow which is the capital of Russia.


When did you move to NYC?

I moved here 2 years ago in 2014.


How many languages do you speak?

I speak fluently in Russian and in English and I’m learning Spanish.


What’s your favorite part about EAL?

I think that it’s getting to know other international kids that are also taking EAL.


What is your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobby is reading.


What is the GIN team?

The GIN team is a team which includes 8 students from Dwight, they’re from 8th grade to 10th grade that attend an international conference.


What was your favorite part about the conference?

It was learning about a lot of global issues that we could solve.


Were you nervous on the day of the conference?

Yes, definitely. The conference was in Europe, we were the only school from the United States, the rest of the schools were European schools. It was very interesting to see the other kids, because I have never been to school in Europe. We were discussing global issues such as the refugee crisis and global warming and a lot of different stuff. So each team had to prepare a presentation and we were presenting in front of people, and people were able to choose what presentation they wanted to see. We had to make friends in order to get people to see our presentation. We were very nervous about meeting people and asking them to see our presentation because there were some kids who already went to the conference last year, so they all knew each other. Communicating was a very big part of the conference. Our presentation was about poverty and it actually went well!


Do you have any siblings?

Yes, I do, I have 2 younger siblings.


What is the hardest part about high school?


April 18

Happy World Language Day!

In honor of World Language Day, EAL students were asked to share their favorite quote, phrase, or word in their native language. They made posters with their choices in their native language along with an English translation.

Do you have a favorite saying or quote? Share yours in the comment section!

Judy, 9th Grade – Language = Chinese

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Maria, 5th Grade – Language = Spanish

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Joshua, 5th Grade – Language = Chinese

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Joseph, 2nd Grade – Language = Chinese

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Lisa, 2nd Grade – Language = Japanese

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Mathea, 6th Grade – Language = Norwegian 

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Emma, 6th Grade – Language = Norwegian 

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Gui, 4th Grade – Language = Portuguese

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Bernardo, 6th Grade – Language = Portuguese 

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Slyvia, 11th Grade – Language = Chinese

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Nina, 11th Grade – Language = Chinese

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Natalie, 6th Grade – Language = Chinese

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Maria, 6th Grade – Language = Portuguese

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Thelma, 9th Grade – Language = French

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Gabriela, 7th Grade – Language = Portuguese

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Pasha, 7th Grade – Language = Russian

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Maria, 8th Grade – Language = Portuguese

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Solal, 6th Grade: Language = French

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Maxim, 9th Grade: Language = Russian

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Barend, 9th Grade – Language = Dutch

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Justin, 7th Grade – Language = Chinese

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MK, 7th Grade – Language = Korean

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Dameli, 5th Grade – Language = Kazakh

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Adriana, 5th Grade – Language = Portuguese

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Simon, 10th Grade – Language = Chinese

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Eunice, 10th Grade – Language = Chinese

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Chelsea, 10th Grade – Language = Chinese

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Christy, 10th Grade – Language = Chinese

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Jacobo, 5th Grade – Language = Spanish

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Eloi, 7th Grade – Language = French

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Enzo, 6th Grade – Language = Portuguese 

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April 11

Catching Spring Fever

Spring Break is slowly becoming a memory, but why not relive the fun times again? Whether in NYC or abroad, our EAL students did exciting things over the break. Read about some of their adventures below!


Joseph, 2nd Grade: On spring break, I went to Canada. I went to Legoland, CN Tower, and Niagara Falls. The food was sooooooo good! It has instant noodles with beef and egg. In the CN Tower, the elevator is sooo scary because the elevator is made out of glass so you can see outside. In Niagara Falls, it was giganic and wonderful. And the legoland, the motercycle is made out of lego! I can’t believe it! How is that even possible? Did they put tape to hold the legos together to hold it steady? That was one of my best trips in my whole life!

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Lisa, 2nd Grade: On spring break I did lot’s of fun things. In gymnastic camp, I played lot’s of games even it’s a gymnastic camp but parents don’t want kids to play games so we didn’t play games for end of the day. Also I made hamburger with my sister at my house and I cut my hair at the hair salon. I went to watch movie called Zootopia with my friend. That is everything that I did in spring break.

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Julia, 3rd GradeOn spring break I went to Brazil. My sister, Gabriela, went too with her friends named Bella and Mimi, they’re sisters.  I went to my beach house and we drove in a van because Gabriela has a lot of friends so, she invited all of them because she missed them a lot. My friend named Maria Fernanda has a house there too! I played a lot at my beach house.There was a lot of friends and a lot of people so there was really fun. And now I don’t really miss my friends and my family anymore! This was my spring break and how was yours?

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Anouk, 4th Grade: During Spring Break, I had a sleepover with Maya and we had a lot of fun. I left from New York to go to Hawaii on Wednesday April 23, and I took the plane for 13 hours. It was really long. We went scuba diving, and we saw a turtle and a hundred fish. All of that was only with my mom and siblings. When my dad arrived the the third day, we went  hiking 3 times for 5 or 4 hours. Once we took a boat to go see dolphins, but we only saw a turtle and 2 whales that was fun and exciting. We stayed for 2 days in a house, and the first day we celebrated Easter. We also  went for a hike in the volcano. In the first hotel, my sister and I made flower necklaces and bracelets. When we came back in the plane, someone was really sick and at the end of the plane trip there was an ambulance, at the middle of the plane ride they asked if there were any doctors in the plane. I arrived in New York Monday at 7 am, and this day I did not go to school.


Gui, 4th Grade: My spring break was a lot of fun! In spring break I went to San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge and Park, Carmel, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Universal Studios, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Sausalito. I spent the whole spring break with my family, but I also saw some celebrities in a restaurant in Beverly Hills. we first went to San Francisco. We drove through the Golden Gate Bridge and under it in a boat. We also drove on the Lombard Street, a street that makes a lot of curves. There are the curves, so the cars can’t go too fast. Then we drove to Carmel a very small place with a lot of little houses, and trees. We just had lunch there in an amazing restaurant then we had to drive to Santa Barbara. We slept there it was a beautiful place by the seaside. It was amazing! In the morning we drove to Los Angeles, and it was great! In the first day we went to the pool and the beach, it was so good! We went to the Universal Studios, we went to the Simpsons’s, Harry Potter’s, and Shrek’s Town. we also saw went to a studio tour, where you see the sets of movies, how they made it, and all the studios. Then we went to the walk of fame, it was a lot of fun, we saw all the name of famous people on the floor, and we also saw Mickey Mouse’s name! The whole break was a lot of fun, I loved it!

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Mike, 4th Grade: So the first week of my spring break was in NYC, but it steel was cool! The reason why I stayed because my dad had business trip and only me my mom and sister can’t really fly to another country. So we just went to a park several times and relaxed the hall time!:D But on second week when my dad came fun started… Right in a first day my dad rented Porsche and we get to the new port road island. It was 5 hours and a half in a car! It was so boring! Then we get to the there we visited some mansions. It was so beautiful after 3 days there we came back and on the second day we went to Elia’s house and did a lot of fun stuff on 3 day we went to Elia’s house again and had a lot of fun. So it’s kind of all that I did over the spring break.

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Dameli, 5th Grade: On my Spring Break I stayed in New York City. I did a lot of things, and I also did some that I really liked. For example I went to Central Park Zoo with my mom, sister, brother and my brother’s best friend’s sister and mom. When you go to that zoo you could feed the animals like sheeps and goats. I tried to feed a sheep and it was okay, but when I tried to feed a goat and I was so scared because they would literally go after you when you have food in your hand. When I tried to give it food, and it licked my hand and it was really disgusting!

I also went to a museum called Intrepid. It’s a military ship that actually was used a long time ago. It was really fun and interesting to learn about U.S navy.

This may not sound fun but last summer I broke my tooth, and it started hurting lot so I went to the dentist. Because the dentist’s office was in Bronx I went there. At first I was really scared I don’t even know why! When we came there I liked it so much there! Especially the subway because the trains were riding outside not underground. It was really different!

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Jacobo, 5th Grade: My Spring Break went well I did a lot of things . I went to a soccer camp for a week. I got hurt playing soccer and I twisted my arm  I also had my first baseball training. The other thing that I did is every day I read 30 minutes and I finished my book. My book was called wimpy kid. It was the last one. I also went to Spain for four days and my little cousin was there. I also went to the hospital to visit my grandmother because she is sick. When I went to Spain I also saw my friends they were at school. I went to visit my old school. That was my spring break.

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Josh, 5th Grade: On Spring Break, I went to Toronto, Canada. There were a lot of nice attractions. The places that I liked most were the Niagara Falls and the CN Tower. The Niagara Falls was really big. It wasn’t in Toronto so my family drove from Toronto all the way to Ontario. We saw a beautiful sight there. After a storm, I took a picture of the Niagara Falls with a rainbow. The third photo is a picture of the CN Tower, which is also in Ontario. It looked like to Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, which is really tall too. There was a glass elevator to the top of the building. It was so scary that I screamed out loud in the elevator. Then at the top of the tower, there was a rotating restaurant. It was basically a restaurant on top of the CN Tower that is spinning around. When we took the lift down, I found out that it wasn’t that scary at all.

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Maria Guerrero, 5th Grade: On the second day of my spring break I went to Colombia. That week was relaxing I stayed home playing with my neighbors,and with my family and I did some exhibition homework. That weekend we went to leaser shoot. The next Monday I went to my grandpa’s house and I played with my uncles. Tuesday I had a playdate with two of my friends we had a lot of fun. On Wednesday stayed with one of my mom’s friend we went to the cinema and to a simulator of a f1. Thursday I went to church in the morning and in the afternoon I went to We Love Nails It’s a place that does nails really pretty. Friday I went to the pool in  my country house. I stayed there Friday and  Saturday. Saturday I had the fly to NYC.


Adriana, 5th Grade: Thursday 24th we got dressed and got all of our stuff and went to the airport to go to Brazil. When we got there we went to see my grandma and eat breakfast. When we were done eating we went to change because it was really hot. Then we put shorts and T-shirts and we went to a club to play. Then On Saturday my friend went to play with me and we hugged and she gave me a presents. I gave her a beautiful T-shirt  and gave me a backpack from Longchamp. Then Sunday I went to see Duda in  the shopping mall that was Iguatemi. We went to eat some really good burgers and we talked about her school and dwight. Then we went to see some stores and then we got a famous Brazil ice cream that is called Bacio di Latte. Then we said bye to each other.  It was Monday and I spent the day with my mom and we did go to our old house and see how was it but we went to eat in a really nice place that was called St.Louis. It  is a meat place and  it was amazing. When it was 3:00pm we went to my old school to my friend and had a sleepover together. When we got there she needed to do her homework so I helped her with it. When she was done we went to see a movie with cake to have fun together. It was 7:00 at night we went to eat sushi together because we had school tomorrow and I was going to visit the school and see my friends  all of them. When we woke up we got dressed and we had to eat breakfast and go to school. When I got there I was shaking because I thought that it wasn’t real because when I got in the class everyone got around me asking a lot of questions.  When school ended I went with a friend to play and we called another friend that wanted so much so she went with us. Then the rest of the week I stayed with my family but in the last day my friend made a surprised and I was really feeling  surprised  and then everyone started to cry, even me. It was awesome my spring break.

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Eloi, 7th Grade: During this spring break i did a lot of things. During the first week I stayed in New York because my brother still had a week of school, his break was later than mine. I visited Museum and walk a lot in New York and enjoyed the weather. Tuesday I met some friends that were in New York and went to the Park to play basketball with them. Wednesday I had rugby practice with one of the friends a friend from Dwight, it was 71°F. Then days just went by. Friday we went to the airport with my parents and my brother, we were going to New Orleans. In New Orleans we stayed in the French Quarter. We visited a lot of things and learn about the colonial history of Louisiana, it was a very interesting City.

After three days in New Orleans we flew to Miami to a friend’s house. In Miami it was really hot and very sunny. We went to the beach do some paddle and went on a boat and do some wakeboard. One day my brother went to see his friend that was in Miami so did I, I went to see a friend of Dwight that was on Fisher Island. It was a lot of fun, we went to the pool and the beach and drove a golf car. The next day we did the same things, we paddled and did some wakeboard and etcetera. Friday night we took the plane back to NYC. During the week-end I finished my homework. Sunday was sad not only because of school but because my brother still had one week a vacation. Monday, i woke up very happy to see my friends again and went to school.

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Justin, 7th Grade: There were basically two option for my spring break. One is to go to somewhere close to the equator, the other one is to go somewhere up north to master snowboarding. I went with the second option in a brief.

We decided to go somewhere uncrowded and cold. Mont Tremblant is a perfect match. With a short fly of 2 hours, we landed on a small airport in Montreal. We were welcomed by soft snow and freezing breezes. It took us a few days to get to Québec, but it was worth it.

There are quite a few mountains in Québec. Some of them are tall and snowy, some of them are short and plain. Typical snow forest trees can be spot everywhere you lay your eyes on. Far in the distance, a big tall snow mountain is always visible from no matter how far away. It was pretty obvious that it is Mont Tremblant. We drove closer and closer to it, and its details become more visible. If I got pen and paper with me, I will sketch down the view without a doubt.
Finally, we arrived the mountain. Surprisingly it isn’t as wild and dangerous as it seems. After a few long and painful details that I would love to skip, I begin my snowboarding trip from the top of the mountain to the bottom. Comparing to skiing snowboarding is harder than I though and easier than I expected. It took me a while to master the balance, but changing direction is rather easy comparing to the times I fell on my face. It took a few falls on my knee and my face, and my speed is nowhere close to the pro skiers around me, but I have improved my balance by a ton, and I’ve become more confident in the process. I wished to accomplish a lot more than I did, but at least I accomplished something.

This trimester is a critical link between my success and my failure of the year. I have quite a few goal and expectation I have yet close to meeting them. I want to excersise at least 10 hours a week.


MK, 7th Grade: This spring break, I stayed in Ney York City. My sister is in 10th grade so she needed to study, so our family was not able to do anything fun, but it was best spring break for me because my mom did not put me in any camp so I was able to do what I wanted to do. The first day of spring break was great. There was no homework to do and my parents were lenient. I watched tv and played the game. For the first week its was great ,but 2nd week there was nothing to do. I wish that I can go skiing, but our family was not able to go skiing.


Chelsea, 10th Grade: This year’s spring break was just usual as the ones in the past. I did not head off to any places, nor did I get a chance to go back to my hometown. During this period of time, I spent a quiet and relaxing time at home. I spent the 2 weeks studying at home which is valuable for me in the future. I also had a chance to visit the museum that I really want to go.

Before the spring break I set a study schedule, and by following the schedule I would know that I need to do. I devoted my time to improving my english more specifically I fully spent those 2 weeks practicing and preparing my coming up TOFEL test. Things I enjoyed the most wasn’t the time I spent on memorizing new vocabulary words nor the time I practiced my reading comprehension questions. My favorite thing was when I stole a little free time out of my busy life, and went to the MoMA(Museum of Modern Art) which is one of the most famous museums in NYC. Upon first walking into the MoMA, I felt that I loved that place. The building is tastefully adorned. I visited a lot of art galleries and exhibit back when I was in China, but MoMa was the most magnificent. Personally I think MoMa is a really intriguing place for the public to experience current styles of art and creations. Also the multicultural exhibits and masterpieces from many famous artists which attract so many people to visit. In the end, the MoMa left a very deep impression on me.

Its not the best vacation that I’ve ever had, but its the one that let me focus the most on studying also appreciate art. School will be finished in about 2 months, so I have some small goals which I hope to accomplish during this trimester. Talking about academic goals, I hope I can get better score in english which also improve my writing skills in 2 month. For my social goals, I hope to exercise more, which I also need to formulate a short plan for myself, I hope to be more slender in future and healthier.


Simon, 10th Grade: Sad! The Spring Break is over! After two weeks of vacation time, we are getting back to school again. However, I had a great break this year. I spent my break with my brother, we went to Boston and ate a lot of food, shopped at many stores, as well as relaxed and prepared for this new trimester.

Right after school closed, my brother and I went on a bus to Boston, and that’s where the vacation began. We felt free and peaceful in that one week because there was nothing to worry about. We ate a lot of food, such as lobsters, steaks, and Chinese food, etc. When I say a lot, I really mean A LOT, that I even threw up one night because of eating too much. Aside from the food we ate, we also went shopping in Boston. We went on a street where almost all the famous brands are there as well as some local stores. I bought some clothes, a pair of shoes, and some other small things such as brooches. Anyway, the days we spent in Boston were great. We did not only enjoy our break in Boston, but also in New York. After we got back from Boston, I spent the rest of the break relaxing, gaming, and playing basketball. Overall, it was nice to have this break, as a reward for our hardwork in school as well as for the teachers.

I am fully charged and ready for this new trimester, and I want to accomplish some goals. I want to be on the dean’s list (average above 90) again, and also improve in my english class since I did a poor job on it last trimester. I will accomplish this goal by following up with all the assignments and also some ouside sources such as read more books. Another goal that I want to accomplish will be I want to improve my basketball skills by playing basketball more during the weekends. I hope to improve this tremester in both academic and personal(social) areas.

April 7

EAL Student, Madalena Teles, on National News!

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Good Morning America recently featured two 9th grade students, one being our very own Madalena Teles. The segment highlighted their volunteer opportunity in the Good Plus Foundation’s Baby Buggy Project.

Take a look at how two Dwight students are making a difference! Helping Families in Need With the Good Plus Foundation

*Special thanks to Mr. Brier for sharing this exciting information with the Dwight Community!