The Ulysses S. Grant Foundation

An educational partnership between Yale and New Haven since 1953

Category: Uncategorized (page 2 of 3)

Passing the Torch

This is a bittersweet moment: our last post on the U.S. Grant blog. With the end of 2013, our tenure as Directors is coming to a close. We would like to thank the entire U.S. Grant community for all your help in shaping the program over the past year. This is an incredible program, and we are honored to have had the opportunity to lead it. U.S. Grant is truly one-of-a-kind.

We are also excited for the year ahead! We are handing the position over to two fabulous members of this past summer’s teacher team, Kyra Morris and Thomas Veitch. We look forward to hearing about all the wonderful moments of U.S. Grant 2014.

Speaking of which, keep a lookout for next year’s student application, which will be posted sometime in the next month.

Eric and Lucy

Eric and Lucy

Happy holidays to everyone!

Signing off,

Lucy Arthur-Paratley and Eric Fishman

U.S. Grant Co-Directors 2013


This past Sunday, U.S. Grant students were reunited once again on Old Campus. The air was full of joyful shouts of recognition as many students saw each other for the first time since the beginning of August. We played wonderful games of Capture the Flag and soccer, taking advantage of the crisp fall day, and other students chatted inside while enjoying snacks and watching Planet Earth. We could not have been more excited to see everyone again. Best of luck with the rest of the school year!

Save the Date: U.S. Grant Reunion!

Dear U.S. Grant Summer 2013 Students and Families,

We hope this post finds you all well and enjoying a wonderful school year and a beautiful fall!
This is a reminder that this year’s US Grant Student/Teacher Reunion will take place on Sunday, November 3rd from 1:30-3:30pm on Yale’s Old Campus, right outside of Dwight Hall (where we met every day during the summer). This is a great chance for students and teachers to get together and catch up after our months apart, and we hope you will all be able to come and spend time together for as much of the reunion as possible.
We will be outside playing games and enjoying each other’s company, so bring a coat. That being said, we also have a room reserved in Linsly-Chittinden (next door to Dwight Hall) so the reunion will happen no matter the weather!
Please be in touch by email if you have any questions — we look forward to seeing many of your faces very soon!
Eric Fishman and Lucy Arthur-Paratley

A bittersweet farewell

Students celebrate at Lighthouse!

Last Friday, students went to Lighthouse Point for a barbecue to celebrate the final day of the program. We sat in our pavilion to munch on some burgers, and then the crew quickly scattered to the various “stations.” Some played a game of two-hand-touch football on the grass, others got soaked in the splash pad, and still others sunbathed on the beach. Before we headed back to campus, we all gathered together for one last round of “Shoutouts.” Students recognized their peers and teachers for the wonderful things that had happened during the day, accompanied by all the usual motions: “Skittles,” “Dynamite,” “Utz,” “The Wave” …

Playing touch football

The Co-Directors and 9th Grade Teachers said a brief word about the 9th grade, and those “graduates” were called up one-by-one to receive their U.S. Grant Diplomas.

We headed back to Dwight Hall for one last “Students United” cheer, and then students were dismissed for the summer!

From all of us here at the teacher team, we would like to extend an enormous THANK YOU to the students and parents of U.S. Grant this year.

Parents, thank you for motivating your students, for shuttling them to and from camp, for engaging your kids about their work at dinner, and for engaging with us so thoroughly in our attempts to create the best possible experience for the students. We have enormous respect for all the time you put in–and are a little jealous that you get to keep spending time with your kids.

Sunbathing on the beach!

Students, what can we say? Thank you so much for your energy and enthusiasm, for coming every day ready to learn, for teaching us new things, and for making us excited to come in every morning. You are all amazing people. We hope you had fun and learned a lot in the process. We will miss you!

Ninth graders: good luck in high school! We’re sure you’re going to rock it. And please come and visit!

Everyone else: have a great school year, and we hope to see you next summer!

And, more imminently, we hope to see you all at the mid-fall reunion (details TBD)!

Also, over the course of the next week we will be posting some videos from the final showcase, so check back in for those.

It has been a real pleasure and honor to work with you all this summer.

Signing out for now-

Lucy Arthur-Paratley, Eric Fishman, Nick Levine, Soy Lee, Thomas Veitch, Kyra Morris, Julia Calagiovanni, Rachel Tobin, and Ericka Saracho

The U.S. Grant Teacher Team 2013


Harry Potter Day

Hogwarts, the U.S. Grant way!

The famed wizard’s birthday did not go uncelebrated at Grant this Wednesday. Students and teachers dressed up in wonderful costumes. Harry, Hermione, Dumbledore, Professor McGonnagal, Moaning Myrtle, Hagrid, Luna Lovegood, Draco Malofy, and many more were present for the day’s festivities. During activity period, the grades faced off in a Triwizard Tournament. Students competed in a Wingardium Leviosa relay race, a wand design competition, Wizard Face-Off, Dementor Freeze Tag, and more. Draco Malfoy fans rejoice- at the end of the day, Slythernine (the 9th grade) walked away with the victory!

Mayoral Candidates at U.S. Grant

To view the fourth Parent Newsletter, click here.

From Mr. Levine:

Mayoral candidate Justin Elicker speaking with New Haven Politics earlier today.

This week in New Haven Politics we welcomed mayoral candidates Henry Fernandez (on Monday) and Toni Harp (on Wednesday). With questions they had prepared in advance–and many thought of on the spot!–students grilled the candidates on a range of issues both current and historical, from the environment to the Black Panthers, from school choice to urban renewal. Students largely disagreed with both candidates about the fairness of New Haven Public Schools’ lottery system. Between the candidates, a major disagreement arose about the state’s recent move to allow Keno gambling in certain locations. Fernandez said that it would amount to a regressive tax that would hurt the very people it was trying to help. Harp argued that it was a revenue source necessary to save crucial programs, and that Fernandez misrepresented how the law would be implemented. I look forward to learning whom the students were convinced by on this point.

Mayoral candidate Justin Elicker will come to class on Monday. On Wednesday, we will wrap up the class by discussing our impressions of the candidates and holding a vote. This vote will be part of the larger democratic process, since I have committed to vote in the actual election for whomever the students themselves choose.

Color Wars!

A sixth grader is one happy camper after the pie eating contest this past Thursday!

The battle was on this past Thursday and Friday during activity period. Four teams–Blue, Green, Yellow, and Red–faced off for one of the most prestigious prizes of the summer: the U.S. Grant Color War Championship. Students (who were randomly divided into their teams) competed in a smorgasbord of crazy, fun events. Entourage, Duck Duck Goose, Fire Brigade, Tug of War, Pie Eating, Dance-Off, Capture the Flag … the list goes on. The hallways and Old Campus reverberated with shouts as the students competed in their events and cheered for their teammates.

At the end of the two days, Blue Team walked away with a decisive victory. The prize? Having free range to throw water balloons at Mr. Levine for five minutes. His sweater was quite soaked by the end.

We had so much fun and can’t believe that next week is the last week of the program!

Radio Journalism in Action

Mr. Levine’s and Ms. C’s Radio Journalism class just finished their first full-length news stories. The class split into two groups and set out to investigate rumors that U. S. Grant’s traditional end-of-summer lake trip would not be happening (editor’s note: the lake trip has been replaced by a beach trip). First came reporting: asking anyone and everyone–students, directors, park administrators, even former U. S. Grant staff–what they knew and how they felt about the news. Students then shaped their material into stories, adding voice-over narration to provide structure. We’ll be keeping the strengths and weaknesses of the final projects in mind as we head into our next and final piece!

Ticket to Ride

To see the third Parent Newsletter, click here.

From Ms. Lee:

After spending some time on probability, the ninth graders have moved on to the final topic in their discrete math course – graph theory. After learning the basics and studying weighted graphs, the students also learned how to use Dijkstra’s algorithm to find the shortest path between two points. On Tuesday, the students played a US Grant version of the game “Ticket to Ride.” Various cities in the US and Canada were connected by different length paths, and students rolled a die to see which length path they could build on each turn. Each group had a secret starting point and destination and had to try to build their route the fastest and most efficiently. The ninth graders quickly realized that they could also try to hinder different groups in the game and quickly began formulating strategies to win the game. “Ticket to Ride” on top of other games played throughout the class, such as “Grantjack,” “Deal or No Deal,” and “Plinko,” helped give the students insight into what type of game they might want to design for their final project.


To view this past week’s newsletter, click here.

From Ms. Tobin:

The calorimeter, complete with a burning pistachio!

In Seventh Grade Investigations we performed a Calorimeter experiment, which involved burning a pistachio in order to calculate its energy content! As the pistachio was burned, the energy lost from the nut was transferred to the water in the can above. The temperature change in the water was then used to calculate the energy content and the amount of calories in the pistachio. We learned how cool scientific devices can be used to measure the calories in the food we eat.  

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