Today I toured the public school NESTm, located on Houston Street and Avenue D. It is a school that is only available to children who scored 97% or higher on the G&T test. My son did not, but I tagged along with some friends whose child did. It was an interesting experience.
Basically I was trying to see what makes this school so special. How does it compare to my son's current school? How can I make his current school comparable?
The students did not appear stressed or overly taxed. They have nice facilities including a cafeteria that overlooks the playground outside. The differences are mostly what they expect from the children. For example, buy the end of kindergarten they should be able to write five sentences, read at G level (whatever that is) and be able to sold word problems in math.
It made me feel better about our current situation. And about ways we can make a positive difference for our own school.
Serves 4-6, adapted from Good Food
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh root ginger
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garam masala*
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water
- 2 celery stalks, cut lengthways and chopped
- 490g chickpeas (250 grams dry chickpeas soaked in water over night)
- 150g green beans, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, then add the onion, ginger and garlic. Fry for 2 minutes, then add the garam masala, give it 1 minute more, then add the stock or water and celery.
- Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the chickpeas and simmer for 30 minutes, or until chickpeas are tender.
- Use a stick blender to blender the soup a little, while leaving most of the chickpeas intact. Stir in the green beans and simmer for 3 minutes.