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abington friends school

Lifelong Learning 2023

Remember sitting in an AFS classroom and engaging in an interesting discussion? The chance to do just that again is here! The AFS Alumni Office is excited to be bringing back the AFS Lifelong Learning Sessions for the 2nd year, open to AFS alumni and older community members throughout February, March and April.

Some of your former AFS teachers will explore a variety of engaging and interesting topics in this program. Four of the sessions will be presented virtually, and one sessions will take place on the AFS campus. Please see the full list of topics and presenters below.

Please register for the session(s) you are interested in by clicking on the registration button below. Zoom links will be shared closer to each session for virtual sessions.

We look forward to seeing you in “class”!


Poetry with Mary Lynn and Jenny B.

[Link to Zoom Recording — Password: 4BL.1%10]

Wednesday, February 22, from 7 to 8 p.m.

Mary Lynn Ellis, AFSA and Jenny Burkholder, AFSA

“Language is an energy. A verb. A happening. It has the power to change a moment. To incite a movement. To resist or to confirm. It is prophetic in many ways. What we can say, we are never far from enacting.”
~Natalie Diaz

Come share the language of poetry with former AFS English teachers Jenny Burkholder and Mary Lynn Ellis on a Wednesday evening in February. We will read a poem together, talk about its energy, and write in response. Don’t worry–this is not English class. No poetry expertise needed. Just a willingness to see what happens when we pay attention to language, rub words together, feel their power.

Historic AFS Walking Tour

Saturday, February 25, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. [In Person @ AFS]

Toni Vahlsing, Director of Libraries

Imagine it is the early 1700s and you are considering sending your child to this new school, Abington Friends School. What would you be looking at? Join AFS librarian and archivist Toni Vahlsing on a walking history tour of the campus. Travel back in time and picture what life was like for the students of the past as we investigate the buildings that housed our school over its long history and consider its intersection with world events and culture.

We will meet in the Stewart Lobby, but travel all over the campus. Please RSVP so we can accommodate all.

Ponder the Future of STEM Education

Wednesday, March 8, from 7 to 8 p.m.

[Link to Zoom Recording — Password: *5lubt41]

Nate Bridge, Upper School Math Teacher

Join us for a conversation about the world of mathematical modeling, data analysis and quantitative reasoning and how it impacts our everyday lives. Hear how AFS students experienced it for 14 hours during the MathWorks Mathematical Modeling Challenge. Share how math and technology have affected your career path, and hear from students firsthand what STEM education is like now. As a group, we’ll ponder aloud about where we can take it in the future.

The Greatest Song You’ve Never Heard

Wednesday, March 29, from 7 to 8 p.m. [Zoom]

[Link to Zoom recording — Password: 3542?buT]

Justin Solonynka, Director of Choral Music

Participants are invited to choose a song — not especially well-known or “mainstream” — that they would personally consider “great,” and introduce that song to everyone gathered. Each participant will have about three minutes to play a section of that song and talk a bit about what they love. Then the group will have about two minutes to respond to what they heard. This is a wonderful opportunity for fellow music lovers to discover new (to them) artists!

LGBTQ+ History in America and at AFS

Wednesday, April 19, from 7 to 8 p.m. [Zoom]

[Link to Zoom recording — Password: V&3+1sZC]

Drew Benfer, Upper School History Teacher

What happens when historians gather different accounts of the past? Participants in this session will have the opportunity to share their own memories and consider how their oral histories might have changed the book, On This Same Ground: Voices from Three Hundred Years of Abington Friends School. Drew also will share excerpts from various American history textbooks through time to demonstrate how, when new evidence comes to light through new questions, historians update our understanding of the past. Finally, Drew will share resources so that you can learn more about LGBTQ+ American history.

Please register for the Lifelong Learning Sessions. Zoom links will be sent to registrants before the session.Register for an event at AFS