The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly


Upper School participates in Cookies
Photo credit: Gannon Holt-Hall
Juniors Gannon Holt-Hall, Gabe Vilus and Davin Rowe trade caramel candies for a paperclip in the Underground Grown-ish cookie.

Cookies can be described in two ways. Chewy and sweet, or educational and entertaining. While the first description describes some of the desserts in the cafeteria, the latter describes the Cookies program, a two day experience where Upper School students participate in various fun and educational activities instead of regular class. 

This year’s program took place on May 16 and 17 and hosted a wide variety of different Cookies including drawing at the lake, exploring Asian food and culture, and museum exploration. 

The program was created in the spring of 2000 and is named after Flora J. Cooke, Parker’s Principal in its early years. “It gives students an opportunity to create curriculum based on their interests,” Upper School Coordinator and Curriculum Committee Faculty Advisor Rolanda Shepard said. “Then adults in the building help the curriculum actually come to life.” There were 23 different Cookies this year, all proposed and led by students.

Curriculum committee heads, elected through Student Government, are responsible for putting on the event every year. The main job of the four Curriculum committee heads is to inform students on what Cookies actually is and then encourage people to write proposals for it. 

“Once we announced Cookies in January, it was just a matter of people actually submitting proposals,” Curriculum Committee Head Darcy Rachel said. “Engagement was relatively low so we were worried about Cookies actually happening, but on the last day to submit proposals we went from four to 30 proposals which is more than enough to have a successful program.” Had they not gotten enough proposals, Cookies would have been canceled.

This year’s Cookies took place over May Term. Originally scheduled to take place during the first week of May, the program had to be pushed back after delays in the planning process. 

“The delays came from communicating with various faculty and admin to actually get Cookies off the ground and running,” Rachel said. The choice to then have them happen during May Term “was so that it wasn’t giving seniors a long period of being out of school with Cookies and then during May Term,” Shepard said.

Seniors not participating in Cookies resulted in a positive effect for the rest of the Upper School as it allowed for juniors and sophomores to get their first Cookie choice. “Normally seniors get their first choice because it’s based on seniority, so something like this has never happened before,” said who.

There was a wide variety of Cookies to choose from this year, some old and some new. Yearly Cookies like Parker Underground saw a new wave of students this year, and new ones like Exploring Asian Food and Culture caught the eye of many.

“For me, Cookies was an extremely rewarding experience,” sophomore and Head of the Reproductive Justice Cookie Louise Hall said. “My co-heads of Reproductive Justice Club and I created the Cookie to get a wider range of people involved in the fight for reproductive rights.”

“In the Scholastic Games cookie we wanted to make sure we played a broad range of games while also providing a fun and relaxing environment,” sophomore and Head of the Scholastic Games Cookie Roshun Murthy said. “We had a really great time and it was fun spending time with people across different grades.”

Juniors Jacob Condrell, Maya Khare, Zach Maple, and sophomore Coco De Leon created the Sexual Assault and Consent cookie after attending a summit on the topic back in November in Washington D.C. “We were trying to open a discussion about sexual harm and unhealthy relationships and overall trying to bring awareness to the complex and difficult topic,” De Leon said. “The Cookie was a huge success. We had an outside speaker come in, and it was generally just a great start towards creating a more safe and accepting environment here at Parker.”

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About the Contributor
Jayden Patel
Jayden Patel, Brief Writer
Jayden Patel is excited to start his first year on "The Weekly" as a Brief Writer and Staff Writer. When he isn't updating people on the latest Parker news, he is spending his time playing tennis, creating the Student Voice, or getting a latte at Starbucks.