Star of Brooklyn: Ann Pollack

May 19, 2014 Editorial Staff
Share this:


Coordinator of Veteran’s Day Programming, P.S. 216

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: During Ann Pollack’s years as a teacher, she decided to create a program in honor of veterans at P.S. 216. The Veteran’s Day programming is about 20 years old and Pollack shows no signs of slowing down her part in it.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, there is a celebration at which students sing, dance, create posters and recite poems. The school’s band and chorus also participate. Pollack said that the event creates “such a good feeling all around.” The program started with only a handful of veterans, but two years ago the program had more than 50 veterans involved

“It is a tremendous source and tool for so many children and of course, the whole emotional feeling to be patriotic,” Pollack said.

Apart from paying her respects to veterans, Pollack has volunteered for the non-profit Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush and at the Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst.

INFLUENCES: Immersed in a family in which all her uncles served in World War II and father was in the Navy Yard as an engineer, Pollack appreciated what patriotism was all about while growing up. As a result, she concluded that, “It is so important to share it with the next generation.”

OBSTACLES: Prior to initiating the program, many of her colleagues felt the program was not necessary because it took time out of the classrooms. While the last thing she wanted to do was upset administration, “I really felt it was necessary, so I used all my lunch hours to start to teach the kids the songs and dances,” said Pollack. “I took half of their lunch periods and all of mine so I wouldn’t take them out of the classrooms.” Eventually, she said, people realized that the program served as a “vital and educational tool.”

PROFESSIONAL LIFE: Pollack taught second grade at P.S. 216 and P.S. 48. Pollack also did teacher training for reading and social studies. She also took part in writing several curriculums, many which were implemented, for School District 21.

She also received an award for “a curriculum [about] human rights, how everybody can get together,” she said. The award-winning curriculum was created shortly after the death of Yusef Hawkins, a 16-year-old African American teenager who was shot to death after being attacked by a large group of Caucasian teenagers in Bensonhurst in 1989. Pollack said that the curriculum was needed to teach children about human rights.

Pollack received her Bachelor of Arts in Education and two Master’s Degrees from Brooklyn College, the first in Education, and the second in Administration and Supervision.

PERSONAL LIFE: Pollack is married to Rabbi Gary Pollack, the spiritual leader of a synagogue in Bensonhurst. “I live in Flatbush, but do most of my life in Bensonhurst,” she joked.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment