The mission of Something Good in the World is to provide a safe and enhancing environment wherein children may be promoted to achieve their highest potential in learning and development, and to prepare them toward becoming responsible human beings ready to take on the challenges of life.
The Services We Provide
Something Good in the World, Inc. is an affiliated group of concerned teachers and parents seeking to improve the situation of education in America. As a team, we bring together our collective experience and knowledge to try to offer the best possible educational alternatives for children, teachers, and parents.
Something Good in the World, Inc. provides services to the public in the form of educational programs for children of all ages and backgrounds. These programs include a wide variety of extracurricular, alternative, and curriculum-based programs, in schools and outdoors, in private and public spaces that extend to homeschooled children, children with learning differences and children in underserved areas.The activities range from academic arts-integrated and outdoor education programs for Pre-K through Grade 12 (Earth School), to creative arts workshops and field trips for teens (The Blue Star Youth Movement), to music and storytelling for families (Sounds Good), to community garden and landscape projects for all ages (The Children’s Peaceful Garden).
Our services are often given on a volunteer basis to communities and groups throughout Westchester County and the greater New York area. Some of our programming is paid for by parents, school districts, and teachers, and some is funded by Northern Westchester BOCES and the Westchester Arts Council.
Something Good in the World also offers educational services for adults, such as training sessions and seminars for parents and teachers, in order to further the concepts of our learning approach in the classroom, outdoors in nature, and at home. We foster the understanding that the preservation of our inherited and shared physical environment is achieved through practice of the principles of sustainability.
Non-Discriminatory Policy: Something Good in the World, Inc. and its affiliates admit children and students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to children and students at or through the organization. Neither Something Good in the World, Inc. nor its affiliates discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other organization-administered programs.
Barbara Sarbin. As the Director of Educational Programs for Something Good in the World, Barbara is responsible for the overall running of educational programs, including the Earth School programs for homeschoolers and programs for public schools, for afterschool, and all of the SGITW projects that take place at Kitchawan Farm and partnering sites. She’s taught extensively both in schools and universities, as well as independently and is the main teacher for Earth School children ages 7-12. Recognized as a leader in farm-based education Barbara is a member, guest blogger and workshop leader for the Farm-Based Education Network, Project Wild Thing, and the Edible Schoolyard Project. For the past year, she has served as a Roots & Shoots Garden Ambassador, through the Jane Goodall Institute.
Holly Jett has been teaching inside of a GET dynamic since 2003. She is the Handwriting Without Tears instructor for ages 5 – 7, teaches farm-based crafts and cooking in the Earth School-to-Farm programs, and has been a Turtle Island Summer Camp educator since 2009. Holly graduated from Bowling Green State University with a degree in Arts and Science, and continued her studies at FIT in NYC, for a degree in fashion and merchandising. She had her own hand-made children’s clothing company called “Nolly Designs,” teaches sewing privately and at “Groovy on Grand.” Holly has attended numerous GET teacher training seminars and workshops, and she is a certified Handwriting Without Tears instructor.
Natascha Sabert has been assisting and teaching Earth School programs since 2011 and has worked as an educator for Turtle Island Summer Camp. Natascha graduated with the “Abitur” from Gymnasium Langenhagen, Germany and went on to teach children ages of 1 to 4 at the “Verein fuer Kleinkindpadagogik Lustige Latzhosen” in Hannover, Germany. She was also very involved in her first son’s self-governed, independent “Kinderladen Kornstrasse,” a kindergarten co-op that was part of the educational reform movement in Germany. After moving to the United States, she attended Valencia College in Orlando, Florida and worked in an environmental group for water conservation under Dr. Deborah Green. In New York, Natascha continued to work in childcare and started her own dog-walking business. She tutors German, continues her studies at WCC and volunteers for the “Fresh Air Fund.
Ridvan Foxhall is a licensed occupational therapist serving children and youth with special needs, and their families since 2010. She is a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator. In 2006, she was responsible for creating a Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Peekskill, a program that serves a diverse group of children ages 8–17. CTC is dedicated to building character on stage through the performing arts and instilling in children a sense that they can share in the communities interests and be a positive voice of change in the world. In 2013, Ms. Foxhall founded New Era Creative Space, which is now a non-profit organization that offers yearlong creative and innovative programs for children and youth and parenting support. Ridvan has been a lead teacher and teaching assistant for SGITW’s Earth School programs, and is a co-teacher for Earth School to Farm programs.
Liz Nolf has been SGITW’s music teacher since 2011. Liz has been teaching music in school, camp and private settings for over 8 years, to children of all different ages, abilities, and educational backgrounds. Her greatest love is helping children to experience the joy of making music together. After a career at IBM in software strategy and marketing, Liz switched gears to become a stay-at-home and then homeschooling mother. She holds a Bachelor’s degree, and studied music throughout her schooling. She plays guitar, flute and piano, and sings backup for a local singer/songwriter in her spare time. She has experience with special needs children, and also taught preschool for 4 years.
Sara Garcia has been a staff development consultant and advisor for Something Good in the World and Earth School since 2002. She holds teaching certifications in regular, special education, and bi-lingual education in Spanish, with her special expertise in the area of children with learning differences. Sara has over 25 years of experience teaching at-risk students in Regular and Special Education in Elementary, Middle and High School in Tucson, Arizona, Boston, Massachusetts and the South Bronx, New York. Her teaching experience includes staff development for teachers in low- performing schools as a National trainer for the Efficacy Institute, Inc. as well as developing and delivering culturally appropriate education workshops for parents of diverse populations. Her Doctoral work in Fielding Graduate University focused on identifying Indigenous people’s wisdom and worldview on care of planetary resources as part of character education.
Anya Steger has been teaching art and crafts for Earth School students and at Turtle Island Summer Camp since 2011. Anya has exhibited her own artwork in numerous solo and group shows in New York City, Chicago, Warsaw, Edinburgh, Paris, Dusseldorf, and Krakow. She has an MFA degree in Painting from Hunter College, NY, and a BFA degree in Painting from School of Visual Arts, NY. She also studied at Warsaw Academy of Fine Art in Warsaw, Poland, and Brighton University, Brighton, UK. She has taught drawing and painting courses at Hunter College Fine Arts Department and at Montclair Art Museum, in Montclair NJ.
Board of Directors
President: Barbara Sarbin, Director of Educational Programs for Something Good in the World. [SEE full bio in staff listings above]
Secretary: Elizabeth Colquhoun
Elizabeth worked as a Senior Marketing Research Analyst at the Reader’s Digest Association. She has been involved as a volunteer and employee with Something Good in the World since its inception in 2002 and supports the mission of the organization. Elizabeth received a degree in History and Education from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY. She spent several years teaching in a private school and in the public school system and occasionally volunteers as a tutor.
Treasurer: Witt Barlow
Witt is a Senior Executive Vice President at Gahagan & Bryant Associates, an engineering firm specializing in dredging projects, including their environmental monitoring. Witt holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, along with a BS and MS in Civil Engineering from Columbia University.
Colette Kabasakalian: A licensed real estate broker since 1998, Colette currently works for William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty. She became an accredited Eco Broker in 2009 and a certified Distressed Property Expert in 2011. Colette graduated from the State University of New York at Oneonta with a BS in Business Economics and a minor in Art History.
Jean McGee: Jean is Director of Education at Finger Lakes School of Massage in Mt. Kisco, NY, where she is thankful for the opportunity to help guide students on their journey to becoming massage therapists. Jean earned a BS in Human Biology at Iona College, NY, and did her graduate work in Physiology of Exercise at Springfield College, MA. She has taught at both schools and is a Licensed Massage Therapist. Jean also runs a food co-op and homeschools her children.
Janka Pavelek: Janka earned her BA in Economics from Wells College. She is a senior account manager for Metric & Multistandard, a leading distributor of industrial hardware. In addition,she spent several years in Reno, NV helping to set up the company’s fifth branch office and establish a West Coast presence. It was during this time that she earned her MBA from the University of Phoenix. Since returning to NY, Janka has been involved in animal care and rescue volunteering with the SPCA.
Sherri Young: Sherri has over thirty years of professional experience in the design industry. She is currently Senior Graphic Designer at Premium Productions, Inc., in Pleasantville, NY. Sherri studied at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. She started working professionally while still in school on freelance projects and went on to gain a breadth of experience in the print industry, traditional ad agencies, a greeting card startup, and in direct mail and online/offline publishing.
Siena Siegel: Siena worked as Director of Training Programs at American Ballet Theatre in New York City. She also wrote the book To Dance for young readers, published in 2006. After taking a few years to raise her two young children, she began earning credits towards a master’s degree in Dance Therapy and teaching ballet and creative movement classes to children and adults. Siena also worked as a teacher’s assistant for Something Good in the World’s program for homeschoolers. She earned a BA from Brown University.
Advisory Board Members:
Jana Platina Phipps