As part of Anti-Violence Week, Oldfield Middle School students discussed stereotyping with the help of members from the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County on Feb. 14. Speakers Tracy Garrison-Feinberg and Paula Jasser led three grade level assemblies which enabled students to think about others and examine acceptance throughout history.
Garrison-Feinberg spoke about the results of stereotyping and asked for volunteers to give their own example of a stereotype that society holds today. The assembly also focused on the meaning of certain symbols and how history can play a large part in what they represent.
The presentations were just one component of Anti-Violence week for the school. Classes also participated throughout the week in activities that focused on respecting, accepting and showing kindness towards others. Students were given the tools that they need to make the right choices.
“We look to promote a culture of acceptance,” said Assistant Principal Joseph Castoro. “We want students to know that our school is a safe place.”
To expand on their history curriculum, fourth-grade students at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School received a hands on lesson about Native American Indian culture on Feb. 8. With the help of Journeys Into American Indian Territory, an organization that has visited the school annually for about 20 years, students took part in a workshop that enabled them to walk through a model long house and interact with different artifacts.
Presenters Maddi Cheers and Marianne Chasen answered questions and showed students how to grind corn and play a handmade Indian drum. Classes also learned the roles that Native American men and women played and had the opportunity to try on their fashion for their classmates.
A number of Washington Drive Primary School students took part in the 2016-17 PTA Reflections Award Ceremony on Feb. 2. The National PTA Reflections Program allows students of all grade levels and abilities to explore and become involved in the arts. This year’s theme, “What Is Your Story?” had many entries from students at the school. Each student was judged on artistic merit and creativity, mastery of the medium and interpretation of the theme. Congratulations to all of the winners for their fantastic entries!
Washington Drive Primary School recently kicked off their PARP program with a Peter Pan themed PTA PARP play titled, “Books Are a Treasure.” PARP is a national, PTA sponsored program that encourages a love of reading in students and helps parents and caregivers become more active reading partners with their children on a daily basis. Students gathered in the Washington Drive Cafetorium to watch staff members and parent PTA members perform the exciting show.
Ryan Ackerman Principles of Finance
Derek Branch Business Finance
Annika Browne Principles of Hospitality & Tourism
Rebecca Cohen Restaurant & Food Service Management
Christiana de Borja Sports & Entertainment Marketing
Matthew Grover Principles of Marketing
Brett Hebert Public Speaking - Prepared (4-6 minutes)
Katherine Kennedy Principles of Hospitality & Tourism
Wade Leskody Principles of Business Management & Administration
Shamus Nordin Automotive Services Marketing
Katherine Paradise Principles of Finance
Samantha Scileppi Job Interview - Men's Warehouse
Edward Serwan Principles of Business Management & Administration
Andrew Stefanac Buying & Merchandising Team
James Treanor Buying & Merchandising Team
Patrick Wilson Principles of Marketing
Samuel Puccio Business Finance
Christina Kohl Public Speaking - Prepared (4-6 minutes)
Daniel Polay Sports & Entertainment Marketing
Kindergarten students at Washington Drive Primary School in Mrs. Sacks and Mrs. Ortiz’s class recently experimented with what would happen if a “gingerbread baby” fell into a river (a bin filled with water). The students followed the Scientific Method forming a hypothesis, making observations and recording the results. The class came up with many different adjectives as to what would happen and completed a STEM activity to try and make sure the “gingerbread baby” would not fall into the river again, while using marshmallows and toothpicks. The students worked together to come up with a way to create a bridge for the “gingerbread baby”. They problem solved and had various discussions on how to construct their bridge. They then tested their ideas and shared their bridge with the class.
Denise Sullivan’s second-graders at Washington Drive Primary School shared their original written works with family members during the school’s Winter Wonderland Literacy Celebration on Dec. 22.
Dressed in formal attire, the students kicked off the celebration with a performance of winter musical numbers, including “Let It Snow,” “Jingle Bells” and “Winter Wonderland,” accompanied by bell chimes.
Afterward, they shared the compositions that they had diligently worked on over the past six weeks during an in-class writer’s workshop. Each student presented a persuasive, a narrative and a poetry piece to his or her family member.
The celebration concluded with snacks and refreshments for all in attendance.
In an effort to educate students about the diverse backgrounds of their classroom community, Nicholas Coppola’s first-grade class at Washington Drive Primary School recently participated in multicultural celebrations as part of their winter holiday unit.
Family members were invited into the classroom to speak to students about their own culture. Mrs. Hashmi educated the students on the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr, also known as Eid. She shared that her celebrations include gatherings to view the new moon, decorating homes inside and out, family visits, eating special sweet foods, neighborhood fairs, visits to amusement parks, wearing new clothes and giving and receiving gifts. Four students in the class celebrate the holiday and were able to share their own family traditions as well.
In addition to Eid al-Fitr, the class also learned about Christmas, Diwali, Kwanzaa and Las Posadas. Two family members, Mr. Noah and Mrs. Cassidy, visited the classroom to share their traditions and a brief background about the Hanukkah holiday. The students ate latkes and looked at different menorahs. They also learned how to play dreidel.
“It was a fun-filled learning experience for all,” said Coppola.
Much like Coppola’s class, all of Washington Drive Primary School’s first-grade classes celebrated cultures and holidays from around the world. Students worked on a special project where they created a window with pictures of their own holidays and traditions. The projects were displayed in the first-grade hallway.
Oldfield Middle School students gathered in the school library on Dec. 7 for the opening of the library’s new Makerspace and second annual STEAM Expo. Families and administrators were invited to attend the special event where students showed off their problem solving skills and creative abilities.
Thanks to the hard work of Assistant Principal Joseph Castoro, librarian Judy Boshnack and the rest of the school’s library staff, the Makerspace was recently incorporated into the school’s library as a new addition for the student body to enjoy. During the event, students were able to get a first look at the space and experiment with the new chalkboard wall, Lego wall and other tinkering items.
“It is a space that recognizes that kids are creative by nature,” said Castoro. “This location gives them the opportunity to showcase it,”
While students tried out the Makerspace, the STEAM club displayed their work. Under the direction of STEAM club advisor Drew Lockwood, the students presented projects about creating and living on a self-sufficient island.
“Mr. Lockwood has been at the forefront of the STEAM education from the very beginning,” said Principal Joanne Giordano. “His excitement, enthusiasm and knowledge has been a gift to all of us.”
Students displayed their own solar lighthouses and wind electricity generators assembled by Legos. They also demonstrated their knowledge of coding and robotics with team built robots, operated by a smartphone.
In addition, the school’s art club joined in the big event by creating wooden puzzles and a large winter mural with markers and pencils. Those in attendance also participated in a “Da Vinci Bridge” challenge, which focused on problem solving and had the opportunity to play with a keyboard made of bananas to show what technology can do.
In continuation with the school’s character education program, Washington Drive Primary School students took part in their monthly Character Counts assembly on Dec. 8.
Facilitated by Assistant Principal Tara Falasco, kindergarten through second-grade students participated in grade level assemblies and learned the importance of showing excellent character. Falasco also recognized a number of students who were nominated by their teachers for showcasing one or more of the character traits that the school looks for: honesty, acceptance, respect, bravery, optimism, responsibility, fairness, integrity, empathy, leadership, dependability and service. 18 kindergarteners, 16 first-graders and 18 second-graders were presented with a letter congratulating them on a job well done.
During the assembly, the students heard a reading of Laurie Keller’s book, “Do Unto Otters.” After the reading, Falasco initiated a discussion about proper behavior and respect for others. She stressed being kind to peers and asked classes how they can help each other.
“Treat others the way you want to be treated,” she said. “Say thank you, be polite and be courteous to each other.”
Classes also learned bus safety and discussed who to go to in an emergency situation. Students listened as Falasco reinforced appropriate bus behavior.