Petition for a Song

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At the heart of the district’s character development program are core values and leadership principles that assist students in developing life skills. These principles were well noted by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Famularo, who received a petition from eight Winthrop Avenue students to bring his guitar to the school and sing “Apples and Bananas” during lunchtime in the cafeteria.

Will Cona, Zach Greenseid and Sam Kalish in Elisa Braverman’s third-grade class started the petition, and Valentino DeLuna, Alex Freidman, Jack LaGalia and Alessandro Walaitis pitched in to acquire 130 signatures over a period of six days. The petition was turned in to the superintendent’s office with an accompanying letter detailing the process.

“We asked a lot of people in the cafeteria, at recess, in class and so on,” the letter stated. “We had a blast asking people, and when we got 130 people, we got very excited.”

During Dr. Famularo’s tenure as superintendent of schools, he has played his guitar and sung with students in each of the classes at the Charles A. Reinhard Early Childhood Center. Dr. Famularo explained that “Apples and Bananas” has always been a student favorite. He noted that he was flattered that the Winthrop students remembered the song so fondly and that he was impressed by the students’ initiative to form a petition.

“It shows real leadership skills and initiative, core values that we teach our students,” he said.  

The result was a performance of “Apples and Bananas” during the students’ lunch period, with the staff and students accompanying Dr. Famularo in singing this district favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

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Shore Road High Notes

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The district is pleased to announce that 22 Shore Road School student-musicians were selected to participate in the Nassau Music Educators Association’s All-County Music Festival, held at LIU Post’s Tilles Center in January.

Music teacher Kathy Rostholder explained that the students were selected to represent Shore Road School based on their New York State School Music Association scores. “The students performed spectacularly,” she said.  
       
The following students performed in the All-County Festival:

 
Eloise Bergman – bass
Tyler Bissoondail – viola
Jessica Blumberg – violin
Ceili Dorn – bass
Jessica Flitch – flute
Nina Genzone – soprano
Jewel Goldberg – viola
Lauren Gomez-Nieto – violin
Michael Lamaze – saxophone
Jordan Levien – alto
Jared Levine – bass
Ruby Mattes – bass
Max Marino – saxophone
Nicholas Papazis – cello
Christopher Prainito – saxophone
Kayleigh Reardon – violin
Nicholas Rinaldi – violin
Layla Schechner – alto
William Schneider – viola
Sophia Warren – soprano
Aidan Weaver – cello
Madison Yeh – violin
 

 

A Carnival to Celebrate Reading

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As a culminating event to Pick a Reading Partner Month, Reinhard hosted an old-fashioned carnival to celebrate the month of reading this January. The students succeeded in reading 50,000 minutes for the program, and as a treat to reaching their goal, Principal Patricia Castine and Assistant Principal Elise Cahill dressed as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, respectively, to celebrate the PARP theme of “Rocking Out to Reading.”

PTA members and Entertainment Plus More owners Chris and Leslie Cerverizzo donated the carnival games, which included Krazy Cans, Big Mouth, Tick Tock Toe and more. Each student received a blow-up microphone to go along with the evening’s theme and prizes at each of the booths. The students even read an additional 15 minutes as Ms. Castine read Carolyn Crimi’s “Rock ’n’ Roll Mole” in the school auditorium. 

 

Getting Ready for Middle School

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Bellmore UFSD Residents Approve Bond Referendum

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, District residents approved a capital project bond referendum. Voters approved the $14,965,000 bond 247 YES to 57 NO.

The approved bond will support repairs and renovations to all schools that will benefit every student and community resident who uses the District’s facilities. The approved scope of work will focus on three major areas – safety and security, infrastructure repairs and improvements, and education and instruction. The approved bond will enable the District to take advantage of 62.2 percent in New York State Building Aid greatly reducing the cost to taxpayers.
    
The Board of Education and Administration thank all community residents who participated in the bond vote.

There’s a Leader in Us All

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From the time students are enrolled in the district’s prekindergarten program, they are taught core values and begin to develop the foundation for becoming leaders.

As part of Bellmore’s character education program, Shore Road School fifth-graders examined the district’s core values of teamwork, integrity, respect, trust and dedication that exemplify a Bellmore Star and leader. The students then wrote essays on the qualities that define them individually as a leader. The essays were displayed on a bulletin board in the hall under the title “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, There’s a Leader in Us All.”  

A Study of Ancient Civilizations

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Shore Road sixth-graders were taken on a trip around the world as Michael Harrold of Jambo Productions brought his multicultural assembly program to the school. The students have been studying ancient river valleys and civilizations, and Mr. Harrold’s presentation expanded their knowledge of Egyptian, African, Asian and Indian civilizations and culture.

“My goal is to bring the curriculum to life,” Mr. Harrold said. “Students need to know that what they study in school is important.”

After the assembly, Mr. Harrold shared artifacts he has collected on his journeys east, including a rubber farmer’s bucket from Egypt, a homemade scooter from Thailand and a spear from Uganda. He shared personal anecdotes of his trips to these regions and allowed the students to explore his many artifacts.   

Bellmore Students Welcome Transition

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During the Jan. 19 executive session of the Board of Education, seventh-grade students who graduated from the Bellmore School District spoke with the trustees about their experiences transitioning from Shore Road to Grand Avenue Middle School, which is part of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District.

Board trustee Maryanne Kelly reported that the students expressed their appreciation of the academic skills and support received at each of the district’s elementary schools, making the move to middle school much easier. Trustee Janet Goller also described the discussion with the students as “insightful and complimentary.”

Board President Jay L.T. Breakstone congratulated the district’s teachers, saying that their support throughout each of the elementary school transitions made moving to the middle school easier for each student.

Chess Nuts Learn Strategy Through the Game

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Chess was on the table at Winthrop Avenue as members of the Chess Nuts Club tried their hand at this game of strategy. Under the direction of chess instructor Arun Shanbhag, students of all abilities met every week for a month to try to master the game, receiving 10 minutes of instruction and 20 minutes of playing time in lieu of recess.  

 “The student has to outthink his or her opponent,” Mr. Shanbhag said of the game, which he touts as a method for broadening students’ horizons and developing abstract thinking. “Every move helps the student visualize and solve a problem so he or she can devise a counteraction.”  

Staying Safe Online

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During an assembly at Shore Road School, Nassau County Police Officer Sharon Galvin addressed sixth-grade students about the perils of cyberbullying and the importance of Internet safety. She encouraged the students to be “upstanders,” or people who make a difference in the world. She cautioned them on having too many followers on social media and reminded them that Snapchat and Instagram, like all social media, can be traced by police officials.

“This is no joke,” Officer Galvin told the students. “Technology comes with a big responsibility, and nothing is private on the Internet.”

Officer Galvin also gave suggestions on how to handle a threatening or harassing message online. She encouraged the students to tell the perpetrator to stop, to block or un-follow that person, and to tell a trusted adult about any problem they are having online.  

Students Feel the Force

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Science consultant and retired teacher Brian Wallrapp engaged fourth-grade students at Winthrop Avenue in numerous experiments that demonstrated the forces of magnetism, static electricity and electromagnetism. The dynamic class reviewed science principles taught in class and helped to prepare students for state testing this spring in a fun-filled and informative way.

Mr. Wallrapp, also known as “Magnet Man,” taught the students that all matter is made of atoms and discussed where electricity comes from, how magnets repel and attract, and how the human body can conduct electricity. To demonstrate static electricity, the students rubbed a balloon on each other’s hair and used the charged balloon to lift salt. They also formed a human circuit to light a bulb and learned how a plasma globe transfers energy from one location inside the glass to another. 

Community Parent Center NARCAN Training

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Around the World Through Music

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Second-graders at Reinhard traveled across the globe through music during their annual choral concert for parents, staff and peers. Under the direction of music teacher Randi Andersen, the students performed a compilation of tunes that reflected the customs of Scotland, France, Italy, Africa, Australia and the United States.

Ms. Andersen explained that the concert’s theme of “A Trip Around the World” alluded to the fact that people throughout the world are not all that different.

“We all speak different languages, but we all smile in the same language,” she said. “And the whole world loves to sing.”

Principal Patricia Castine complimented the students on their dedication and commitment, which showed during the stellar program. She also noted that the music was more complicated because the students sang in rounds and in foreign languages. The roster of songs included “Loch Lomand,” “Vive La France,” “Funiculi, Funicula,” “Jambo Bwana” and “Party in the USA.”

 

A Visit from Miss Debbie

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Reinhard students gathered excitedly during a visit from Debbie DeGrassi, children’s librarian at the Bellmore Memorial Library. Ms. DeGrassi, who is fondly nicknamed “Miss Debbie,” read Gareth Edwards and Guy Parker Rees’ “Never Ask a Dinosaur to Dinner” to celebrate the school’s participation in the New York State PTA’s Pick a Reading Partner Month.

The goal of PARP is for students to read 50,000 minutes, which are currently being tallied on a bulletin board. Throughout the month, mystery readers share their favorite books with students, and the PARP Patrol looks for students who are actively reading.

Rocking Out to Reading

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The district believes that reading is an essential part of a student’s educational experience. Throughout the month of January, Reinhard students will be honing this important literary skill during the PTA’s monthlong Pick a Reading Partner event, themed “Rocking Out to Reading.”

This month’s goal is for students to collectively read 50,000 minutes. The PTA will keep tabs on the number of minutes as students read and fill out musical items, which are tallied prominently on a bulletin board in the hall. Throughout the month, mystery readers will also share their favorite books with students, and the PARP Patrol will be looking for students who are actively reading.

“The only way to become a good reader is to practice,” Principal Patricia Castine told the students.

To kick off the event, the students attended an assembly with percussionists Chet Doboe and John Doboe of the popular group Hip Pickles. Not only did the students listen to rockin’ music, select students participated in the Hip Pickles All-Star Drummers and the Pickle Mania Dance Sensations to celebrate their love of reading. Second-grader Jordy Kahn and kindergartner Matthew Phillip also shared their favorite books on stage.

 “I like to read because books give you ideas,” Matthew said.    

 

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Sunday, February 14, 2016