Once Upon a Time


Dressed as fairy princesses, kings and queens, farmers and more, Reinhard second-graders performed short plays based on the fairytales “The 12 Dancing Princesses,” “Many Moons” and “One Gift Deserves Another” (“The Turnip”) for delighted parents and peers. The plays were a culmination of workshops by artist-in-residence Lorraine Zeller-Agostino, who taught the students nonverbal improvisational acting techniques through the study of fairytales.

In addition to reading and studying fairytales, the students learned to depict expression, emotion and choral techniques on stage. The goals of the program were to provide students with the opportunity to discover their creativity, learn cooperation skills, feel successful and explore the art of drama.   

“I appreciate how hard you’ve worked to acquire this level of performance,” Ms. Zeller-Agostino told the students.

Newest Artwork Unveiled at Bellmore Star Arts Gallery


The exemplary artwork of district students was unveiled during the opening of the 2016 Bellmore Star Arts Gallery, held at the district office on April 11. More than 40 pieces of artwork were exhibited in matching gold frames, donated by alumnus James Perna. Under the guidance of art teachers, Michelle Block and Stephen Gorey, the students expressed themselves through a variety of media and skills sets including mask making, watercolor, pencil and more.

Both Ms. Block and Mr. Gorey explained the difficulty in choosing the star-quality pieces for the gallery. “I considered the student’s dedication to the arts, as well as his or her ability to follow instructions,” Ms. Block said.

Mr. Gorey noted that there are so many talented art students in the district that the gallery could triple in size. “I chose the artwork of students whose quality and effort exemplified the leadership skills of time and effort,” he said.

Exhibitors received a certificate of achievement, and their work will continue to hang in the gallery for one year.  

Artistry on Silk


Winthrop Avenue students learned the ancient technique of dying silk during a workshop with visiting artist Esther Tollen and her son Sam Tollen.

After learning about the fascinating silk cultivating process used today, each student was called up individually to learn how to hold a bamboo paintbrush correctly before being instructed on how to dye a small portion of the silk banner. The students also learned how to mix colors to give the banner a richer color.

“This is a great opportunity for all of you to learn this style of painting,” Ms. Tollen said. “The method is very different because the paint migrates through the fibers.”

Upon completion, the banner will hang on a school wall and will depict a leafy tree with the words “Winthrop Avenue Growing Leaders.”

Bellmore School District recognized as a Best Community for Music Education

The Bellmore Union Free School District was recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation as one of 2016 Best Communities for Music Education.
Among the 13,515 school districts across the nation, Bellmore received this honor with 475 other districts for its outstanding efforts and exceptionally high commitment to music education and for ensuring all students are offered exceptional musical learning in their curriculum. Along with our outstanding general music program, Bellmore offers instruction in string, woodwind, and percussion instruments and provides opportunities for students to participate in band, orchestra and chorus and perform in various school concerts, choral and recorder groups, and musical theatre productions.

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization, which advances active participation in music. The District’s music program was analyzed for funding, highly qualified music teachers, commitment to high music standards, community support and participation and access to music instruction.

“We are extremely proud of our music department, faculty and young musicians for receiving this tremendous honor,” Superintendent of Schools      Dr. Joseph Famularo said.

Winthrop Avenue Musicians Attend Day of Recorder

Seventeen Winthrop Avenue student-musicians participated in the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association Day of Recorder, also known as the Eugene Reichenthal Recorder Festival, held at Brentwood High School on March 19. The program’s goal was to provide festival opportunities for recorder players, many of whom are emerging as instrumentalists.

Music teacher Erica Davis congratulates Alec Ader, Noah Barrett, Michael Benfante, Sophia Benno, Valerie Daliendo, Gabriella Elliott, Sean Harris, Tali Kichel, Dylan Kratenstein, Brian Laudman, Jack Levitt, Avery Levy, Athina Malafis, Giovanni Scimeca, Jayden Simon, Matthew Sharp and Maximo Walaitis for this musical achievement.

Frances Zwerling Named a Star Polisher Leader

During the Board of Education’s March 22 meeting, the Board and administrators recognized longtime Charles A. Reinhard Early Childhood Center substitute teacher Frances Zwerling as a Star Polisher Leader. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph F. Famularo explained that Ms. Zwerling, who has taught for the past 50 years, is deserving of the district’s highest award for having instilled warmth and creativity in the classroom environment and having displayed exemplary core values.   
“Fran Zwerling remains an inspiration to us all,” Dr. Famularo said. “She has exemplified our core values since her very first day in Bellmore Schools.”
Ms. Zwerling began teaching in the Bellmore School District in 1973 and has been employed as a substitute teacher since her retirement in 1995. Ms. Zwerling began her career as a kindergarten teacher at P.S. 190 in Brooklyn in 1952. She has also held positions as a pre-school teacher, library story hour teacher, Girl Scout troop chairwoman, assistant leader of a Camp Fire group and a substitute teacher in the North Bellmore School District.  
“The greatest gift you have given the students is that they have learned from the beginning that the Bellmore School District is a fun place to learn,” Board President Jay L.T. Breakstone said.
Ms. Zwerling was also recognized by the district’s unions and local government representatives and received a banner decorated with a star containing the thumbprints of district students.
Ms. Zwerling said receiving the award is overwhelming and that teaching in the district has been an honor and privilege. “I have seen many changes, but a change I have never seen is the superintendent’s and Board of Education’s dedication to educational excellence and their ability to bring out the best in children,” she said.

Bellmore Teamwork to Program Robots

Using their knowledge on engineering and coding, fourth-graders in Phinola Baeza’s class programmed robots and created challenging courses for their bots to best. Using the hallway as their roadway, the eager students carefully plotted courses on the floor with masking tape. The designs included sharp right and left angles for small robots that whirred and followed the directions programmed by student teams. If the robots veered off the desired course, new measurements were taken and coordinates were re-programmed to match the course.   

Ms. Baeza explained that the Winthrop students have recently learned the basics of coding and were instructed to apply those skills in the programming of robots. The students had the free choice of design for their courses. “The activity requires a lot of teamwork and problem-solving skills, in addition to coding and measurement skills,” she said.

An Exploration of American Indian Territory


Shore Road School students attended the Journeys Into American Indian Territory in-house field trip to learn more about the Eastern Woodland Native Americans. During the curriculum-based event, presenters Bob Vetter and Maddie Cheers shared artifacts from their portable museum, told a Kiowa story called “How the Big Dipper Got Into the Sky” and taught a popular “hand game.”

The students learned how the Cheyenne people used the entire buffalo for clothes, food and shelter. A few of them also modeled typical clothing worn by Native Americans and learned how they tanned clothing out of hides. The most popular part of the program, however, was the installation of a traditional and authentic tepee in the gymnasium for the students to explore.

Celebrating Music in Our Schools Month with a Concert


In celebration of Music in Our Schools Month, Winthrop Avenue students performed for parents, staff and peers during two lively concerts in the school auditorium on March 17 and for Reinhard students on March 21. Under the direction of teacher Erica Davis, the third- and fourth- grade choral students and recorder players performed traditional tunes, blending the music with a St. Patrick’s Day theme.

Included were performances of “Michael Finnegan,” “A Musical Recipe,” “Frog Went A-Courtin,” “Gavotte” and “Angelina.” There was also a sing-along to of “Do-Re-Me,” featuring the recorder players. The concert concluded with “I Love Music.”  

Principal Sally Curto congratulated the students on their stellar performance. “Music is alive and well at Winthrop Avenue School,” she said.


Knowledge of Irish Holiday Strengthens Writing Skills

First-graders at Reinhard not only dressed in green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, they also applied their newly acquired knowledge about Ireland and the folklore behind the leprechaun to strengthen their English language arts skills.

David Reilly’s first-grade class read a Scholastic News article about Ireland’s countryside, castles, cliffs and cities, as well as Ivan Robertson’s “Jack and the Leprechaun” and Marcia Thornton’s “Leprechauns on the Loose.” After learning that these mischievous creatures have a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, the students were instructed to write about what they would like to find at the end of their personal rainbow.
Jennifer Magliano’s kindergarten class also read a variety of literature about leprechauns and St. Patrick’s Day and discussed words that have a “green” connotation. In addition, they celebrated the holiday with healthy green snacks.

Shore Road School's Production of Peter Pan


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Friday, April 29, 2016