Students, parents, staff and administrators in the district experienced an evening of resilience, empowerment and hope when singer/songwriter Jared Campbell led an ACCESS Workshop on Jan. 17.
Sponsored by the East Meadow PTA Council in conjunction with the East Meadow Kiwanis, the concert took place at the Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center, where Campbell performed songs containing powerful stories. The singer/guitarist also visited all of the district’s elementary schools over the course of the week to share positive messages with the students.
“Music has the ability to transcend words,” said Campbell, who visits schools across the country on national tours. “I want my music to leave an impact on kids and get them to think about how they’re treating one another, what they’re going after in life and how to work together.”
Campbell kicked off the show with “Life Is Good,” an original song about focus. “As students grow up and go through life, honing in on the power of focus is huge,” he said. Among other tunes were “Change the World,” about looking out for others, and “Life I Haven’t Lived Yet,” conveying the importance of hard work and believing in oneself.
The audience was entertained by these and many other songs, often clapping along or echoing the lyrics. Campbell discussed every song that he presented and encouraged attendees to think about the ways these messages could be applied to their own lives.
Woodland Middle School students participated in a variety of team building activities on Jan. 13.
The Social Emotional Learning Club held a game-themed Mix It Up Day for sixth- and seventh-graders during their lunch periods to meet new people, develop their social skills and work in teams. During their homeroom period, the students received different colored bracelets that grouped them with new peers. Together, they took part in activities inspired by board games such as Apples to Apples, Uno, Scrabble and Monopoly.
Across the hall, eighth-graders practiced their team building skills with exercises and gaming applications. Working collaboratively to accomplish a common goal, they participated in exercises such as human rock, paper, scissors and land mine travel, where teams had to direct their classmates across a field of “land mines” without stepping on a mine or bumping into another competitor. The students also teamed up to play the puzzle game Candy Crush.
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, second-graders at Barnum Woods Elementary School studied Dr. King’s dream of living in a world of equality, compassion and kindness.
Teacher Denise DeMarco began the lesson by reading the picture-book biography, “Martin’s Big Words” by Doreen Rappaport. The book explained Dr. King’s life journey as a civil rights activist in pursuit of a world where everyone is treated fairly.
Afterward, students brainstormed aspirations inspired by Dr. King’s message. Among them were “treating everyone fairly and with kindness,” “that there will be no wars” and, to quote Dr. King, “that people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
With these aspirations, students drew themselves in an “I have a dream” activity using one of the above wishes.
Fourth-graders at Parkway Elementary School got their feet wet in exploring natural disasters and the media. After conducting research and planning out their segments over the course of several weeks, students in Kelly Zawasky and Allison Cellura’s class presented a series of natural disaster news broadcasts on Jan. 13.
The project, part of the students’ literacy curriculum, posed the essential question of “How do people respond to natural disasters?” The fourth-graders responded to this inquiry by researching different types of natural disasters and watching numerous weather broadcasts to understand what information is needed for a typical weather report, which proved useful when the time came to prepare their scripts.
The class also studied the importance of eyewitness interviews and the role of the meteorologist as they learned about firsthand and secondhand accounts of events. In addition, they learned about the elements of dramatic text, which they incorporated into their scripts. Finally, they created their own backdrops and ran through several dress rehearsals to ensure they were camera-ready.
Along with on-set reporting from the news desk, each broadcast involved “on-site” scenes in front of the backdrops. Students were creative in their use of props and costumes as they portrayed the roles of reporters, meteorologists and civilians impacted by the events.
Broadcasts included coverage of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami of 2011, the multiple-vortex tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri in 2011, the Great Blizzard of 1888 and the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.
School District and Public Library Joint Bond Referendum
In a joint decision, the first of its kind in the community’s history, the school district and public library plan to propose a single bond referendum that would support major renovations and improvements to both the district’s schools and athletic facilities, and the public library. If approved by voters, the proposed work will bring the public library into the 21st century and facilitate greater opportunities to serve the community, while the school district will be ale to address much needed repairs and improve its instructional space and athletic facilities at schools that are more than 60 years old.
Students spanning first through 12th grade in the District were recognized for their talents and creativity during the district’s “A Young Artist Exhibition” on Dec. 20.
Students, families and faculty members browsed the 130 pieces of artwork on display at the Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center as W. Tresper Clarke High School’s string quartet performed winter classics. Those who had their work on display had been chosen for their adept technique in collage, painting, drawing and photography.
The district extends special thanks to Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Cindy Munter, Director of Music and Art Kathryn Behr, Art Chairperson Heather Anastasio, art show coordinator Lisa Young and the district Art Faculty for their hard work and dedication in arranging this year’s gallery.
First-graders in Camille Iovino-Coli’s class at Barnum Woods Elementary School held a “Festival of Lights” party to observe the different holidays celebrated in their class.
Prior to the celebration, the children studied the variety of cultures, traditions and religious holidays celebrated by their fellow classmates. They learned about the similarities and differences of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Diwali. The main message Iovino-Coli hoped her students would take away is to be respectful of one another’s cultural diversity.
For the festival, families brought in treats representing their ethnic backgrounds. The class and guests enjoyed latkes (a Jewish potato pancake), Cozonac (a Romanian pound cake), kheer (a Muslim rice pudding) and Pfeffernusse (German gingerbread cookies).
Additionally, each first-grader received a poster with candy canes and a writing activity to identify their favorite holiday tradition. Responses included spending time with family, decorating the tree and opening presents.
Months of preparation and practice paid off as students in the REACH program at W.T. Clarke Middle School and High School performed their winter concert .
Students, teachers, central administrators and family members gathered in Clarke High School’s Little Theatre to hear a variety of winter classics, including “Winter Wonderland,” “Let It Snow” and “Jingle Bell Rock.”
Closing out the show, the students performed “We Wish You a Happy Holiday” in American Sign Language with the help of Clarke High School students who are studying ASL.
The East Meadow school community gives these young musicians a standing ovation for their talents and dedication.
During their communication meeting on Dec. 15, the members of the East Meadow Board of Education recognized several individuals in the community amid musical performances by students districtwide.
The Board began the evening by presenting their Distinguished Service Award to East Meadow residents and World War II veterans John Hughes and Angelo Auletta, who served in the U.S. Navy and Army, respectively. The award honors veterans in the community for their loyalty and devoted service to the nation.
“It is a privilege to recognize individuals who served our country,” said Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo. “All of us are here today because of those who sacrificed to protect our freedoms.”
The Board also presented community member Deborah Coates with a certificate of recognition for being named a recipient of the New York State School Boards Association’s Everett R. Dyer Distinguished Service Award. According to its website, NYSSBA presents this award each year to a current or former school board member for their outstanding contributions to public education and children in their own school district.
“In addition to serving as an East Meadow Board trustee and president, as well as an outstanding member of Nassau BOCES’ board, Ms. Coates has always been a valued member of our community and an outstanding PTA leader,” said East Meadow Board President Marcee Rubinstein. “We are so proud of her.”
The evening ensued with musical performances by the W.T. Clarke brass ensemble, woodwind quintet and saxophone quartet; the East Meadow High School wind ensemble, steel drum ensemble and handbell choir; a Barnum Woods Elementary School violin and cello duo; the string ensembles from McVey and Barnum Woods elementary schools; members of the Bowling Green Elementary School band; and the Woodland Middle School vocal jazz ensemble.
Music students of the East Meadow School District have been recognized in a variety of ways for their remarkable talents and achievements.
A total of 155 students across the District have been selected to perform in the Nassau Music Educators Association All-County Festivals in January. Each of the seven concerts will take place at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts.
These student-musicians in grades 5-12 received this honor based on their New York State School Music Association solo evaluation and teacher recommendations.
33 students district-wide have been invited to perform in the Long Island String Festival Association in March at Uniondale High School.
Established in 1956, the association’s mission it to educate young string musicians by providing them the opportunity to work with renowned conductors and musicians from all over the country.
Three seniors at the secondary level have been invited to perform in the National Association for Music Education’s 2017 Biennial Eastern Division Conference from April 5-8 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
NAfME is the world’s largest arts education organization that addresses all aspects of music education.
Michelle Hromin from W.T. Clarke High School will play clarinet in the concert band, Alby Joseph from W.T. Clarke High School will play cello in the orchestra and Arun Sam from East Meadow High School will sing as a Bass I in the mixed choir.
The district extends its congratulations to these exceptional music students and the talented faculty.
Students and staff at Parkway Elementary School spread winter cheer on Dec. 14 by transforming their classroom doors into winter-themed wonderlands for the annual Decorate the Door contest.
Sporting their favorite ugly holiday sweaters and applying their creativity and collaboration skills, every class in grades K-5, as well as the school’s ancillary departments, decorated their doors to reflect a winter theme. Competition criteria required them to display a winter theme in a tangible and clever way that was visually appealing, imaginative and creative, and exuded school spirit or Parkway paraphernalia. Judging was based on originality, complexity, creativity and relevance to the theme.
Winners for each grade were announced, acknowledging the classes that most innovatively used materials such as lights, cotton balls, paper snowflakes and wrapping paper to transform their doors. Among the ancillary departments, the main office reigned supreme with their “Gingerbread Lane” theme.
Along with their first-place ribbons, the K-2 winners received a movie day with popcorn and juice, those who placed first in grades 3-5 won a game of freedom ball during gym, juice and cookies, and the main office earned bragging rights.
Inspired by a true story they read in their English classes, seventh-grade students at Woodland and W.T. Clarke middle schools walked a mile around their school grounds on Dec. 6 to raise funds for Island Harvest and Water for South Sudan.
As part of their English curriculum, the seventh-graders read Linda Sue Park’s “A Long Walk to Water.” The book, a New York Times bestseller, is based on the true story of Salva, an 11-year-old boy who safely led 150 boys to Kenya during the civil war in South Sudan.
With Salva’s tale as the inspiration, the English department coordinated a water walk to bring the message closer to home while enabling students to help others in need.
Each student contributed to the cause by donating $1 to carry a gallon of water during the one-mile walk. The students’ efforts resulted in the donation of more than 600 jugs of water to Island Harvest, a hunger relief organization with the mission of “ending hunger and reducing food waste on Long Island,” and more than $4,000 was raised by students, families, teachers and administrators for Water for South Sudan, a not-for-profit organization that provides clean, safe water to the region.
The East Meadow High School Theatre Guild gave a showstopping performance that kept audience in stitches when they presented “Larceny and Old Lace” on Dec. 8-10.
Written by Van Vandagriff and directed by East Meadow High School English teacher Amanda Priole, “Larceny and Old Lace” is the story of Harold Peabody, a caring nephew who watches after his eccentric Uncle Charlie while his aunts, Gertie and Millie, are on a gambling trip in Las Vegas. Uncle Charlie, who thinks he is a pirate, is constantly burying “treasure” in the basement. When Harold hears the local bank has been robbed and discovers a bag of money in the house, he declares that Charlie is responsible and should be sent to a sanitarium. Aunts Gertie and Millie will not stand for such a thing — especially since they had stolen that money during their Vegas trip. On top of that, Harold’s cousin Mordred, an escaped convict, appears at the house with a bundle of stolen money and the FBI hot on his trail. On the brink of a breakdown, Harold attempts to keep his aunts out of jail, Mordred from killing them and his fiancée from leaving him, all while keeping himself from going insane.
The talented East Meadow cast and crew embraced the unique characteristics of the Peabody family in this riotous production of Vandagriff’s spoof on the classic “Arsenic and Old Lace.”
The Theatre Guild would like to express their gratitude to Priole, high school students Gabriella Landri and Rayaa Anglada (assistant directors), art teacher Ingo Prangenberg (technical advisor) and Board of Education trustee Scott Eckers (lighting design) for this successful fall production.
The Tri-M Music Honor Society chapter 2817 of East Meadow High School partnered with the American Cancer Society to put an end to cancer by hosting Concert for a Cure on November 22.
Since the beginning of the school year, members of Tri-M have been participating in student-led chamber ensembles before and after school to perfect their concert performance. The honor society’s members honed their musicianship skills as they organized rehearsals, communicated with their peers and cohesively arranged music compositions without the guidance of teachers.
During the concert’s luminaria ceremony, in which candles were lit in memory of those who have lost the battle to cancer, ACS Community Manager Meaghan Neary acknowledged the top three student fundraisers: freshman Leilani Blakeman ($958), senior and Tri-M President Jaden Nogee ($385) and sophomore Julia Cuttone ($255).
“Our luminaria ceremony is an opportunity to remember those we have lost and also a chance to celebrate their lives,” said Neary. “We want to pay tribute to those we love and all those who have been touched by cancer.”
Following, Jaden read the poem “One Little Candle” by Carol Dunn and asked the audience to observe a moment of silence in memory of those lost to cancer.
The benefit concert was a great success, generating more than $3,500 in donations. The members of Tri-M were honored to unite their passion for music and community service to assist in the battle against cancer that has affected many people in their lives.
In honor of Unity Day on Oct. 19, the staff and student body of the East Meadow School District joined together to take a stance against bullying by creating a unity tree in the Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center.
Throughout the day, students, teachers, faculty members and central administrators signed leaves as a pledge to be upstanders and put an end to bullying within their community.
With more than 75 leaves signed and collected, members of the W.T. Clarke High School Art Honor Society pasted the foliage on a 16-by-12-foot painting in the Salisbury Center’s conference room. The tree symbolizes kindness, togetherness and partnership across the district.
At the building level, schools celebrated Unity Day by creating their own trees, rainbow arches and hosting Mix-It-Up Days during their lunch periods, where students sat with peers they didn’t know in order to cultivate new friendships.
Members of the Kiwanis Kids at Bowling Green Elementary School made ornaments for the annual Community Association of Stewart Avenue Holiday Lighting ceremony.
The club members came together in the school’s all-purpose room on Dec. 2 to fashion wooden tree ornaments out of Popsicle sticks, which they colored with crayons and adorned with rhinestones and glitter to add extra sparkle to the tree.
The Kiwanis Kids will hang their decorative ornaments on the tree during Dec. 9 ceremony, which will be held at Carvel on Carman Avenue.
Parkway Elementary School held its second annual Turkey Trot fundraiser on Nov. 10 to help families have a bountiful Thanksgiving.
Since September, students in kindergarten through fifth grade trained for the event by running laps outdoors during their gym classes to improve their running times. In honor of this year’s race, students were encouraged to bring in canned goods and nonperishable items to assist Island Harvest in providing families on Long Island with a delicious Thanksgiving meal.
On the day of the fundraiser, students in grades 3-5 ran 12 minutes around the building, while those in K-2 completed the run in the gymnasium. Before they started the run, the students dropped off their donations in marked receptacles.
To keep their energy and spirits up, members of the Parkway PTA cheered the students on and helped them stay hydrated by handing them cups of water as they ran.