Ahoy, Pirates Star at Newell

Fourth graders presented “My Uncle, The Pirate” to much
applause and laughter this past week. 
Parents, friends, and staff clapped loudly as the children acted, sang,
and moved around the stage with the ease and confidence of professionals.  There were three performances for family and
friends and other performances for the children in school. Because there were
three different casts, each comprised of two different fourth grade classes, every
fourth grade child participated. 

 The plot involved the surprise discovery by a family that it
had a relative who is a pirate. The pirate and his band of followers descends on
the family.  When the family decides the
pirates should go to school, the fun begins. With fancy eye patches and a
swash-buckling air, the pirates sang a medley of songs, at times, accompanied
by other children in the cast.  Interspersed throughout the performance, were
children carrying signs across the stage with various messages, such as one
that said, “Relax, they’re nice” referring to the pirates.

 It was a great show and the children performed superbly.
Congratulations to them and to our music teacher, Mr. Paul Sulyok, who wrote
and directed the show.

                                                                                                        

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Memorial Day Assembly

IMGP7898.JPGIf you were walking or driving by our school on this
beautiful sunny morning, you would have seen a wonderful sight.  It was a special Memorial Day Assembly filled
with patriotic songs, military marches, and inspiring talks by two local and
active veterans.  First and second
graders and a small group of preschoolers sat cross-legged on the lawn while
teachers, other staff members, and some parents stood nearby.
                                                                                                                  

The program began with the Pledge of Allegiance and the
National Anthem, followed by a selection of patriotic songs including “America”
and “This Land is Our Land,” sung by the children under the direction of Mr.
Paul Sulyok, Newell’s music teacher. Then, Commander Rick Brody and Mr. Barry
Rosenzweig (Mr. R) (picture below) of the Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. and the Veterans
Coalition spoke to the assemblage about the true
IMGP8058 (Small).JPGmeaning   of Memorial Day.  They emphasized the importance of showing
appreciation to all the brave men and women who have served or are currently
serving in our armed forces.  In addition
to explaining to the children about the holiday, Mr. R played the keyboard when
the children sang and again at the end when he launched into an array of songs
representing the different branches of the military. The veterans taught the
children a proper military salute.
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The highlight of the program was the introduction of a
number of students who held pictures of various family members who had served
or currently were serving in the military.   Proudly, the students told their names and
then the names of their family members. 

Other veterans who were guests at the ceremony were Dr. Zinzarella,
a community member and former school superintendent, Mr. Harry Leonard,
grandfather of a second grader, Sergeant Hiles, uncle of a second grader, and
Dr. Dick Fitzpatrick, UFRSD’s superintendent (and Air Force.) 

We are grateful to all who participated in this assembly and
we thank them for reminding us about the significance of Memorial Day.

 
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Cathy Beal: Support Staff Member of the Year

Ms. Cathy Beal, Computer Network Technician, has been chosen as Newell’s Support Staff Member of the Year. As the school’s technology trouble-shooter, Cathy gets to work with every staff member.  She describes her job as helping teachers to do their job.  To that end, she is forever helping individual teachers overcome technology glitches or teaching them new skills.  Her extraordinary competence combined with persistence and dedication have made her an invaluable and respected member of the staff.  No matter the challenge, and there can be several in a day, Cathy is unfailingly calm and tenacious in solving the problem.                                                                                                                               photoC.JPG

On Friday, Cathy, along with the Teacher of the Year and Support Staff Member of the Year from each of the schools, was honored by the district at an appreciation breakfast. In the picture on the right, Dr. Fitzpatrick, UFRSD’s Superintendent, congratulates Cathy on her award.                                                             
Congratulations, Cathy.  You are an excellent representative of the outstanding support staff at Newell. 

A Garden is Born

beginning of April 11Tate 065 (Small).jpgThis year, as
part of their science curriculum, first graders created a
Butterfly Garden.  On May 13, after much
planning and preparation, and with the help and expertise of Mr. and Mrs.
Brandauer, local butterfly experts and members of the Allentown Garden Club,
the children actually did the planting. 
They dug holes, planted bushes, laid mulch, and applied water.  In the future, first graders will continue
to water and weed the garden as well as make observations as the butterflies
begin to arrive.


This project
was triggered by a parent of a first grader, Mrs. Strovinsky, who works in a local
nursery and had been sending the class some amazing information about butterfly
gardens.  Assisting in the effort were
UFRSD’s Director of Building and Grounds, Mr. Mayeux; the Pleasant Run Nursery;
and, the Allentown Garden Club. Our
Butterfly Garden is a wonderful example of a collaborative effort between school
and community that engages children and enhances their learning.  Kudos to everyone involved.

Teachers Win UFREF Grants

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Carrying bunches of colorful balloons
and bearing a huge cardboard check, members of the Upper Freehold Regional Educational
Foundation (UFREF) swept into school today surprising several teachers with the
announcement that their ideas for innovative programs had been funded.  Each year the UFREF solicits applications for
grant awards from staff members throughout the district and makes awards twice
a year, in the fall and the spring. Pictured above (from left to right) are members of the
foundation:   Sydney Guerrero, Vice President; Jim Derasmo, President,  Karen Kilcher, PTA Liaison, and Robert
Cheff, Chairperson of the Grants Application Committee.


In this distribution, Newell ES
received a total grant amount of $1,944 for three different projects:
 


Hip Hop Helps Everyone Learn – submitted
by ESL teacher, Linda Chiappetta


This program uses music and
rhyming to improve ESL students’ vocabulary across content areas.  By using music to help students memorize
factual information, it’s highly motivating and can connect students of
different cultures.
 


Recognizing Students of the Month – submitted
by Art teacher, Tamara Diaczenko


The grant will support a student
recognition program in the Visual Arts. 
Each month two students who excel in art and demonstrate cooperation and
a positive attitude will receive personalized framed certificates and a small
gift.
  


Wii 4 Physical Education (PE) – submitted
by PE teachers, Robert Graham, Matt Nemeth, and Denise Wadams.


This project will use technology
to enhance the PE program for all students in the school.  It will assist in keeping the children
physically fit, incorporate team work into the activities, and serve as an
additional tool for the teaching and learning of PE. Through the use of two
motion controlled Wii systems, participants will be able to use motions,
gestures, and actions to control the characters on the video game.
 


Congratulations to the teacher
recipients and many thanks to the UFREF for their support of our school.


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More Computer Happenings

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Second graders
used Skype interactive videoconferencing technology to meet students in Kansas
City, Missouri.  After a brief
introduction by the teachers on both sides, each student got to meet one
student from Missouri and then match their mathematical wits in a game of
addition and subtraction “Around the World.” Soon, the students will be
videoconferencing again for a mapping project to teach the Kansas City second
graders how to navigate through Allentown.


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Third and
fourth graders attended the first-ever Type-A-Thon on
April 14th. The students did their best to complete as many typing
lessons as possible in two hours. The students gained valuable typing practice,
and generous sponsors helped them raise over $130 for
the Upper Freehold Regional Education Foundation (UFREF), a group that helps fund innovative
projects designed by teachers in the district. 
Everyone had a fun time.
This
project was a joint effort coordinated by Mrs. Rowland, our computer teacher, third
grade teacher, Mrs. Walulak and UFREF representative, Ms. Esteves.


 

PTA Hosts Staff Appreciation Breakfast and Gives Outstanding Educator Award

On Wednesday, May 4, the PTA celebrated
Teacher Appreciation Day by hosting a spectacular breakfast for the staff in
the school cafeteria and then using the occasion to announce the winner of the
Phoebe Hearst Outstanding Educator Award – A National
PTA Excellence in Education Award – Given by the UFRPTA. 

This
year’s winner is Allison Tate, a first grade teacher, who was recognized
for her competence, compassion and concern for her students, and her dedication
to teaching.  Congratulations to
Allison. 

And,
thanks to the PTA, and the parents, in particular, who prepared the food,
served it so graciously, and by their presence conveyed their appreciation to
the teachers and other support staff members for the work that they do. Celebrations,
such as these, that bring parents and teachers together make Newell Elementary
School a great school – a good place for children to learn and teachers to
teach.
 

Thank
you parents!

Grade 2 Computer Club: Art Project Involves Four Seasons Residents

5641557722_7827272080.jpg Second graders have the opportunity to join one of four clubs (art,
library, gym, and computer) during their recess period.  They attend the club for one day a week for
one marking period.  Recently, the
children in the computer club participated in an art contest.  Each student researched endangered animals
from all over the world, chose one to focus on, and created digital artwork to
represent that animal in its natural habitat. 
Residents from the Four Seasons adult community in Allentown judged the
artwork and came to Newell to meet the artists and hand out the awards. During
their visit, the children showed the judges the program they used to create the
artwork and demonstrated how to use it. Ms. Mimi Rowland, our computer teacher, arranged
the meeting to the delight of both children and visitors.  Here are some pictures from this special
event.

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An Unusual Visitor to First Grade

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Today first graders in Ms. Nancy Qualiano’s class had an
interesting visitor, a beautiful, black and white, baby goat only four weeks
old who let out a loud bleat when introduced to the children, much to their
obvious delight.

 Ms. Leslie Search from Lahaway Farm in Cream Ridge brought
the goat to school and patiently answered the children’s questions.  Formerly a member of the Newell staff, she’s
also written a children’s book about goats that the first graders read in their
class prior to this visit. Ms. Search explained what goats eat, how young goats like
to play, and why the baby goat was nervous around children.  “What is her name?” asked one little girl only
to find out that the baby was unnamed because if she had a name it would be too
hard for Ms. Search to give her away.

It was a lovely sunny morning and the unusual visit took place out on the field.  As her owner
cradled her in her lap, the children took turns gently petting the baby goat.  A memorable moment for the children, and, we
hope, for the baby goat, too!

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