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Showing Appreciation for Veterans

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During this season of thanks, we remember events earlier this month, where students and staff showed thanks for our veterans. Elementary school students brought tears to the eyes of those in attendance at their Veterans Day celebrations. The patriotic events showed local veterans that their service to our country is appreciated, recognized and never forgotten.

Ann MacArthur Primary School second graders welcomed their families for a program that included music and special guests. Dressed in red, white and blue, the students sang patriotic songs including “I Love My Country” by Teresa Jennings, “This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie and others. 

Some of the students invited veterans that they know to be recognized. The students stood in front of the audience and introduced their guests, stating their names and in which branch of the service the veteran served. 

Students in Dani Schatz’s second grade class at Bayville Primary School joined Bayville Intermediate School fifth graders from Kelly Price’s class to recognize veterans from the Bayville American Legion.

Through the “We Have Character!” project, students learned about gratitude and reflected on what they were grateful for and then showed that they were grateful for the veterans by asking them about themselves and their service to our country. Students interviewed the veterans focusing on their military experience and presented them with a flag they made to show their appreciation. The stars on the flag were made with the handprints of the second graders and the stripes were made by the fifth graders. 

“The students did a wonderful job asking and listening to the veterans,” Ms. Price said. “The veterans appreciated the students’ interest in getting to know them better. It was an experience I think we will all remember.”

The following veterans were honored during Ann MacArthur Primary School’s Celebration of Gratitude: Alexander Casella, U.S. Army (family friend of second grader Kirsten Dembowski); John Capozzi, U.S. Army (grandfather of second grader Sophia Capozzi); James Ceglia, of the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps (family friend of second grader John Dembowski); Anthony Consolazio, of the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II (great-grandfather of second grader Alison Kelly); Pete Eramo, U.S. Navy (grandfather of second grader Charlize Pierro); Michael Gonzalez, U.S. Marine Corps (family friend of second grader Maddi Mazza); Kenneth Kalenderian, U.S. Army (grandfather of second grader Layne Kalenderian); Marc Mueller, U.S. Marine Corps (grandfather of second grader Declan Mueller); Peter Ruotolo, U.S. Marine Corps (uncle of second grader Charlie Ruotolo-Jampol) and Robert Seldomridge, U.S. Marine Corps (grandfather of second grader Declan Habermehl). 




Giving Thanks Throughout the District

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Locust Valley students and staff proved that giving thanks can be accomplished in diverse ways as they held Thanksgiving celebrations, organized collections for those in need and invited family members to performances honoring the holiday.

Kindergarten students at Ann MacArthur Primary School started preparing weeks ahead for their celebration. The students created paper turkeys and practiced singing songs leading up to a performance that left parents and grandparents with smiles as big as the moon and hearts filled with pride.

Locust Valley Intermediate School third graders held a Thanksgiving kindness celebration in which each student wrote about an act of kindness done for them or by them and posted it on a bulletin board to view during their Thanksgiving feast. 

Bayville Primary School students also enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast complete with turkey and all the traditional sides. The children gathered in the gymnasium for a festive sing-a-long which featured tunes with a Thanksgiving theme, including the turkey tango, which Ann MacArthur Primary students also performed. 

Throughout the district, students and staff joined together to create baskets of food for those who required help making their holiday festive and traditional. The baskets were given to the Grenville Baker Boys and Girls Club for distribution to those who needed the food. 

It takes many people to organize these events, and the district administrators and Board of Education are thankful for each of them, including teachers, teaching assistants, custodians and parents!

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate and thank you for being part of our community!

  
 

Cultural Diversity Brings Families Together

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Ann MacArthur Primary School was transformed into an international café, complete with delectable dishes and student performances that brought the multipurpose room alive with family traditions.

The Locust Valley Elementary School Parents’ Council sponsored the annual International Food Festival for families to learn about each other’s cultures. Attendees brought dishes from their own cultures to share with others at the potluck dinner, and they ate on placemats decorated by students to represent a variety of countries. Art teacher Dana Ettinger worked with the students to design the placemats, many of which looked like the maps of the countries they represented.

Guests enjoyed watching students show off their skills in traditional dances from their own heritages. Greek, Irish and Sikh Indian dances not only entertained, but also impressed the crowd.   

Students eagerly lined up to get henna tattoos, known as mehndi in India, which are temporary designs that are created with a paste made from the dried leaves of a henna plant. 

The LVEPC worked to make the event inclusive of all the cultures represented within the Locust Valley elementary schools. Principal Dr. Sophia Gary said the International Food Festival brought the community together. 

“It was a beautiful night celebrating each other and learning about our differences and similarities,” she said.

 

Building Relationships Through Bilingual Nights

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The community came together as more than 125 parents attended the district’s bilingual event, held over two nights for Spanish-speaking families from all of the LVCSD schools.

Organized and facilitated by Cyndy Ergen, a teaching assistant at Locust Valley Intermediate School, the event provided parents with helpful information to ensure that their children succeed in school. Ms. Ergen, who translates many district documents into Spanish for non-English-speaking families, shared the district calendar, important phone numbers and many helpful tips that would not only benefit students, but help parents and guardians feel more comfortable being part of the LVCSD community.  

Several district administrators and building faculty members were introduced, shared information about their departments and made the attendees feel comfortable by speaking in their native language and reminding them that the district will assist them in any way possible.

Ms. Ergen has been running this event for five years and said the Spanish-speaking community is appreciative that the information shared allows them to become more involved in the education of their children.

“Many of these families want to be more involved but don’t know how,” Ms. Ergen said. “By showing them where to find information, how to view the website in their own language and who to contact for various topics, they now feel more comfortable.”

Interim Superintendent of Schools, Thomas P. Dolan, Ed.D., said bilingual nights are important events that helps build bridges to connect all facets of the community. “When we work to make the entire community feel welcome, it benefits all of our students,” he said.

Ms. Ergen wishes to thank the school staff members and representatives from outside organizations that assisted in making the bilingual nights a success.

Halloween Fun!

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A little rain didn't scare LVCSD elementary school students away from celebrating Halloween. Primary school students held parades at their respective schools and intermediate school students attended dances complete with spooky decorations and games. Check out the slideshows to see all the creative costumes.

Bayville Intermediate School and Locust Valley Intermediate School

 

Ann MacArthur Primary School and Bayville Primary School