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LVE Parents' Council



Balancing Fun and Learning


When the circus comes to town, Locust Valley Elementary School students join in the fun! Thanks to the Locust Valley Parents’ Council, students enhanced physical and mental skills such as balancing, spinning objects, coordination and teamwork.

Fourth-graders perfected their skills during a weeklong circus workshop that culminated with a performance for their families. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade also had the opportunity to learn some circus tricks during their physical education classes. 

The program is run by the National Circus Project, an arts-in-education program, physical education program and cultural program all rolled into one. You can see some of the fun in the video below.


Embracing Cultural Diversity


Locust Valley families grabbed their passports and traveled the world without the hassle of packing suitcases or experiencing jetlag. The Ann MacArthur Primary School and Locust Valley Intermediate School community just had to get themselves to AMP, where an International Food Festival awaited their arrival.

The all-purpose room was filled with delicious smells emanating from culinary delights popular in Albania, Chile, El Salvador, Pakistan, Poland, Romania and many more countries, as guests brought dishes that represented their own cultures. The room décor included placements designed by the students, which represented maps of various countries and colorful pennants hung throughout the space. 

Food and décor were not the only things that created the international feel. Performances by students provided insight into the lifestyle and culture of some of the represented countries. Guests were treated to Irish and Greek dancing and a violin solo. Each child received a passport in which they could document the countries they visited by tasting those foods. A photo backdrop was provided for vacation selfies and games representing various regions were played by children and parents alike. Aboriginal dot painting provided fun and exposure to an activity that children in another culture enjoy.

The International Food Festival was hosted and organized by the Locust Valley Parents’ Council. The annual event provides an opportunity for families to share their own cultures with the community. 

Locust Valley Elementary School Principal Dr. Sophia Gary said the Parents’ Council goes above and beyond to make the evening special. “Everyone truly enjoyed the festival, and our students saw firsthand that the traits that make us unique also make us special,” she said. 

Book Club Offers More than Reading

Every Friday, a group of students at Locust Valley Intermediate School voluntarily bring their lunch to ENL teacher Kristi Van Vleet’s classroom to read, talk and, of course, eat. The book talk program not only includes reading a book together throughout the year, but these voracious readers have the opportunity to communicate with the author through videos they create asking her questions and videos she sends back with the answers. 

There are 10 fifth-graders and three staff members participating in the program, which was organized through #KidsNeedMentors, a free program that matches authors with educators in a literary partnership that lasts throughout the school year. Ms. Van Vleet was paired with author Jodi Kendall and the group is reading her book, “The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City.” 

Each week, the students bring their lunches and share snacks while the book is read aloud, offering their thoughts on questions that Ms. Van Vleet poses to them regarding the book’s themes. Sometimes, the group takes turns reading aloud, and no matter who is reading, the conversations that spark from the story’s content is impactful. 

The book club is a safe place and the participants feel comfortable talking about things that they can relate to in the book,” Ms. Van Vleet said.  “They often speak about their personal experiences and can easily relate to Josie, the main character in the book.”

Having access to the author has been a valuable experience, as their interactions with her validate for the students that their thoughts and opinions matter. They can ask any questions about the book and Ms. Kendall has been very generous in answering them all.  

Reading teacher Diana Oromaner and ENL teaching assistant Cyndy Ergen have become honorary members of the book club, reading along, commenting and bringing snacks. 

Assistant Principal Amy Watson said the book talk is a wonderful academic opportunity for the students. “They are learning so much and sacrificing their free time to do so,” she said. “Ms. Van Vleet is providing a unique opportunity and likely instilling a love of reading in her students.”

Bringing Community Together for Halloween

kids in Halloween costumes

Elementary students dressed in their Halloween costumes went from door to door, trick-or-treating on Sunday, Oct. 28. They didn’t confuse the date for the real Halloween – they went to classrooms at Locust Valley High School, where the student government sponsored Safe Halloween, providing the community’s children with a safe and fun trick-or-treating experience.

Each classroom had a theme, designed and run by members of various high school clubs. The Robotics Club, for example, held a trivia competition complete with electronic buzzers. There was also mummy wrapping, face painting, bowling, arts and crafts and more. In each room, children were given Halloween candy, leaving them with full buckets by the end of the day.

From school families to staff members, the community came together, bringing their children to celebrate, play and show off their costumes. Patrick DiClemente, who attended his first Safe Halloween as the new high school principal, said the event was a great success. 

“Sunday was a proud day as our youngest and oldest students, our staff members and residents joined together for an event filled with many smiles, outstanding costumes and a positive community atmosphere,” he said.

Halloween Celebrations at Intermediate Schools

carved pumpkins