Sag Harbor Elementary School Newsletter, April 7


Sag Harbor Elementary School Newsletter

We are learning about careers around the world as part of this year’s theme, “Explore Our World.” School counselor Michelle Grant introduced her friend, Mark Crandall, at Morning Program to talk about his career. In 1984, when he was 15, Mark went to Zimbabwe for a year as an exchange student. Eleven years later he decided to combine his love of sports and desire to help disadvantaged children and formed Hoops 4 Hope (H4H). The mission of this non-profit organization is to support youth development throughout southern Africa by providing children and young adults in challenged environments with safe, nurturing places where they can develop skills for the playing field and for life. Through participation in free basketball and soccer clinics, children throughout the world are learning integrity, responsibility, self-esteem, self-awareness, sense of humor, focus, and ubuntu—the age-old African term for humaneness, or caring, sharing and being in harmony with all of creation. As an ideal, it promotes cooperation between individuals, cultures and nations. Sag Harbor Elementary School is taking part in a Sneaker Drive, called Soles 4 Souls—we are collecting gently used sneakers of all sizes and H4H will distribute them to children less fortunate so they can, literally, walk in our shoes. If you would like to learn more about H4H you can visit their website at

Maryellen LeClerc’s second graders made a PowerPoint presentation of Earth Facts at Morning Program, showing their original computer-generated artwork, which depicted a variety of facts about the Earth that they had researched and memorized. The information covered a range of topics, such as physical features (mountains, oceans, waterfalls, continents, inner core, and glaciers); comparisons (distance from the sun, size and location relative to other planets); weather events (lightning, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis); and things that can be measured, such as rotation speed, length of a year, population, diameter, and water cycle. Student Lucy Beeton wrote and presented the introduction. They closed their program by singing “It’s a Small World,” accompanied by music teacher Gavin Lahann on keyboard.

This month we have been learning about nature and are focusing on “Spring around the World.” ESL teacher Donna Milazzo and Kindergarten teacher Nancy Remkus made a PowerPoint presentation at Morning Program about the way spring is celebrated in different countries. We learned that in Germany they wear ugly masks on Crazy Thursday, screaming and shouting, carrying brooms to ‘sweep’ out the winter spirits; later in the day they wear handsome masks and four bells around their waists to ring in the good weather. In Japan they have the Cherry Blossom Festival; in India they have a magical Wishing Tree; in Croatia, young people go singing from door to door, one of them dressed as Green George, wearing green leaves and branches; and in the United States we wait on Groundhog Day to find out how long it will be for the winter weather to end. Here on the East End, some of the spring events we have are the Montauk St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Easter Bonnet Parade, the Easter Egg Hunt at the park, and the petting zoo.

The fifth grade Wax Museum was very successful—all the students did an excellent job of portraying people from history and family and friends enjoyed the results of all their hard work. In their reports there was a section where they reflected on their subjects’ lives. The students wrote about more than their accomplishments and the pivotal events; they talked about the personal traits that made them inspirational, such as courage, endurance, creativity, leadership and kindness.

Tobacco use prevention is a key component of our counseling program. This year our District has put in place “Teens as Teachers” as part of the tobacco free program developed by Easter Suffolk BOCES and the Suffolk County Department of Health. Under the guidance of Pierson teacher Melissa Luppi, students enrolled in the Pierson High School drama class have developed skits to educate our fifth graders in an informative and entertaining way about the risks of tobacco use.

At Morning Program, speech pathologist Julia Esposito and special education teacher Lacey Price presented a Green Minute about video game consoles—if left on all the time, they can use as much energy as two new refrigerators. One study showed that video game consoles use 16 billion kilowatt-hours of energy per year, roughly equal to the annual electricity use of the city of San Diego. Sony PlayStation and XBOX 360 use nine times as much energy as a Wii; however, they do have auto-shutdown modes which can easily be enabled by gamers. Their main suggestions were to turn consoles off when they’re not in use (this can save you as much as $120 a year) and, of course, to limit your time playing video games. Reading and playing outside are two wonderful alternatives!

School nurse, Margaret Pulkingham, talked about the Red Cross at Morning Program. The International Red Cross was started in 1863 in Switzerland by Henri Dunant, who won the first Nobel Peace Prize. The American Red Cross was started by Nurse Clara Barton in 1881. The seven principles of the Red Cross are: Humanity, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Universality, Unity and Impartiality. The most widely respected humanitarian organization in the world, the Red Cross serves in times of war and natural disaster to aid the injured, sick and homeless. Nurses and doctors are very much involved, but the backbone of the organization is lay volunteers. In addition to first aid and disaster relief, the Red Cross teaches courses in First Aid, CPR, Dental Hygiene Assistance, babysitting, pet care and life-guarding. Many children volunteer for the organization as Junior Red Cross members. The students in Beth Rascelles and JoAnn Kelly’s second grade class and the fifth graders in Kate Berkoski’s class were the winners of the March Healthy Question related to the Red Cross.

The Family Bingo Night, which is usually run by our PTA, will be sponsored by CMEE (Children’s Museum of the East End) and held in their facilities at 376 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike in Bridgehampton. Bingo Night will be on Friday, April 8th at 6:30 p.m. and the grand prize will be a one-year membership to CMEE.

SCOPE Education Services, in cooperation with the Sag Harbor School District, will be providing a self-supporting Pre-K program for the 2011-12 school year. Pre-Kindergarten registration for the program began on Monday, March 14th. Registration materials can be picked up between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at the front desk at Sag Harbor Elementary School. To be eligible, children must turn four years old by December 1st, 2011, be fully toilet trained, and be residents of the Sag Harbor School District. The program will run Monday through Friday and is half day, morning (8:45 – 11:15) or afternoon (12:30 – 3:00). Tuition is approximately $275.00 a month, subject to change based on class size. Enrollment is limited. Registration will be on a first come, first served basis, by mail. Completed applications should be mailed to SCOPE, along with a $40.00 non-refundable registration fee. Questions about scholarships can be directed to the SCOPE office at 631 360-0800, extension 133.

It is not too late to pick up registration forms for Kindergarten next year and schedule a screening for your child. Registration forms may be obtained in the Main Office at the Sag Harbor Elementary School. Notices of the assigned screening appointments were mailed out to parents.

The Sag Harbor Elementary School PTA is holding its second annual Community Tag Sale on Saturday, April 9th, from noon to 2 p.m. in the elementary school gym.

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