American Pride Shines at Marion Street School

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Dressed in their best red, white and blue attire, second-graders from Marion Street Elementary School invited local service members and veterans to a Patriotic Sing Along on March 22. Families and board of education members were also invited to the event which celebrated those who have fought for freedom. 

The school gymnasium was decorated in patriotic fashion as second grade teacher Anne Conway welcomed the honorary guests and expressed how appreciative the school community is for their service. 

“We want to sincerely thank you for your service on behalf of all the citizens of our great country,” Mrs. Conway said. “You honor us by your service and your presence here to-day.”
 
In addition to the sing along event, all classes in the building participated in a fundraiser to collect items for the troops. Fourth-graders from Christine Castellano’s class collected the most items and were welcomed to enjoy the show.

The second-graders proudly entered the gymnasium waving American Flags and wearing pins with their names on them, created with art teacher Patricia Wierzbicki. The students performed patriotic songs with the help of music teacher Kara Boulay, such as “The Star Spangled Banner,” “America, The Beautiful,” “God Bless America,” “This Is My Country,” “Yankee Doodle,” “You’re A Grand Old Flag” and “This Land Is Your Land.” In between the songs, select students stated facts about America as the veterans and service members sat in the front row. Guests sang along with the students and were welcomed to greet their child at the end of the event. 

Students Dive into Reading

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During the past two weeks, students throughout the district have celebrated their love for reading with special guest readers, activities and assemblies. 

Leading up to Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2, also known as National Read Across America Day, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak read to students at the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center, while West End Elementary School students and staff marked the occasion by hosting a pajama day and gathering in the hallways to independently read for 10 minutes. 

Second-graders at Waverly Park Elementary School immersed themselves in Dr. Seuss books, read a Dr. Seuss biography and created Dr. Seuss hats with facts about the author’s life. Waverly Park first-graders also got into the spirit by creating their own “Cat in the Hat” and wrote about how they celebrate their own birthdays. At Marion Street Elementary School, students enjoyed an arts-in-education program which focused on the love of reading and kicked off their Pick A Reading Partner program on March 4. Throughout the week, Marion Street students participated in a Laser Reader assembly, visited the East Rockaway and Lynbrook libraries, invited a special person to school to read with them on pajama day and welcomed author Russel Ginns.
 

Fostering Literacy with Book Buddy Program

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Lynbrook South Middle School seventh-graders in Jeanette Roch and John Christ’s English class recently teamed up with Marion Street Elementary School fifth-graders in Allison Sales and Danialle Nelson’s class during a new Book Buddy program between the schools. Coordinated by Roxanne Migliacci, English department chairperson and Allison Curran, elementary curriculum coordinator, the Book Buddy program allowed the students to work together and form a collaborative book club. 

The program connected to Lynbrook South Middle School’s “Get Lost In A Book” initiative this year, fostering literacy among students. The classes met four times during the program and allowed the seventh-graders to act as reading mentors to the elementary school students. At the first meeting, students and their buddies completed getting to know you exercises about themselves as people and as readers. Each student then independently read the book “Restart” by Gordon Korman which followed with students forming small groups and discussing their experiences reading the book. During their discussions, the students shared the messages that they took away from the novel. Some seventh-graders also recommended other books and gave the fifth-graders an idea of what type of books they would read when they enter the middle school next year.
  
The classes met again and reconfigured their groups based on interests. They selected service projects such as designing a logo, creating public service announcements, drawing posters and recording videos to share their slogan, “Don’t Be A Bully, Be A Buddy,” a message relevant to the book, “Restart.” 

During their final meeting, the students worked together to complete their projects, which they plan to share districtwide.  

“They are having so much fun and are already asking to do it again,” said Migliacci. “The fifth-graders are looking forward to coming to South Middle School next year because they have made all these new friends.” 

History Comes Alive at Marion Street School

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Third-graders at Marion Street Elementary School hosted their annual Civil Rights Presentation and honored Joseph McNeil, a leader in the civil rights movement and member of the Greensboro Four, on Feb. 28. Administrators including Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak, board members, families and third-graders from Waverly Park and West End elementary schools were present for the special event.

Third-grade teacher Steve Freifeld proudly introduced Mr. McNeil who has volunteered his time to visit Marion Street School since 1991 to tell his story to students. During the civil rights movement, Mr. McNeil and three of his classmates made history by staging a sit-in at Woolworth’s “whites only” lunch counter in Greensboro, refusing to leave until they were served.
Mr. Freifeld spoke about how Marion Street third-graders celebrate the theme “Building Bridges” throughout the year, studying bridges and taking trips to different bridges across the Long Island and the New York City area. He related this to the important lesson of bridging connections between people.

“We are very fortunate to have a man with us today who like the great bridge building engineers in history, has worked to make positive connections between people his entire life,” said Mr. Freifeld. “His actions led to changes in the way millions of people were treated in restaurants, movie theaters, libraries, public restrooms and swimming pools across the United States.” 

Attendees watched a video about the Greensboro Four before Mr. McNeil addressed the crowd and answered questions from Marion Street, Waverly Park and West End students. 

“We were trying to make America a great country and it required some of us to put ourselves on the line…if we were going to be successful we were going to have to be nonviolent,” he told students. 

The Marion Street third-graders showed their support for Mr. McNeil by performing a show for him titled “Marion Street School Visits the Civil Rights Museum.” The students performed several songs about peace and a skit featuring important historical figures.