News Around The District

  • Be Our Guest at the AHHS Drama Club performance of “Beauty and the Beast”

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 5/18/2022

    Once upon a time in a provincial village, the routine lives of the villagers are turned on their heads when one of their own, the introverted, book-loving Belle, is held hostage in a cursed castle nearby. Only love can remove the curse, and when the castle’s owner, The Beast formerly known as The Prince, falls in love with Belle, it’s truly magical, and results in a happily ever after for everybody.

    It is an astonishing story, and one worth taking the time to learn more about what exactly happened. We talked to several locals who witnessed the events.

    What were your first impressions of Belle when she arrived at the castle? Group of villagers looking at girl reading a book

    Cogsworth (Corey Grant)
    I was thinking that when Lumiere thought this would be the girl that would transform us back into humans I thought he was being a little too optimistic. Things, miracles just don’t happen that often. It could be just some girl who is lost. We just have to get her out of here because we’ll get in trouble.

    Mrs. Potts (Lyanne Pellegrino)
    When I first heard about Belle, I thought my son Chip was lying to me because no one comes to our castle. So, I told him, ‘Chip, stop telling lies.’ But then when I finally got to meet her, I felt I like this young woman, I like her, I like her spirit.

    Lumiere (Anna Vatai)
    When I saw Belle, I was ecstatic. We’ve got to get them together. We have to get them married! We have to do whatever we can right away, as soon as possible. It’s the first time in so long that we can finally break this spell and remove the curse!

    Madame de la Grande Bouche (Olivia Eannazzo)
    When I first saw Belle, I thought she was gorgeous, with a beautiful complexion, but her outfit was a little off. I’m very fashion, fashion, fashion. I played for the King! I just saw her outfit wouldn’t do, so obviously I had to take her under my wing and give her one of my gowns that I wore at the Royal Opera.

    Belle (Dana Grosvenor)
    When I met the objects, at first, I was really terrified because I’ve never seen talking drawers, cups, kettles and plates and candelabras. While I was terrified, they added a lot of color to the scene, so I didn’t see it as dark and dismal as it originally seemed.

    When did you begin to realize that this might turn out for the best?

    The Beast has been locked up for a long time surrounded by talking objects, at first, he was very cold and stern with Belle and when he began to open up, I was like ‘wow’ this has never happened in all these years, maybe this could be a chance for us to become what we once were.

    Mrs. Potts
    I agree with you. At the same moment as soon as we got the Beast back to the castle after the attack, they were initially fighting and then there was this moment where they take their time to settle down and the Beast was nice about it, Belle thanked him for saving her life. He said you’re welcome, it was like, ah.

    The minute I saw her I knew she was the one.

    Madame de la Grande Bouche
    I’ve been listening to Mrs. Potts constantly talking about the day SHE comes, and she finally came, and Belle was in her beautiful yellow dress, that I gave her to wear, and they were waltzing all around and she was singing her beautiful song. I knew that they would be together.

    I feel I have a tough exterior. It’s usually very hard, especially romantically, because I’m more focused on my books to let my guard down. But I began to see him differently and I realized we had more in common than we thought — we both come from places where people dismissed us for being strange and how lonely we’ve been.

    The Beast/The Prince (Yuriy Kryvoruchko)
    I was flabbergasted by her beauty. Of course, some part of me wanted her to get out because she was an intruder in my castle. But then as I started to talk to her, I had my mind blown by her elegance and her beauty and her care for her father. I fell in love.

    Beast, at what point did you think she could be the one to break the curse?

    At first there was a lot of arguing. She didn’t want to eat; I was asking her to come down to dinner. At some point my friends Lumiere and Cogsworth, they talked her down and calmed her down a bit, and we started talking in a more civilized way and I found out she read books. I have a library, and she reads books.

    Now that things have worked out so well, what are your plans for the future?

    This is my chance to retire. I’ve loved running the castle, but I think it’s been many years. It’s my time to go. I think Belle and the Prince will live happily ever after as they seem to have so much love for each other.

    Mrs. Potts
    I will continue to be head of the kitchen because I like things organized a certain way. I am kind of a control freak. I’m looking forward to hearing the sweet sound of my boy’s laughter as he runs through these halls again!

    I think I am going to continue my love for cooking and get back into it now that I finally have my hands! And open my own restaurant in Paris or somewhere really nice. I am finally going to tell Babette I am serious about her, and I will no longer run around with these other knick knacks and whatnots.

    Madame de la Grande Bouche
    I am ready for my time to shine again! I am ready to perform at the Royal Opera once again with my King. Of course, I love my Cogsworth, don’t get me wrong, but I cannot wait to see the King! Along with my gowns, I really did miss my gowns, and now that I am not so huge, I can wear every gown I wish again!

    I realized in the end I do love the Beast. While I do love the small provincial town, I do think I can love the castle a little longer. Read all the books in the library and get to know him better and strengthen that bond.

    All the wonder and joy of this heartfelt love story will be retold in a musical production when The AHHS Theatre company reenacts the story in their performance of Beauty and the Beast. Shows will be performed on May 19, 20 at 7:30 p.m. and May 21 at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Reserve your tickets and seats here.

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  • "Muffins for Moms"celebrates special caretakers at Dixson

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 5/9/2022 12:00:00 PM

    If anyone can understand the need to make last minute changes, it is Moms, those amazing people who are always kept on their toes in so many ways each and every day.

    When the weather caused Dixson’s “Muffins for Moms” planners to have to make an adjustment to their celebration, the moms who were being celebrated took it all in stride like the pros they are.

    Each year the Carl L. Dixson Primary School hosts “Muffins for Moms,” on the Friday before Mother’s Day. They invite moms and caregivers who are bringing their children to school to take a few minutes to enjoy a treat and some juice. They also receive gifts their children have made for them.

    Principal Jeffrey Olender had hoped to hold the event outside, but due to inclement weather the event was changed to be indoors. Folks gathered in the school gym for their treat before escorting their child to their classroom where they received their gifts.

    “I am honored to have such a partnership with you as parents and guardians,” Mr. Olender said to those who gathered as he welcomed them. “We are celebrating the responsibility of raising children.”

    Click here to see pictures from the event!

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  • Dixson Career Day lets students explore the possibilities

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 4/28/2022 12:00:00 PM

    Doctors, police officers, chefs, veterinarians, and many other professions were represented by the students at the Carl L. Dixson Primary School. It was Career Day, and they came dressed for success in outfits representing their future aspirations.

    Joining them on April 20, were professionals who work in a broad range of fields who came to talk to students about their work and perhaps inspire a few to think about a different career than the one they had in mind.

    The one thing that each of the adult professionals had to say was how important school was for them and their futures. Woman reads book to studens

    “You have to pay attention in class. This way you can become what you want to be,” said Chief David Signor, of the Elmsford Fire Department.

    He was there with this son, David Signor, Jr., who was the most recognizable as a firefighter, as he came wearing his turn out gear.

    Listening skills were paramount to their work noted members of the Elmsford Police Department, Sgt. Charles Bennett, Officer Chris Bujarski, Officer Jonathan Castillo, and School Resource Officer Doug Ramirez told students.

    “We have to listen to everything, we don’t want to miss anything,” Officer Bujarski told a group of wiggling pre-kindergartners.

    Students were interested in learning exactly what a police officer does. Several said they know police “get the bad guys.” But as they learned, their jobs are more involved.

    Police officers and students“Our main job is to save people,” Sgt. Bennett said. “We don’t like to arrest people; we like to help people.”

    When Jessica Doherty walked into a classroom she felt right at home. She was there to talk to students about her job as a middle school teacher.

    “It’s a little bit different, but a lot of it is the same,” she said of the work she does compared to what their kindergarten teacher, and they as students, do.

    While she also teaches her students reading, writing and math, she said, her students also learn a lot about science, and they move from class to class.

    “I love what I do,” Ms. Doherty said.

    Throughout the day students log in to their Chromebooks and they had no idea its people like Suresh Maniyasekaran who work behind the scenes to help keep the information on their computers safe. Mr. Maniyasekaran works in Information Technology.

    “We manage and support people, that is information technology,” he said.

    With a stethoscope around her neck and arrayed in colorful scrubs, it was clear Carlee Charles worked in the medical field. As she shared with students, she is a nurse.

    Ms. Charles focused on how nurses can be found in many different environments — including hospitals, doctors offices, schools, at people’s home and more. She said she has worked as a nurse in an emergency room, in homes and now in a school. 

    She read the book “Nurses and What They Do,” by Liesbet Slegers, which told the story of the work nurses do and the many ways they help their patients.

    “I love being a nurse. I love talking about it,” Ms. Charles said.

    When Rebecca Carman walked into one classroom her daughter’s face lit up. Charlotte, who was dressed as a chef, was surprised to see her mom.Ms. Carman is a problem solver, she told students. She works for the United Nations Development Program focusing on the environment.

    “The world is too hot,” she said. “My job is to help governments stop that from happening.” Woman talks to students

    When a student suggested her job as the Chair of the English Department at New Rochelle High School was to fix chairs, Ms. Adegbola laughed and said she wish she had the skills to fix furniture. What she does do, she explained, is share her love for reading, writing and books while being “in charge” of English teachers and what they teach.

    “I work with teachers in the English department to see what students are learning and I share ideas with teachers,” she said.


    Three women stand in front of classroomWoman speaks with studentsMan speaks with students

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  • Students celebrate Earth Day with spring plantings 

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 4/27/2022 10:20:00 AM

    Group sits on fence in garden

    Earth Day 2022 showed up with bright blue skies, puffy white clouds, and a slight breeze in the air. It was the perfect day to be outside – and that is exactly what members of Alexander Hamilton High School’s GREEN Club did.  

    For the last two years, the club has worked to overhaul the school’s courtyard space. They installed two terrace beds in the hillside and raised garden beds. This year, club members planted onions, carrots, and leafy greens. For the terrace space, they planted flowers. 

    On April 22, a small team of gardeners, along with club advisor and teacher Francine Thomas, laid the flowers out as to how they would like them to be planted. Once they had them arranged to their satisfaction, the digging began along with the feeding the plants and watering. 

    “Before, there was nothing here in the courtyard,” said club co-president and senior Yahir Arellano. He credited AHHS Class of 2020 graduate Chris Yeosock with starting the club and getting the courtyard project up and running.

    “We want to make it a homier space. Each day, we try to do something. We build on what the previous club president, Jackie [Praino], who is such an inspiration for us, did.” 

    The club raised money this year by selling succulent plants for Christmas and Valentine’s Day, said club treasurer Megha George. They also hosted a bake sale.  

    “My mom gardens,” said Megha, a junior. “I find inspiration from that.” 

    Earth Day is a good time to remind people about the world around them, said Yahir. 

    “Every time Earth Day comes, I inform people about where we live and the dangers of climate change,” he said. “It’s sad. Every Earth Day, we celebrate it and then forget about it.” 

    The club has worked to keep the space as eco-friendly as possible, including repurposing existing materials. The raised beds were built with old wooden flats and recycling, reusing is a large part of the club’s mission. 

    As the students cleaned up the beds before planting the flowers, Ms. Thomas said that she thought the space could use some color. 

    The students planted a rosebush, lavender and Dianthus and other colorful selections, including Calendulas, and Rio red Dipladenia.

    According to Ms. Thomas, the most difficult part of the courtyard revitalization was keeping enthusiasm for the project going. This year, she has a core group of students who help after school and on weekends. Their parents also volunteer their time, and the Village of Elmsford contributes time and supplies. 

    “The last challenge is water,” Ms. Thomas said, explaining that the courtyard does not have its own source of water. Instead, students have to fill buckets of water inside the school and bring them to the space. In addition, large barrels were donated to collect rainwater. 

    “Turning this space into an eco-friendly oasis is achievable,” Ms. Thomas said. 

    Another goal is to encourage students at Alice E. Grady Elementary School to become interested in the project. 

    “By the time they get to Hamilton, we’ll have ‘little seedlings,’” Ms. Thomas said with a laugh. “The mission is to grow fruits and vegetables, pollinators and native plants.”

    Group work in gardenGroup in garden

    Three boys gardening 

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  • Purple on parade: Dixson community participates in March of Dimes “Wonder Walk”

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 4/8/2022 2:05:00 PM

    A celebratory atmosphere persisted on the grounds of the Carl L. Dixson Primary School on the morning of April 8.

    “Good morning, Dixson, you look fantastic,” Christopher Funke, district music teacher and event organizer, told the crowd who gathered on the front lawn. 

    And they did.

    The space was awash in purple: purple balloons, purple ribbons, students and staff in purple T-shirts, purple bandanas, purple sunglasses, and several were waving, you guessed it, purple flags. Large group of students and adults

    The colorful celebration was in support of the March of Dimes Wonder Walk. In what has become an annual tradition at the school, students and staff have been raising money for the nonprofit organization that supports mothers and their babies by providing means to help them stay healthy. This year the Dixson community raised $1,073.50 for the cause.

    “The March of Dimes Wonder Walk is a group effort to bring awareness to the March of Dimes,” Mr. Funke said before he thanked all who supported the cause and participated.

    To celebrate their efforts and to bring awareness to the work the organization does, the community — students, staff, parents, and volunteers from Alexander Hamilton High School donned their purple best and marched from the primary school campus up the hill through the grounds of the Alice E. Grady Elementary School before returning to their school.

    “March for babies, march for babies,” some students chanted as they processed through the streets.

    Among the revelers were volunteers from the high school.

    “I love kids,” senior Woodmarc Leger said as to why he decided to volunteer.

    “I wanted to spread positivity, help others and have fun for a good cause,” said Mark Cakamarca, a sophomore at AHHS and fellow volunteer.

    “It’s fun to be back,” added Andrew Criollo, a sophomore at AHHS who had gone to Dixson. He said he returned so he could help corral the students along the route.

    Along the way the entire entourage were cheered on by several residents who popped out of their front doors to wave, the entire Grady school gathered outside to cheer them on and even a few members of the high school staff and student body held up signs as they passed.

    Click here to view photos from the event!

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  • EUFSD STEM Ambassadors lead the way for future training

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 3/30/2022 1:00:00 PM

    Man in front of large screenDuring two nights of presentations on the evenings of March 22-23, teachers presented their final projects showing how they taught STEM related lessons to their students, sharing how their students responded to the lessons, and noting what they might do different next time.

    There was a lot of enthusiasm as teachers said their students delighted to us BeeBots and other robotic tools or even something as low-tech as doughnuts. Some said the entire process was intimidating, but also fun, and they look forward to incorporating more STEM lessons in their classroom.

    The presentations were a culmination of a STEM Ambassadors pilot program offered through the Mercy College Center for STEM Education. As many as 50 teachers took part in the symposium from public schools in Ossining, New Rochelle, White Plains, Tarrytown, Port Chester, and Elmsford.

    “We were like guinea pigs,” Alexander Hamilton High School technology teacher Hector Hernandez said with a laugh, about being a part of the first cohort. On the other hand, he said, “I was elated they picked me.”

    Although most of his students are in high school, Mr. Hernandez said it was exciting for him to learn more about how STEM could be introduced to younger students and to have an opportunity to collaborate with colleagues in different discipline areas and grade levels.

    For his STEM lesson, Mr. Hernandez selected the software program Pixton, which enables students to create comic style stories. He said his students were able to incorporate math, science, social studies and to be creative, something not always associated with STEM.

    “It allowed the kids to shine,” he said of his students. “They have some pretty fascinating imaginations.”

    Participants in the STEM Ambassador program, he said, had to jump right in, and were quickly involved in hands-on activities and being introduced to new types of robots.

    “You learned how to open the kids’ eyes to STEM,” he said.

    Chris Demattia, director of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math at Ossining High School, served as the lead in his district and worked with Mercy College to coordinate all the participating districts.

    Mr. Demattia said the program was made possible through a five-year Start Smart grant funded through the state that will provide $250,000 annually. Each teacher was also provided with $750 to purchase supporting materials for their lessons.

    The purpose of the program, he said, was to support teachers in integrating STEM into their K-8 classrooms.

    Woman in front of large screenMr. Hernandez was joined by Grady Elementary School 5th grade dual language teacher Patricia Pena.

    “I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn how to incorporate STEM in my classroom and it was an opportunity to also become a more knowledgeable teacher,” Ms. Pena said of applying for the program.

    The program, she said, taught teachers’ ways to bring STEM into their classrooms in interactive ways. They also learned about new computer science standards, and how best to collaborate with teachers from other districts. Teachers were also introduced to several people who work in STEM fields, something Ms. Pena said she was excited to share with her students.

    “I think that it is a fun experience as a teacher. I am always excited to go to class and learn something new. It is a great opportunity to learn about technology that you can bring into the classroom and connect to any subject,” Ms. Pena said.

    Ms. Pena had her students construct towers only using paper and tape.

    Teachers were divided into groups and selected an article about STEM in the classrooms that interested them. Using the article and their chosen New York State K-12 Computer Science and Digital Fluency Learning Standard, they created a lesson for their students and documented their experience.

    Amanda Gunning, PhD, Associate Professor of Secondary Education and Co-director of the Center for STEM Education, at Mercy College, together with Professor Meghan Marrero, ran the program, which began in September.

    “A lot of these teachers are not STEM teachers; they are regular classroom teachers. To add these kinds of activities with their kids was out of their comfort zone,” Dr. Gunning said. “How they pushed themselves was so inspiring.”

    “The teachers’ presentations highlighted how they have made computer science and engineering accessible to all learners, including those at diverse ability levels," Dr. Marrero said. "All learners have been engaged in authentic problem solving solving and critical thinking opportunities.” 

    Not all students in the participating district have opportunities to engage with computers, many are English language learners and having these opportunities in school is important.

    “This is a mission to get these kinds of experiences in for every child,” Dr. Gunning said, “so they can be decision makers in the future. To be digitally literate and an informed member of society.”

    For teachers interested in being a part of the next cohort, look for an application to be posted on the Mercy College website in April.

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  • Music brings students together 

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 3/28/2022 3:15:00 PM

    Students watch musicians in virtual classroom in BrazilDue to the different time zones, students at the Leading to Evolve Through Music School in Brazil were an hour ahead of students at Alexander Hamilton High School, but on this morning, they were all in the same space. A space filled with music.

    Through connections with One World, a Westchester County-based organization offering programs to students on global competency, financial awareness and technology, choir, and band students at AHHS were able to connect with musicians at the other school.

    During a virtual meeting, musicians at AHHS shared a pre-recorded video of themselves performing. Some sang while others shared playing an instrument. In return, the Brazilian students, who were live, shared music too. They sang solo and in groups.

    “We always enjoy an opportunity to showcase our students, so we jumped at the opportunity to meet with the Brazilian musicians,” said AHHS choir director Dawn Zampell.

    When Ms. Zampell asked students to volunteer to record themselves singing or playing their instrument, she had no difficulty in finding willing participants.

    Those who performed, which included soloists and the choir, all selected their own pieces and had one week to practice and record themselves.

    “There are some students who I have in choir, but I didn’t know they were instrumentalists too,” Ms. Zampell said. “It provided an opportunity to showcase students in ways they would not ordinarily share. I am proud of them. They stepped up, volunteered, and put in the work. I was happy to work with them.”


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  • A look into the future with Career Day 

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 3/25/2022 11:00:00 AM

    After watching several presentations from professionals in a variety of industries, eighth grader Khalin Cabrera said that she learned a valuable lesson: “You can reach your goals if you set your mind to it.”  

    While Khalin loves to read and enjoys art, she saw herself eventually studying business. However, she was reminded by Elizabeth Hurvitz, Visa’s senior vice president of global social impact, that business and art can be combined for a successful career.  Two students watch screen

    On March 11, students at Alexander Hamilton High School enjoyed a daylong virtual Career Day. Rather than having lessons in math, history and science, they met with professionals via Google Meet. The special guests discussed their backgrounds, their experiences, what interests them in their field and what they enjoyed about their work. 

    “Career Day is an opportunity for students to hear about careers,” said director of music/technology and event coordinator Rob Jacoby. “Each student heard from eight professionals. It's our hope that they discover something new, as well as have a platform to ask questions to better get to know what different careers are like.” 

    Several guests had a linear career path – graduating from school and working in various roles at a single company throughout their entire career, including Leonard Singh, vice president of electrical operations at ConEdison. After earning a degree in electrical engineering, he has been a ConEdison employee for 31 years. 

    “I continued to work on my education throughout my career,” he said, adding that it enabled him to advance within the company. 

    “There are two ways to think about it,” he said. “You start your career on an engineering track or at some point you transition to a business track or management track. To do that, you need to learn about leadership and finances. It shows you the breadth of opportunities and how you can grow in your career.”  

    Carl Alongis, director of education and safety training with the Elevator Learning Center, began his career as an apprentice right out of high school. He has worked in the elevator business for 45 years and has owned his own elevator company. 

    “It’s a big and growing industry,” he said. “We are probably one of the best-kept secrets.” 

    He continued to say that it’s a great career for people who like to work with their hands or those interested in the mechanical field. 

    Becky Cook thought that she wanted to be a newspaper journalist. But after internships at television and radio stations, she knew that broadcast journalism was her passion. Today she is the executive producer for Fox 5, working on the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. She could not see herself doing anything else. 

    “I love my job,” she said. “Every day is different. At the end of the day, there is nothing hanging over my head. Tomorrow is a new day.” 

    Throughout the day, several guests said that their careers changed as you entered different phases in their lives or developed new interests. 

    Ms. Hurvitz, who joined Visa 14 years ago, initially studied electrical engineering and was one of only three women in her class at Tufts University. When she got a job at IBM, she was the only woman in the building. Soon, she became more interested in the business side.  

    “Be conscious of those things that energize you and those that don’t,” she said. 

    She proceeded to earn a master’s degree in business from Harvard Business School and worked as a consultant. Throughout her career, she also worked in marketing, sales and non-profits. 

    “I have the best job in the world,” she said. “This job energizes me.” 

    Scarsdale Public Library librarian Katie Karcheck took a circular route to her job. She studied art and worked as an art consultant for large companies and museums, hoping to one day work in art restoration. 

    “I loved the work, but it was freelance,” she said, adding that she instead pursued something that provided more steady work and pay. She became a librarian, initially working as an archivist before transitioning to a public library where she spends her time coordinating library events. 

    “One idea I love about this career is it is community building,” she said. 

    AHHS graduate Crystal Davis (Class of 2010) currently works in fashion. She never dreamed of working in sales, but she was hooked after several internships while studying at LIM, the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising.

    “I loved my internships,” she said. “It changed how I felt about working in sales. It was something I had not wanted to do.” Today she works as an account executive with Swat Fame, Inc./Speechless Kids. 



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  • Grady cooks up some historical facts and fun during their annual Living Wax Museum

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 3/1/2022 1:35:00 PM

    Students at the Alice E. Grady Elementary School participated in a school-wide celebration as part of their annual Living Wax Museum. Each grade had a special way to convey information, with younger students “cooking” up details about special historical figures, while older students used a more traditional format of sharing information.

    The event celebrates influential black Americans in recognition of Black History Month. Students dressed as chefs

    This year guests tuned in to the virtual event on Friday, Feb. 18.

    Second graders filmed themselves ahead of time as part of the “Justice and Peace Cooking Show.” Just like an actual cooking show, they donned chefs hats and aprons and included a recipe card. Working in groups of four, students pretended to whip up a special dish while “dishing” about the achievements of the individual they had researched. Each recipe celebrated attributes such as “How to Help the Environment and protect Human Rights” and “How to include others and celebrate diversity.”

    Among the steps in the recipes were to “pour half a bag of respectability in a small bowl” and “heat responsibility in the microwave for 15 minutes” and “pour three cups of hard work in a small bowl.”

    Among the figures the students discussed were Bessie Coleman, Ruby Bridges, Genesis Butler, Marlia Dias, Rosa Parks, Horace King and Wangari Maathai, to name a few.

    Students in the upper grades researched their historic figures and recorded a video of themselves sharing details about that individual’s life. Many shared photos of the person or from the time when they were alive. The reports covered a wide spectrum of history, from former slaves to the Harlem Renaissance to those who went into space.

    Among some of the individuals discussed were Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space; York, a slave who traveled with William Clark on his expedition west; Elijah McCoy, an inventor and engineer; Barbara Hillary, an adventurer; Benjamin Banneker, who invented the wooden clock and who worked as a surveyor and astronomer.

    The Grady Choir also contributed to the event. They recorded themselves singing “Rise Up,” by Andra Day while the Grady Band recorded themselves playing the traditional song “Go Down Moses.”

    Principal Andrea Hamilton is always impressed with the work students do and the historical understanding they gain from the project.

    “The Living Wax Museum is special because it allows all students in grades 2-6 an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the contributions made by Black and African American people through creative projects. Students showcase and celebrate the achievements and honor the sacrifices of heroes and ‘sheroes’ of the past and present day.”

    “This showcase provides students with a ‘mirror’ where they can see themselves and build on legacies that will be celebrated in years to come,” she continued.

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  • 100 Days of Learning Celebrated at Dixson 

    Posted by Brian Howard on 2/17/2022 11:00:00 AM

    Suddenly, first grade students had white hair, walked with a cane, and needed glasses to see, as if they had aged exponentially overnight. Fortunately, it proved to be a temporary condition as it was dress-up day for the Carl L. Dixson Primary School 100 Days of School celebration! Woman reads to children

    On Feb. 15, the school went all out to celebrate. There were games, coloring activities and virtual events for each class to enjoy. There were special guest readers who stopped in to read stories about numbers. In addition, everyone wore a special crown marking the milestone. 

    Board of Education President Yvette Eannazzo started the day by reading “100th Day Worries” by Margery Cuyler to first-grade students. The main character, Jessica, and her classmates were assigned to bring in 100 items for her school’s 100th day; she was stressed because she could not decide what to bring.  

    School Resource Officer Doug Ramirez had fun sharing a story too. First, he practiced with pre-kindergartners how to count to 100 by 10s.

    Then he read “Chica, Chica 123” by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson. It told the story of the number zero feeling left out until it learned how important its role was in counting.   

    Superintendent Marc Baiocco wore a colorful crown on his head, when he asked the students why they thought he was wearing it, they knew: “Because it’s 100 day!” they cheered. 

    He read “Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten” by Joseph Slate, which told the story of kindergarteners who gather 100 of their favorite items to bring to school. 

    “It’s a day geared toward celebrating learning,” said math specialist Andrea Cleveland. “One hundred means so much to kids this age. They can see it and count to it.” 

    Police officer reads to childrenThe activities had to accommodate current COVID-19 circumstances. Rather than celebrating together as a school, which had been done pre-pandemic, each grade participated in the events on their own. 

    “It’s a little bit different but we were still able to have fun as a collective,” said Ms. Cleveland, the day’s organizer. 

     Among the activities students did were to use stickers to create groups of 10 that added up to 100. Kindergarten classes talked about how much they have learned in 100 days, while creating a special picture of the number 100 and first graders created a mystery picture as they practiced their addition. 

    Principal Jeffry Olender created a “Mystery Cam,” where he shared clues via video and students guessed what item he was describing. He later revealed what the mystery item was when he showed students 100 marshmallows!

    “We are all in,” Ms. Cleveland said. “We were still able to have genuine, authentic fun.” Man reads to children

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