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Bringing A Classic Tale To Life

“Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.” This Chinese proverb supports the intention of the Reader’s Theatre program at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School. Planning the reader’s theater is a collaboration between Roosevelt school literacy coach Kathleen Bartell and school librarian Roseann Davidson, who incorporate the work of the classroom and special subject teachers. In doing so, they seek  to bring to life a work of classic fiction while integrating music, art and technology. The timeless tale of the gingerbread cookie that unexpectedly springs to life was therefore an ideal choice for such an endeavor.

“Students learn best when learning is put into context,” said former Roosevelt School Principal Gina Faust.

Laura Tardugno was very pleased to see how her son’s participation in Reader’s Theatre has inspired him. “I’ve noticed him dancing around the house more and have seen him come out of his shell quite a bit.”

Just before the students would break for the holiday, parents and teachers gathered in the cafeteria to watch Mrs. Kolb’s second-graders perform a re-telling of the stories The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst and Gingerbread Baby by Jann Brett, two very different adaptations of the classic tale. The students re-enacted the stories, dressed in baker’s hats and aprons by reading their lines aloud. Each student had a line to read and was expected to follow along in the story while their classmates read their parts.

It is the intention of the Reader’s Theatre program to address the needs of the various learning styles of the students. This is done in part by incorporating reading, art and music as enrichment. A gingerbread house, decorated under the supervision of art teacher Stephanie Miley, provided the backdrop and music teacher, Meagan Finnerty, led the students in a musical performance of “Believe” from The Polar Express.

Faust had this to say of Reader’s Theatre: “It has grown to include writing, social studies, social issues and of course technology to encourage teamwork, build confidence, improve reading fluency and support artistic expression as well as motivate the reluctant reader.”

As Reader’s Theatre continues to evolve, a new component was added this year. The seniors from the Oyster Bay Life Enrichment Center were invited to attend an encore performance at the Roosevelt Elementary library. Following the show, the seniors made a holiday craft with the second-graders and both children and adults enjoyed a holiday sing-along, just the thing to get students, teachers and seniors in the spirit of the holidays.

News

Driving rain and an early start time did not deter 600 people who arrived at Crest Hollow Country Club recently to celebrate the Women’s Fund of Long Island’s 20th year and to honor four exceptional women.

The breakfast started with a meet and greet and a chance to showcase Women’s Fund contest winner Patti Hogarty, designer of “Women as Bamboo.” Inspired by her neighbor’s bamboo, she entered the contest drawing a design of the bamboo, which Ambalu Jewelers of Roslyn then turned into various pendants of which 40-percent of the profits would go to WFLI. Hogarty wrote a short essay comparing women to bamboo in that they are strong and can weather difficult storms, yet remain graceful and continue to grow sending out new shoots.

Oyster Bay High School Principal Dr. Dennis O’Hara addressed the board of education at Tuesday night’s meeting about offering a summer school program at the high school. It would be the first time the district had a summer school program in more than 12 years.

Dr. O’Hara explained that with the institution of the Common Core state standards, students are faced with a greater level of academic rigor and more challenging coursework. The program would offer remedial and enrichment classes for students both in and out of district.


Sports

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.

The conditions were as fierce as the competition earlier this month at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.

Ten teams from the U.S., Canada and Bermuda battled 30-knot-plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season.


Calendar

Raingarden Workshop

Wednesday, November 19 & Thursday, November 20

Informative Hospital Talk

November November 20

Opera Night

Sunday, November 23



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com