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Letter: Disappointed Over School Closing

It takes a village to raise a child. The families of OBEN had the great fortune to have Wesley School, under the direction of Carolyn Wilson, in the neighborhood for 35 years. The teachers, staff and parent volunteers, mostly all communality members, provided a host of needs to the neighborhood’s youngest members.

The students received a strong, comprehensive and varied education. Core fundamentals were taught and applied to 2-, 3- and 4 -year-olds. These youngsters were kindergarten ready and had the necessary skills, after attending Wesley, to tackle the rigors of New York State’s Common Core demands. I know because I am a public educator in a neighboring district. Additionally, I had a child graduate from the Wesley program and a 4-year-old enrolled.

Community organizers and members such as the firehouse, doctors, and dentists, came to the school during a specified theme week to explain their jobs, responsibilities and allowed students to have hands-on-experiences with equipment, meeting community members, and learning about healthy lifestyles. Field trips were planned and organized according to the curriculum to reinforce topics taught in the classroom. Students were able to make sense about the world around them from the various modalities of teaching.

Ms. Isabel, the outstanding and talented music teacher, supported and supplemented the curriculum with music education. The students received reinforcement of basic, core fundamental skills through sound and movement.

Under her tutelage and direction, and the organization and planning of the teachers, the Wesley students had their first experience of public performance. The holiday shows gathered generations and neighborhood friends. Doting parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles communed to watch and listen to a fantastic holiday spectacle of merriment and joy, exactly what the holidays should be about.

The music education Wesley School provided spawned countless benefits. The students’ language skills flourished exponentially, thus acquiring reading, writing and speaking skills. Rhythm and pattern thinking emerged, benefiting mathematical thinking. An appreciation for music started, helping create a well-rounded youngster.

I am extremely disappointed to learn about the business decision of agreeing to sell part of the church’s steeple to a cell phone company. As a community member for over 20 years, this has hit a raw nerve with me and my family. The board’s decision to sell out has destroyed a nursery’s school enrollment, and crushed parents’ expectations of their children receiving a well-rounded education. Carolyn Wilson and the Wesley staff always had the best interest and intent - educating the children of OBEN.

The ramifications of the board’s decision to sell space for cells, is yet to be seen. Short term it has killed a school.  Long term it has potentially put community residents in harm’s way.

Wesley School was a gem of a school. Its presence in the community promoted family values, meaningful and lasting relationships between the teachers, students and families, and priceless memories for the student alum. OBEN lost a valuable part of its community when the school had to abruptly close its doors at the end of July. Shame on the Community Methodist Church’s board for selling space for cells and selling out on a community.

The parents and staff will continue our crusade to bring Wesley Nursery School back and convince the board that the selling of space for cells was senseless.

Cathy Rosh

News

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.

Richie Cannata may be best known for his song credits but his name will become a part of history this week. Cannata, a 28-year resident and business owner of Glen Cove, will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington.

As a member of the Billy Joel Band, the saxophone player was propelled to fame in 1975 when he joined the band and played on songs including “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



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