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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

“Visitation is up 300 percent,” said Harriet Gerard Clark, Raynham Hall Museum director.

“Two-thirds of them come because of reading the book by Brian Kilmeade, George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution, and seeing the series ‘Turn’ on A&E,” added Tom Valentine, docent, who keeps the list of visitors. Soon the series will include the story of Robert Townsend of Oyster Bay who was known as Culper, Jr. when he was a spy for George Washington.

Alex Sutherland, director of education, nailed his definition. “He was the most important spy for George Washington because he had the perfect cover. He was pretending to be a Loyalist and writing for a Loyalist newspaper and befriending British officers at his coffee shop in downtown New York while secretly collecting information.

As a fitness coach and a mother, Melissa Monteforte of Locust Valley knows how important it is to stay healthy, and how difficult it can be for women to make themselves, and their health, a priority. Wanting to help women take charge and feel more in control, she organized the Fit & Healthy Mamas Annual 5K run, now in its third year, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

“I felt like running was the best outlet when I became a mother; it’s such a great way to get fit and feel healthy and I wanted to share that with other moms,” says Monteforte, 31. “I wanted women to feel celebrated, no matter their fitness level, and to put their health first.”


Sports

Hard work paid off for local athletes Christine Grippo of Locust Valley, Kelly Pickard of Oyster Bay, Bernadette Winnubst of Locust Valley, Steven Quigley of Bayville, Catherine Soler of Oyster Bay, Maria Elinger of Oyster Bay, and Armand D’Amato of Oyster Bay Cove, each of whom won awards in a field of some of the best triathletes from all of Long Island and beyond in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon, held in and around Oyster Bay’s Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park on Saturday morning, Aug. 23.

Grippo earned top honors in the women’s 30-34 age group with a time of 1 hour, 17 minutes, 36 seconds. Pickard (1:17:39) scored first among the women in the 35-39 age group. Winnubst scored in 1:38:48 to earn third place honors in the Masters Athena Weight Division. Quigley earned the second place award in the Masters Clydesdale Weight Division in 1:23:23. Soler (1:29:12) scored 5th among the women in the 20-24 age group. Ehlinger (1:39:23) was the 4th place award winner in the women’s 55-59 age group. D’Amato (1:42:44) earned top honors in the 70-74 age group.

Ice Dreams, an Olympic Ice Show starring 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist Jason Brown and aspiring local skaters, is coming to Twin Rinks Ice Center at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow on Sept. 20.

Isabella Skvarla, 13, Julia Tauter, 12, and Chiara Vlacich, 12, all of Oyster Bay, Julia Forte, 12, of Locust Valley and Riley Stein, 11, of Bayville will be skating in the world class show to celebrate the opening of the best figure skating facility Long Island has ever seen.


Calendar

Art In A Meadow

Saturday, Sept. 13

Bayville Oktoberfest

Saturday, Sept. 13 - Sunday, Sept. 14

Hurricane Preparedness

Tuesday, Sept. 16



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