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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

The Oyster Bay community paid tribute to award winning journalist Marie Colvin at Oyster Bay High School on Saturday, Oct. 11. The school library was officially dedicated in her name and a portrait of the journalist who died on the frontlines in Syria in 2012 was proudly displayed at the entrance of the library. The event was put together by members of the Oyster Bay class of 1974 who held their 40th class reunion over the weekend.

Oyster Bay High School Principal Dennis O’Hara gave a short speech in honor of Colvin’s name. Nassau County legislators Judi Jacobs and Donald MacKenzie also gave speeches, along with Colvin’s sister, Catherine Colvin, and Donna Fiore-Houman, who helped coordinate the event. Both were members of the class of ‘74. Founding dean of the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University, Howard Schneider, also gave a small speech at the end of the ceremony.

Some people deserve a long obituary: in a way, it is a tribute to the number of people’s lives they have touched, so for Dottie Brandt, it is a given. A long line of mourners stretched down the street from the Francis P. DeVine Funeral Home, in Oyster Bay, where Dorothy R. Brandt, known to everyone as “Dottie,” was laid to rest, soon after her death on Friday, Sept. 12.

Dottie was a beautiful woman that age couldn’t change. When your warmth, spirit and love come from the inside, it keeps the outside looking bright and fresh. Dottie was always smiling, full of energy and always willing to help people.


Sports

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.

The Diane Whipple Foundation with the cooperation of Manhasset PAL, Manhasset School District and St. Mary’s High School Athletic program has announced a premier College Division I Women’s Lacrosse Scrimmage day on Saturday, Oct. 18.

Competing in this great event will be Columbia, Fairfield, Michigan, Sacred Heart, Stonybrook, UCONN, UMASS, and USC.


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