Written by Tom Gould, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 25 October 2013 00:00
Dr. Laura Seinfeld has certainly hit the ground running as the new Superintendent of Schools for Oyster Bay-East Norwich. he buzz around the schools and in the community is that Dr. Seinfeld represents an intelligent, innovative, caring leader filled with positive energy. She can add “hands on” educator to her impressive list of abilities as she launches OBEN’s first school sponsored Book Club.
On Wednesday, Oct. 16, Dr. Seinfeld personally hosted the first meeting of the Book Club along with Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Dr. Lisa Mulhall. The first session was open to students who have opted to pursue a 21st Century Diploma.
The first book is a New York Times bestseller called Wonder by R.J. Palacio. In reviewing the book for Amazon.com, Seira Wilson said, “Wonder is a rare gem of a novel--beautifully written and populated by characters who linger in your memory and heart. August Pullman is a 10-year-old boy who heads to public school for fifth grade and he is not the only one changed by the experience. A remarkable novel.”
All members of the OBEN learning community are invited to join in the shared reading of Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Two opportunities have been scheduled to join book discussions which will be held on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Oyster Bay High School library and on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 3:30 p.m. in the Vernon School library. These book clubs are open to all -- students (approximately grade 5 and up), families, community members, and school district staff.
The Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District is entering the fourth year of an exciting new program for students in grades 9 through 12 - The 21st Century Diploma. This voluntary program is designed to prepare our students to meet the demanding challenges of the 21st Century. The ultimate goal of this program is to have students become exemplary citizens of the 21st Century while further nurturing their individual passions.
The district’s objective is to give students credit for the activities that they currently do above and beyond the school day. In addition, they strive for students to try new activities.
Each school year, participants will be able to select from a list of activities, specifically designed to develop the above areas of focus. Students will be responsible for managing their own portfolios via the 21st Century Internet Portal. Numerical points will be earned upon the successful completion of an activity and the submission of an artifact into the individual student’s portfolio. Over the course of four years, students will need to earn 100 points in order to qualify for the 21st Century Diploma.
One of the activities that students participated in, was a Global Awareness opportunity offered through an organization called Kiva. Kiva is a nonprofit-based company that provides business start-up loans to entrepreneurs in third world countries. Students were assigned the task of creating a fundraiser to be able to contribute funds through an online account. Students were responsible for choosing one specific entrepreneur whom they would lend their funds to. This opportunity allowed students to see the real world effect of helping others and how far help from one individual to another can go. This activity will be offered again this year as well as numerous other engaging opportunities.
The 21st Century Committee is currently working with local businesses and community leaders to add additional opportunities for students. Additional support and ideas for activities are welcome.
The 21st Century Diploma program will also offer monetary scholarships. To contribute to the scholarship fund, donations can be made by check, payable to OBHS 21st Century Diploma.