Education

NJ Illustrator/Author Judith McLaughlin Returns to Pleasantdale School

April 30, 2014 at 8:23 PM

WEST ORANGE, NJ -Back by popular request of students and faculty, NJ illustrator/author Judith McLaughlin spent April 24 at Pleasantdale School helping students to celebrate the school’s third annual “Poem in Your Pocket Day.”

Each student sported a poem in his or her pocket while attending one of McLaughlin’s three assemblies. Students surprised McLaughlin by reciting her “Peppers” tongue twister poem that they had been practicing for the occasion. McLaughlin, in turn, delighted the students by reciting a new tongue twister from her upcoming sequel to “Poems on Fruits and Odes to Veggies.”

Asked how she felt about returning to Pleasantdale School for another “Poem in Your Pocket Day,” McLaughlin replied that although her April “Poetry Month” calendar always is booked with school visits, she loves coming to Pleasantdale School for ‘Poem in Your Pocket Day’ because across the grades, the students are so enthusiastic about helping brainstorm, compose, and share a group poem.

After presenting her poems, it was McLaughlin’s turn to be the audience for student-poets. McLaughlin was especially moved by the reasons given by more than fifty students, grades kindergarten through grade five, for wanting to sacrifice their recess to share a poem with her. “It is a humbling privilege to have youngsters say that my visit last year inspired them, and that they have written their first poems for me.”

One of the teachers gave McLaughlin high marks for instilling some usually shy students with the confidence to risk reciting poems in public as long as McLaughlin was in the audience. “It doesn’t get any better than helping students stretch their potential.”

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” one fifth grader confided before reciting her poem. “I love this poem and I think she will enjoy this poem, too.”

Giving each student-poet her full attention and insightful feedback, McLaughlin, who has heard many students’ poems during author visits throughout the years around the state, commented that there were many firsts among the poems the Pleasantdale students shared. Notable among them was an entertaining “two-voice” poem performed by a fourth grader and her proud mother, a moving poem recited in Bengali by a talented fifth grader, a joyful poem played on piano by an outgoing first grader, and an original thoughtful poem, composed and recited by two sensitive second graders.

“Make no mistake,” one teacher commented following the recess poem sessions, “Ms. McLaughlin’s impact on our students’ relationship with poetry has been huge since her visit last year. Once again, Ms. McLaughlin filled our poetry buckets, and the children, in turn, have reciprocated—they have filled hers.”

Noting that April 24 was National Poem in Your Pocket Day, Principal Dr. Joanne Pollara observed, “In addition to the wonderful literacy experience our Pleasantdale School students enjoyed in our building, their experience was magnified knowing that they were partaking in something larger than themselves. They were experiencing something in common with students throughout the country. There is something very powerful in that connection.


We are very grateful to everyone—parents, students, and faculty and staff who supported our Fall bookfair. It is the proceeds from that event that enables us to support literacy enrichment programs such as the Poem in Your Pocket Day author visit. Thank you! And thank you to all the teachers who worked so hard with their students composing original poems—acrostic, shape, haiku, diamante, to name just a few—that beautifully adorn the halls of our school. Thank you!

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Deadline Announced for 2017 Essex County Legacies Writing Contest

January 14, 2017

ESSEX COUNTY AREA, NJ — The deadline for Essex County seniors to submit an original story focusing on a special person, life-changing experience or significant period of their life to the 2017 Essex County Legacies Writing Contest is Monday, March 27.

Seniors ages 60 and older are encouraged to participate, as Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo these individuals have led ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_e1aa8c0ac79deb1d97ed_acg_woodbridge_jan_17

Tue, January 17, 7:30 AM

Apa Hotel Woodbridge, Iselin

ACG Breakfast Meeting January 17, 2017

Business & Finance Food & Drink

Carousel_image_e1aa8c0ac79deb1d97ed_acg_woodbridge_jan_17

Tue, January 17, 7:30 AM

Apa Hotel Woodbridge, Iselin

ACG Breakfast Meeting January 17, 2017

Business & Finance Food & Drink

Carousel_image_dcd4869c222de7d05057_acg_womens_jan_19

Thu, January 19, 12:00 PM

Convene Midtown East, New York

ACG New York Women of Leadership Summit

Business & Finance Food & Drink

Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Offers Summer Internships for High School Juniors

January 10, 2017

NEWARK, NJ — Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray announced this week that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office (ECPO) is seeking high school juniors to participate in the ECPO’s annual summer internship program.

The five-week program is designed to expose high school students to careers in law, law enforcement and government. The summer internship program will ...

Man vs. Waze

A lot of strange cars are traveling through my quiet neighborhood these days.  They are not driven by my neighbors.  Some mornings I even have trouble getting out of my driveway.  

Waze.

Ever since bridge repair closed a major thoroughfare near my house, the traffic on my sleepy street has increased dramatically.  And it is not by accident that commuters have figured out ...