Education

Somerville Elementary School Principal Bikes Her Way Through Town Delivering Books to Students

August 8, 2016 at 4:20 PM

SOMERVILLE, NJ – While most of her students, their families and her staff are spending their summer vacation with trips to the Jersey shore, backyard barbecues, family picnics and road trips to visit relatives, Susan Haynes stays in touch with her far-flung extended family using an App on her IPhone.

Haynes, formerly an elementary school teacher in Bernards Township, has been the PreK-2nd Grade principal at Van Der Veer School for ten years. She still refers to those in high school who attended the elementary school as “her kids.”

The savvy educator embraces technology and social media to stay in touch with her 450 students and families; she hosts a blog on the school’s website, uses Twitter to send out frequent messages, and during the summer, live-streams a weekly broadcast via her IPhone, reading from lavishly illustrated books with oversize printing, each with a value lesson to help the young students choose right from wrong.  

Sign Up for E-News

That’s how students learned about her latest initiative to keep in touch with them while making reading fun.

“Pedaling Paperbacks for Pupil Progress” – Haynes says she loves alliteration – begins Monday.

Wearing a helmet and riding a bicycle equipped with a basket donated by Somerville Bicycle Shop, she will travel throughout the borough stopping frequently where kids gather – the Splash Park, municipal pools and Summerville Ice Cream Company for starters.

She told her students on last week’s broadcast that she will “Tweet” her route through town and let them know where to greet her.

 Wearing a blue t-shirt reading “Wild About Reading,” Haynes grabs some books, her IPhone and a wooden box and walks outside to the school courtyard through ankle-high grass towards a yellow table for her weekly broadcast.

She sits down on the attached bench, places the books and box on the table, makes a connection to the “Periscope” App and positions the IPhone against the box directly in front of her. She leans forward, close to the phone and begins her monologue.

She speaks extemporaneously, telling the students about her recent vacation to Cape Cod.

”I’m back and ready to read some stories to you,” she says, leaning closer to the phone squeezing a bicycle charm hanging from her necklace as she announces her bicycle tour around town.

She asks the students what they’ve been doing, whether they are enjoying the summer and most importantly, what books they’ve been reading.

Then she picks up a book and begins to read chapters from “If You Took a Mouse to School,” followed by “Officer Buckle and Gloria.”  She holds open each page so that the children can see the bright drawings.

She has a passion for the written word, equally matched by her zeal to do whatever she can to help her students excel at reading.

“It’s all about literacy,” Haynes said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Piscataway

Women's March on Washington: Why, and Why Now

January 10, 2017

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, a number of groups are planning various events and rallies – perhaps most notably, the Women’s March on Washington. I have read a number of opinion pieces and spoken to many people about the March, and several questions and criticisms seem to consistently arise. I would like to address some two of the major themes.

(Q) The election ...

Chinese New Year Celebration to Be Held February 4 in South Plainfield

January 20, 2017

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ ­– The South Plainfield Public Library and South Plainfield Cultural Arts Commission, through a partnership with Buddha's Light International Association - New Jersey Chapter (BLIA-NJ), will sponsor a Chinese New Year Celebration on Saturday, Feb. 4. The free event will take place at the South Plainfield Senior Center from 12 to 3:30 p.m. and feature ...

Central New Jerseyans Eager to Go to DC for Women’s March on Washington

Central Jersey Coalition Coalition Against Endless War (CJCAEW) which was organized in 2002 to stop the Iraq War and has continued since then to fight for peace and social justice has filled 2 buses to go down to the Women's March on Washington on Saturday, January 21, 2017. CJCAEW bus coordinator Ellen Whitt noted, "We could have filled many more buses had more been ...

Rutgers Helps to Form “Big Data” Alliance

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Rutgers University is helping to build a team of state colleges and nonprofits known as the New Jersey Big Data Alliance, which aims to find ways to best use the information harnessed from smartphones and computers.

Along with eight other schools, Rutgers recently signed a memorandum of agreement to formally establish the tech-heavy group.

“The signing of the ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, January 25, 12:00 PM

drop off at main entrance of the high school near the reception desk, Monmouth Junction

We need your gently used prom/semi formal dresses!

Education Giving Back

Wed, January 25, 7:15 PM

The Shrine of St Joseph, Stirling

Free A Cappella Singing Lessons Offered by ...

Arts & Entertainment Education Health & Wellness Other

Carousel_image_e7304288e83d02d1d515_unnamed

Sun, January 29, 12:00 PM

The Hermitage Club, Deerfield Valley

ACG Northeast Deal Making at the Mountain

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink Health & Wellness Sports

Sun, January 29, 12:00 PM

drop off at main entrance of the high school near the reception desk, Monmouth Junction

We need your gently used prom/semi formal dresses!

Education Giving Back

Sun, January 29, 1:00 PM

St. Francis Cathedral School, Metuchen

St. Francis Cathedral School OPEN HOUSE

Education Religions And Spirituality

Winter Storm to Bring High Winds and Heavy Rains

January 22, 2017

PISCATAWAY, NJ – The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for Piscataway and the surrounding area. According to the advisory, strong and potentially damaging winds are expected late tonight through Monday evening.

Middlesex County is under a storm warning, high wind warning and fog warning. The high wind warning has been issued because the upcoming ...

Six Thousand New Jersey Women and Allies March on Trenton

January 22, 2017

Supporters stand in solidarity with marchers at the Women’s March on Washington and more than 600 sister marches across the U.S.

TRENTON, NJ – On Saturday January 21, six thousand women, their families, and their allies arrived in our state’s capital city to participate in the Women’s March on Trenton. The day’s events included 40 powerful speakers, musical ...

The Mommy’s Review - Hidden Figures

The new movie Hidden Figures is now open in theaters nationwide, and I urge all parents out there to take your children to see it. It is a wonderful film with a wonderful message, not to mention a great endorsement of all things related to STEM.

Hidden Figures brings us to Langley, VA in the 1960s, just as NASA is preparing to launch its first Americans off of the planet and into the unknown.

The Women’s March on Washington from East Brunswick

January 22, 2017

I rarely rally. I was born in 1959, too young to protest the war in Vietnam, although my brother was draft-aged. Marching for Soviet Jewry was popular in the 1970s and even in the 80s. But I don’t recall participating. Hands Across America was a feel-good rally in 1986 designed to lift spirits and eradicate homelessness and poverty. Hardly controversial, I eagerly held hands with friends ...

Helper or Enabler: Which One Are You?

“How do I know when I’m doing too much for my child? I don’t want to hover, but I also worry that there are things she can’t handle by herself.  When should I get involved?”  This concern is voiced by parents of kids who are in kindergarten through college.

The reality is that the way for kids to become competent and independent is precisely by tackling ...

Women's March on Washington: Why, and Why Now

January 10, 2017

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, a number of groups are planning various events and rallies – perhaps most notably, the Women’s March on Washington. I have read a number of opinion pieces and spoken to many people about the March, and several questions and criticisms seem to consistently arise. I would like to address some two of the major themes.

(Q) The election ...

Chinese New Year Celebration to Be Held February 4 in South Plainfield

January 20, 2017

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ ­– The South Plainfield Public Library and South Plainfield Cultural Arts Commission, through a partnership with Buddha's Light International Association - New Jersey Chapter (BLIA-NJ), will sponsor a Chinese New Year Celebration on Saturday, Feb. 4. The free event will take place at the South Plainfield Senior Center from 12 to 3:30 p.m. and feature ...

Central New Jerseyans Eager to Go to DC for Women’s March on Washington

Central Jersey Coalition Coalition Against Endless War (CJCAEW) which was organized in 2002 to stop the Iraq War and has continued since then to fight for peace and social justice has filled 2 buses to go down to the Women's March on Washington on Saturday, January 21, 2017. CJCAEW bus coordinator Ellen Whitt noted, "We could have filled many more buses had more been ...

Rutgers Helps to Form “Big Data” Alliance

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Rutgers University is helping to build a team of state colleges and nonprofits known as the New Jersey Big Data Alliance, which aims to find ways to best use the information harnessed from smartphones and computers.

Along with eight other schools, Rutgers recently signed a memorandum of agreement to formally establish the tech-heavy group.

“The signing of the ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, January 25, 12:00 PM

drop off at main entrance of the high school near the reception desk, Monmouth Junction

We need your gently used prom/semi formal dresses!

Education Giving Back

Wed, January 25, 7:15 PM

The Shrine of St Joseph, Stirling

Free A Cappella Singing Lessons Offered by ...

Arts & Entertainment Education Health & Wellness Other

Carousel_image_e7304288e83d02d1d515_unnamed

Sun, January 29, 12:00 PM

The Hermitage Club, Deerfield Valley

ACG Northeast Deal Making at the Mountain

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink Health & Wellness Sports

Sun, January 29, 12:00 PM

drop off at main entrance of the high school near the reception desk, Monmouth Junction

We need your gently used prom/semi formal dresses!

Education Giving Back

Sun, January 29, 1:00 PM

St. Francis Cathedral School, Metuchen

St. Francis Cathedral School OPEN HOUSE

Education Religions And Spirituality

Winter Storm to Bring High Winds and Heavy Rains

January 22, 2017

PISCATAWAY, NJ – The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for Piscataway and the surrounding area. According to the advisory, strong and potentially damaging winds are expected late tonight through Monday evening.

Middlesex County is under a storm warning, high wind warning and fog warning. The high wind warning has been issued because the upcoming ...

Six Thousand New Jersey Women and Allies March on Trenton

January 22, 2017

Supporters stand in solidarity with marchers at the Women’s March on Washington and more than 600 sister marches across the U.S.

TRENTON, NJ – On Saturday January 21, six thousand women, their families, and their allies arrived in our state’s capital city to participate in the Women’s March on Trenton. The day’s events included 40 powerful speakers, musical ...

The Mommy’s Review - Hidden Figures

The new movie Hidden Figures is now open in theaters nationwide, and I urge all parents out there to take your children to see it. It is a wonderful film with a wonderful message, not to mention a great endorsement of all things related to STEM.

Hidden Figures brings us to Langley, VA in the 1960s, just as NASA is preparing to launch its first Americans off of the planet and into the unknown.

The Women’s March on Washington from East Brunswick

January 22, 2017

I rarely rally. I was born in 1959, too young to protest the war in Vietnam, although my brother was draft-aged. Marching for Soviet Jewry was popular in the 1970s and even in the 80s. But I don’t recall participating. Hands Across America was a feel-good rally in 1986 designed to lift spirits and eradicate homelessness and poverty. Hardly controversial, I eagerly held hands with friends ...

Helper or Enabler: Which One Are You?

“How do I know when I’m doing too much for my child? I don’t want to hover, but I also worry that there are things she can’t handle by herself.  When should I get involved?”  This concern is voiced by parents of kids who are in kindergarten through college.

The reality is that the way for kids to become competent and independent is precisely by tackling ...