Education

Somers Intermediate School Fifth Graders Bring History to Life

Alexander Susca as Milton Hershey and Andrew Violante as Magic Johnson Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
Noah Volkman as Michael Jackson Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
Molly Fink as Helen Keller Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
Students take a break to grab a quick snack from Milton Hershey. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
Jackson Forsberg as Neil Armstrong Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
Giuseppe Gioffre as Emmitt Smith Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
Thomas Hauser as Walt Disney Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
Ruimin Zhang plays the cello as Yo-Yo Ma. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
Ariana Horafios as Jacqueline Kennedy Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
Luke Hopper as William Clark Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
Visitors look for clues in Theodore Roosevelt's "autobiography," written by Theodore Mitchell (right). Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
Enisa Berisha as Amelia Earhart and Grayden Carr as Shaquille O'Neal Credits: Gabrielle Bilik

SOMERS, N.Y. - In a dazzling three-dimensional display, replicas of historical figures and pop-culture icons created by the fifth-grade students lined the hallways of Somers Intermediate School at the annual Images of Greatness Wax Museum showcase on Thursday, May 18.

Crafted with Madame Tussaud’s-like accuracy, the costumes were convincing enough to make the hallway feel like it had been tapped by whatever magic made the exhibits come alive in “Night at the Museum,” when the figures abandoned their posts to socialize. The dressed-up students could only last a few moments before a twitchy nose or a fit of giggles shattered the illusion (some sooner than others).

From Helen Keller to the King of Pop, decades of history were represented. There was an “autobiography” posted next to each display that provided clues to their identity, and parents and visitors were given a match-up worksheet to fill out as they made their way down the hall. Students researched their historical figures using several different media before writing the descriptions and choosing their outfits, said Joe Benedetto, fifth grade teacher.

Sign Up for E-News

Benedetto began the tradition nine years ago after he carried it over from his previous district, and the one before that.

“The kids love playing a character and it’s a great, authentic, cumulative piece,” Benedetto said.

Many of the exhibits were interactive. A cello performance from Yo-Yo Ma (Ruimin Zhang), for instance, provided ambiance for the occasion.

Milton Hershey (Alex Susca), who held a straw hat filled with Hershey’s Kisses, and Magic Johnson, (Andrew Violante), who held a basketball, broke character for just a moment to share what it was like preparing for the event. Both said they enjoyed coming up with their costumes and that they learned much from the research they put into their autobiographies. They added that the research and composition of the write-up was not the most daunting part of the project. The challenge?

“Figuring out how you’re going to stand like this for an hour,’” Susca said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Somers

'Ruthie's Brigade Is Up and Running Again!'

You remember Ruthie’s Brigade, right? Why, they are my family, dear friends and you faithful readers who made up my treasured and much-needed support network when I did battle with breast cancer in 2014!

I am calling on my Brigadiers once again. As you know, I have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib) and am taking Eliquis.

Ah-ha, it doesn’t stop there, folks.  A ...

Football Is in the Air

One thing I like about living in the Northeast is the change of seasons. You have baseball season, basketball season, tennis season and, if things get a little too quiet around the house, football season. I’ve already had “The Talk” with all the pets: Sunday afternoons are going to get a little difficult for the next 16 weeks, and if there is a lot of yelling and a wee bit of ...

Childhood's End

It’s almost as if we’re living in George Orwell’s “1984.” The world has turned upside down and it seems the inmates are running the asylum! Even to suggest such a thought is anathema in this day and age when everything must be “politically correct.” There are no criminals, there are people with “’problems”; insurrectionists are ...

'My Husband Thinks I Am a Hoarder'

People tell me that—their husbands think they are hoarders or they think that themselves. I’ve been a professional organizer for a long time and 99 percent of the time, these people are not hoarders. In fact, I’ve only met three in the last 13 years. 

Hoarding is a mental disorder, an aspect of being obsessive-compulsive (check ICD Clutter–Hoarding Scale) and it ...

Combating Stress Levels at Home

Dear Dr. Linda,

We have a daughter in 11th grade and a son in 8th. We met with their teachers at an open house and were told that they’re both great kids and are doing well. Of course, we didn’t get any more detail because it was Parent Open School Night. When we drove home, I told my husband that I don’t think they’re doing great. Intellectually, yes, but not ...

Sleep Much?

Are you one of those folks who tells people that you can get by with sleeping, say, a mere four hours a night? I’ve always envied people like that.

I’m the south to their north—a polar opposite. I need double that amount of sleep. I’ve always assumed—or maybe once was told—that it is due to my slow metabolism. Or maybe I’m just boringly normal ...

Don’t Call Me... I’ll Call You

“Hello, hello,” I said, picking up the phone when I saw my husband’s number come up on my Caller ID.

Nothing.

“Hellllloooooooooo?” I said louder.

“Can I have a tall, decaf, skim mocha Frappucino,” I heard my husband say. It sounded like he wasn’t talking directly into his phone, but rather from a galaxy far, far ...

Helping English Language Learning Students Who Are Learning Disabled

Dana Stahl, a learning specialist and educational consultant, will address educational questions and concerns that parents may have regarding their children’s academic development and progress in school. Topics can center on such concerns as how to handle homework dilemmas or what questions to ask at a CSE meeting. Questions can range from “How best do parents advocate for their ...