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

075945dc825ec96093d8_e4060fb193828de2a897_sompixbikeprincipal2.JPG
Credits: Rod Hirsch
b7f591168acef378607a_b99ccd0236b3385e5a40_sompixbikeprincipal1.JPG
Credits: Rod Hirsch
b16e094237cf24c4c3d1_bb5d08c477662766d832_sompixbikeprincipal4.JPG
Credits: Rod Hirsch
7c6e09379dec5c8a0e34_sompixbikeprincipal7.JPG
Credits: Rod Hirsch
401d03f58399eb7afad2_29857c8f8b7a592f420b_sompixbikeprincipal6.JPG
Credits: Rod Hirsch
0b19fc3c25025fdd2cb0_cb6eed7b75ac0e0d7b62_sompixbikeprincipal8.JPG
Credits: Rod Hirsch
075945dc825ec96093d8_e4060fb193828de2a897_sompixbikeprincipal2.JPG

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:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week Samantha Pullen Girls’ Spring Track

The South Plainfield High School Girls’ track team is off to another great start in the 2018 season.  Their record currently stands at 3-0. This past week, the Lady Tigers defeated divisional rivals Metuchen and Middlesex by the scores of 80-56 and 75-56.  They then went on to dominate Bishop Ahr by a score of 112-24.  Much of the Lady Tigers success has been due to the ...

The Athlete of the Week Tatianna Sutor Girls’ Lacrosse

The South Plainfield High School Girls’ Lacrosse team is off to a fantastic start to their 2018 season with a record of 2-0. This past week, the Lady Tigers crushed division rival Bishop Ahr by the score of 14-2, and then went on to beat Boonton 6-3.  A huge part of the success for South Plainfield has been due in a large part to the contributions of senior goalie Tatianna ...

Obituaries

Victor Kochmann, 92, passed away on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 surrounded by his loving family in ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Letter Welcoming Mike Zushma to Politics

April 19, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I'd like to welcome Mike Zushma to the world of politics and congratulate him on being selected as the town's Democratic Chairman.

 

I've served as Republican chair since 2009, and I've always enjoyed spending my time helping good people get elected to office.  In South Plainfield, it's never about party:  People work together and try ...

Community Happenings

South Plainfield High School Hall Of Fame Is Seeking Nominees

April 19, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The South Plainfield High School Hall of Fame Committee is again holding their search for candidates for induction into the SPHS Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame was established at South Plainfield High School to recognize outstanding graduates as leaders in their fields who could serve as role models for current and future students.

Candidates will be evaluated on ...

Kennedy School Welcomes Author Lisa Mullarkey

April 19, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Teacher and children’s author Lisa Mullarkey stopped by John F. Kennedy Elementary School on April 18. 

“This year’s guest author was very well received by our students and staff. Mrs. Mullarkey spent the day motivating our students to be future writers," said Kennedy Principal Kevin Hajduk. "It was a privilege for our students at ...

Holy Savior Academy to Hold Open House on April 24

April 18, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Holy Savior Academy, an AdvancedED accredited Middlebrook Deanery Catholic School located in South Plainfield, will hold an open house the evening of Tuesday, April 24.At this time, prospective students and their families in pre-K3 through 8th grade will have the opportunity to tour the school, meet teachers and register. 

“Holy Savior ...

Elks Lodge #2298 Hosted Princess Breakfast

April 19, 2018

The South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 Youth Activities Committee recently hosted a Princess breakfast, in conjunction with the South Plainfield Summer Drama Workshop.   On the menu we featured only the BEST breakfast in town.  Our lil princesses were able to come down to have their pictures taken with their favorite Disney characters. 

The South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 ...

Part Time Position in Municipal Court

The South Plainfield Borough is seeking to hire a part time person with strong customer service skills to perform detailed Municipal Court clerical work.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Answering telephone and walk in inquiries, data entry, maintaining files and records for accuracy, processing payments, related duties as required.

Successful candidates should process ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_bbe5d2f368f320d67fab_img_3263

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Open House 312 Elissa Court South Plainfield

Real Estate

Carousel_image_6fa66652e238649d073e_suburban_woman_s_club

Sun, April 22, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

Suburban Woman's Club Luncheon/Fashion Show April ...

Carousel_image_bad097ae8b2fe018094c_mayors_wellness

Sat, April 28, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

Spring Wellness Health Fair - Mayor's Wellness

Carousel_image_5cb3a344be063f4eef87_hf_2018_updated-page-001

Sat, April 28, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

South Plainfield's Annual Health and Fitness Fair

Carousel_image_540ba92b7ee7d0a56fba_elvis_tribute_final

Sat, April 28, 7:00 PM

South Plainfield

A Tribute to our Veterans - Jim Barone

Carousel_image_7869a9df10fb5a82bf59_autismawareness18-page-001

Sun, April 29, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

Autism Awareness Event on April 29th

Columns

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)

 

How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

Bookmarks

Your library is a hub of education and entertainment that is available to you not just when the library is open, but at all hours, thanks to our great online resources.  

If you want to brush up on your computer skills, or learn something new, try Learning Express.  You can access it through the library’s website. Once you’ve registered (you’ll need ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Hears Presentation on WWII Air Force Service Pilots

During World War II, one thousand seventy-four aviators, all with prior experience and airman certificates, flew over 60 million miles; transported every type of military aircraft; towed targets for live anti-aircraft gun practice; simulated strafing missions and transported cargo. Thirty-eight members of this elite group lost their lives and one went missing in performing their ...

Press Releases

OLOVEE will be at Menlo Park Mall

April 20, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - OLOVEE  is a unique company that offers trendy products and donates back to four causes in the community. OLOVEE will be at Menlo Park Mall on Saturday April 21st for a “Health & Wellness “ Expo.  During this campaign, OLOVEE will donate $4 per product to the color and cause of your choice.  A same day discount of 25% will be ...