WEST ORANGE, NJ - In honor of New Jersey’s Week of Respect, Redwood Elementary School’s Safety Team comprised of Franco Cozzolino, Physical Education teacher, Stacy Forte, Special Education teacher, Kristin Mindo, Special Education teacher, Robin Zanoni, Third Grade teacher, Elizabeth Levenberg, School Psychologist, Edward Ayuso, parent, Christine Kavanaugh, Guidance Counselor, and Barbara Kivlon, Principal developed a number of activities for teachers, staff and students to engage in.  As a school, the community worked together to accomplish respectful activities.  Each morning during the Week of Respect, Mr. Cozzolino, led the school in reciting a peace pledge highlighting what it means to be a respectful person and member of the school community.  This pledge, posted throughout Redwood School, will continue to be recited every Monday morning throughout the school year.   

Another school wide activity involved teaching students about self-respect. Students from kindergarten through fifth grade developed positive messages to show self-affirmation.  These messages included “I am special and unique” or “Everyone makes mistakes”.  Students wore their positive messages around their necks on an index card throughout the week. 

            Furthermore, Redwood School was fortunate to have two different assemblies during the week.  Mr. Alaa Abdelnaby is a former graduate of Duke University and retired NBA player.  He continues to share his talents as a broadcaster for CBS Sports while visiting students in schools around New Jersey.  Mr. Abdelnaby shared stories of what it means to respect yourself and other people in your life. In addition, he held a question and answer period for the students and staff.  The Redwood School PTA sponsored an additional assembly delivered by MC Squared.  This musical trio delivered their message of respect through songs, providing each teacher with a copy of their CD to continue to share their message of respect.  The performers interacted with the audience by having several fifth grade students participate in different skits.  MC2 connected to the students and staff in a positive way. 

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            Respect at Redwood School does not end with the conclusion of the Week of Respect activities.  Each and every day, students, staff and parents show their H.E.A.R.T (help, encouragement, affirmation, respect and tolerance) in various ways.  “The Week of Respect is a wonderful way for us to remind all of our students how important they are!” stated Kristin Mindo.


Washington School Fourth Graders Create "Reading Rocks" Buddies

The students in Mrs. Marla Geller's fourth grade class at Washington Elementary School created "Reading Rocks" buddies after studying the three groups of rocks.  The children learned that igneous rocks form from magma and lava that cools and hardens, sedimentary rocks form from layers of sediments, and metamorphic rocks form from heat and pressure, by using hands on materials.

 On October 19, the fourth graders visited the Franklin Mineral Museum in Franklin, NJ as a unit closure.  At the Franklin Mineral Museum, the classes had the opportunity to put their geology senses to work. The students went deep into a mineral mine, collecting as many rocks as they could fit into their plastic bag. Afterwards, the fourth graders had the chance to see minerals glow by holding them up under an ultraviolet light. Finally, the classes were given a tour of the museum.

As a culminating project, Mrs. Geller had her class create "reading rocks" buddies.  The students were able to choose one rock and decorate it with items such as, Google eyes, yarn, markers, and stickers.  The students then had the chance to write a paragraph describing their rock. 


Operation Christmas Child at Washington School

November 29, 2012 (West Orange, NJ) – Every year at this time, students in Mrs. Marylin Campbell’s fourth grade class at Washington Elementary School participate in an academic unit she prepares on “Our Heritage and Culture”.  Students identify where their family came from and their family roots, allowing classmates to learn about the origin of their fellow students’ parents and grandparents.

“This gives the students a chance to express appreciation of their diversity and appreciation for a country in which they have the liberty to achieve any dream they want,” explained Mrs. Campbell.

This year, Mrs. Campbell extended the unit by adding the needs of the world by becoming involved with “Operation Christmas Child”. Through the charitable organization Samaritan’s Purse, the classroom became involved in extending their hands of compassion through each child donating a Christmas shoebox filled with toys and care packages. This was a strictly voluntary project stated Mrs. Campbell, but the support from the parents and students was tremendous.

“It was amazing to see how many parents got involved by helping their child fill a shoebox. The students were thrilled. Our principal, Marie DeMaio, came to take pictures with the children before we shipped the boxes out,” said Campbell.

Through email, the class was able to track the boxes and their destinations. The students had a chance to write letters to the children receiving their boxes. “We look forward to finding out if any of the children become long-term pen pals,” expressed the teacher

Roosevelt Students Raise Money to Purchase Supplies for Union Beach, NJ

Roosevelt Middle School students demonstrated caring and responsibility to those in need in the greater New Jersey community, collecting $500.  Cleaning supplies were purchased to give to Union Beach, a devastated coastal town.  They were overwhelmed by the school's generosity.