2017-2018 Show Your Character
Super Students Showcase Their Inner Hero
Dressed in superhero masks, capes and costumes, second grade students at Shaw Avenue School presented their show "The Extraordinary League of the Super Value Friends” on May 23. Two performances took place in the school’s auditorium for family members, staff and students to enjoy. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Stirling and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. RG France were also in attendance to see the students shine.
Assistant Principal Christopher Colarossi kicked off the event by welcoming the audience and highlighting how the production supports Valley Stream District 30’s theme, “Show Your Character,” along with social emotional learning initiatives.
“This production celebrates some messages that we have been communicating all year long and that’s building character here at Shaw Avenue,” said Colarossi. “That means building kindness, respect, care and motivation. These are words that we have been living by throughout the whole year as we have developed our superhero.”
With the help of second grade teachers Amanda Critelli, Jeanine Lichter, Susan Lipski and Victoria Umpornpun, along with music teachers Stephanie Cooke, Stephanie Fischer and Sarah Quiroz, the students showcased their acting and singing abilities with a superhero storyline about respecting oneself and finding your own character. Art teacher Paul Farinacci and parents support with set design and costumes also helped bring the production to life.
The students played characters such as Captain Acceptance, The Caring Sisters, Kindness Kid, Respecto Man, Incredible Peace, Dr. Responsibility and main character Super Friend, who gets involved with the wrong crowd. Bullies included characters such as Rude Gal, Toxic Bully, The Dictator and Diversity Diva. Second-graders portrayed their positive messages through their acting skills, two creative videos and songs about responsibility, peace, respect and character and received a round of applause with their final bow.
Shaw Students Commended for Showing Their Character
Shaw Avenue Elementary School fifth-graders Briana Canas, Sergen Enosse, Hailey Feliciano, Madison Griffith, Kimberly Hernandez, Daniel Jawad, Alana McCoy, Edison Perez and Simran Shankar received a red carpet experience on April 26 as they were designated as March Students of Character.
Fitting with Valley Stream District 30’s 2017-18 theme, “Show Your Character,” a select number of Shaw students from each grade level are nominated by their teachers on a monthly basis for displaying excellent character. During the fifth-grade ceremony, students lined the hallways as the honorees were announced. The nine students were awarded with a good character certificate and walked the red carpet as their peers cheered.
To conclude the ceremony, Principal Alejandro Rivera congratulated the distinguished students once again and reminded the classes to keep working hard as the school year draws to a close.
“Be kind to each other, be respectful to each other and be caring to each other,” he said. “If you live by that, you will have a great life.”
Waltzing into the World of Ballroom Dance
Fifth-graders at Shaw Avenue Elementary School have been practicing their ballroom dance skills during the course of several weeks with the guidance of instructors Joel Rodriguez and Jessie Salvesen from Dancing Classrooms Long Island. They began their visits in mid-December to help students perfect dance techniques for their culminating performance in March.
In addition to learning the various steps of ballroom dance within the program, the partnership between students helps build self-confidence, respect, cooperative teamwork, communication and an appreciation for cultural diversity. The program embraces social emotional learning in students as they learn to acknowledge each other with a “hello, partner” and “thank you, partner,” while dancing.
The dance residency also ties into Valley Stream District 30’s “Show Your Character” theme for the 2017-18 school year. With their weekly lessons, students have the ability to learn a unique skill and embrace performing.
Students Transform into Broadway Stars During Black History Month
Second-grade students at Clear Stream Avenue Elementary School recently participated in a week-long dance residency program with dancers from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and showcased their skills with a culminating performance during the school’s annual Black History Month Celebration on Feb 28. The students performed “Ease on Down the Road,” from the Broadway musical “The Wiz,” for loved ones in honor of George Faison, famed choreographer of “The Wiz” and Tony Award winner.
Alvin Ailey dancers David Robertson and Morgan Thweatt practiced with students once a day to teach them techniques and styles of modern dance. This was the second year that the dance company has visited the school to give students the opportunity to build their confidence while trying something new. Alvin Ailey’s belief, “dance is for everybody,” was evident as second-graders worked on perfecting their steps and collaborating with their peers to learn proper dance techniques.
Students performed during the Black History Month Celebration for Faison, who worked with talented figures such as Michael Jackson, Stephanie Mills and Patti LaBelle.
“As part of the District’s ‘Show Your Character’ theme, we highlighted the achievements of African Americans on Broadway,” said Principal John Singleton. “Throughout the month, we celebrated the contributions of African Americans to this country by participating in various activities and events both in the classroom and schoolwide. This year’s Black History Month Celebration did not disappoint! In fact, many people have stated that this was the best Black History Month Celebration ever.”
During the celebration, Faison addressed the audience by thanking the families for their commitment to their children’s education. Faison also stressed the importance of students being able to express themselves through multiple levels, especially the arts. The Clear Stream PTA honored Faison at the end of the night with the “Show Your Character Award.”
Shaw Avenue Students Learn from Professional Puppeteers
Kindergarten through second-grade students at Shaw Avenue School received a special visit from the Catskill Puppet Theater on Oct. 12 to coincide with the district’s 2017-18 theme of “Show Your Character.”
Classes gathered in the school’s auditorium where the Catskill Puppet Theater’s co-founders John Potocnik and Carol Mandigo presented their show “Sister Rain, Brother Sun.” The story highlighted the important roles that the rain and the sun play on the Earth and encouraged kindness through an engaging tale.
Students interacted with the storyline and watched as different characters were brought to life on stage. Colorful props, sets and original music captured their attention throughout the show. At the conclusion, Mandigo and Potocnik took center stage with each puppet and discussed how their characters were created.
Shaw Shines Light on Holidays from Across the Globe
Shaw Avenue Elementary School students immersed themselves in cultures and holiday traditions from across the globe on Dec. 20 with the help of the Bright Star Touring Theatre’s production of “Holidays Around the World.” Two performances took place throughout the day for students to enjoy.
Aligning with the district’s theme this year, “Show Your Character,” the show focused on character Nick, played by Steven Gebhardt and Joy, played by Sarah Catherine Carter and their quest to make it home for the holidays. Principal Alejandro Rivera kicked off the performances by speaking to students about the importance of understanding how others live.
“As you started to learn already in school and as you’ll learn in life, no matter our religion, no matter our ethnicity, no matter what we celebrate, having a real sense of the world around us helps us better understand the life experiences of those that we associate with,” he said. “Having an appreciation for what is out there in the world will only make all of us better people.”
The engaging performances walked students through Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, Diwali, the Chinese New Year and more. Student volunteers also assisted in the production, dressing like Saint Lucia for St. Lucia’s Day and helping maneuver a colorful dragon for the Chinese New Year. At the conclusion of the performances, the actors took questions from the students which ranged from how they got their start in the acting world and what holidays they personally celebrate.
Students Shine During Lights On for Education
District administrators, board of education members, families and students from Valley Stream District 30 gathered for the Valley Stream Council of PTAs’ 57th anniversary “Lights On for Education” on April 26. The annual event held at Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School, showcased the educational excellence of the 14 Valley Stream elementary and secondary schools.
Attendees gathered in the school gymnasium for the opening ceremony where superintendents, district administrators and board members representing the Valley Stream Central High School District, Valley Stream District 13, Valley Stream District 24 and Valley Stream District 30 were present. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. R.G. France spoke on behalf of District 30 and invited sixth-grade representatives Emaan Asghar from Clear Stream Avenue School, Ethan Fazal from Forest Road School and Nyla Henry from Shaw Avenue School to the podium to share a quote on this year’s theme “Light the Path through Vision and Exploration.” The students, along with those from Districts 13 and 24, helped to officially kick off the event by cutting the yellow ribbon.
The evening consisted of an exhibit of programs offered in each district. Students, staff and administrators created displays and presentations that community members were welcomed to explore. Fitting with District 30’s 2017-18 theme, “Show Your Character,” Forest Road students showcased their acting skills with their performance of “The Library Dragon” and “How to Eat Like a Child,” along with Shaw Avenue students who performed a sneak peak of their upcoming show, “Annie, Jr.”
Students from Shaw Avenue and Clear Stream Avenue Schools put on their dancing shoes as they presented professional dance techniques that they learned during the school year. Shaw Avenue students participated in a dance residency with Dancing Classrooms Long Island while Clear Stream students participated in a dance residency with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. The Clear Stream Avenue steppers also impressed audience members with their routine.
In addition, District 30 displayed booths with a range of different Makerspace activities that can be done in the classroom and at home. Staff members and students assisted with the tables as attendees explored and were hands-on with the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics challenges.
A Character-Filled Halloween
Administrators, students and staff showed their Halloween pride on Oct. 31 by dressing up in creative costumes and participating in parades and lessons coinciding with the holiday.
Fitting with the district’s theme of the year, “Show Your Character,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Stirling and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Roxanne Garcia France channeled “Beauty and the Beast” by dressing as Beast and Belle. They visited each school and greeted the classes in their costumes.
At Clear Stream Avenue School, fifth and sixth grade students celebrated the holiday with a Halloween luncheon, provided by the school’s PTA. Dressed in their best costumes, the students danced and ate in the gymnasium with their peers. A Halloween costume contest also took place where students were awarded for their unique outfits. Staff members throughout the building took part as well by wearing costumes that reflected books.
Over at Forest Road School, kindergarten through second grade classes participated in pumpkin decorating activity while third through fifth grade classes showcased their skills with a scarecrow building project. As part of the district’s theme, each class was given a play for the year and incorporated their play into their Halloween projects and costumes. The decorated pumpkins and scarecrows were displayed in the school’s lobby for all to see.
In addition, Shaw Avenue School held their annual Halloween parade, where students across each grade wore their favorite costumes and waved to family members as they passed. Over 100 families attended the parade and students enjoyed special treats and worked on various projects throughout the day. Staff members also dressed up for the celebration with Principal Alejandro Rivera and Assistant Principal Christopher Colarossi dressing in pirate costumes.
District Kicks Off First Parent University of the New School Year
Administrators, board of education members, staff, students and their families gathered at Valley Stream District 30’s Shaw Avenue School on Sept. 28 for an evening of beneficial workshops on a variety of important topics to help further students’ growth.
Parent University, a workshop program that the district hosts throughout the course of the school year, followed the parent Edcamp model when creating the sessions. Edcamp is un-conferenced sessions that are parent-driven, free to attend, focused on discussed experiences and flexible to allow families to move to sessions that best fit their needs at any time. The district offered 13 different session topics that families were welcomed to attend. These ranged from “The ABCs of Kindergarten,” “Develop you Child’s Global Citizenship,” “Infused Enrichment,” “Inspiring Critical Thinkers,” “The New Road to Students Success” and more.
Families were greeted by administrators including Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Stirling and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Roxanne Garcia France as they entered the building. Shaw Avenue Principal Alejandro Rivera kicked off the event in the school’s auditorium where students and their families enjoyed snacks and learned about what would be taking place.
“One of the biggest things that I want you to take away from these sessions is that the opportunities in these sessions is not to be spoken to, but to speak with,” said Rivera. “You bring a wealth of knowledge and we really want to hear from you. I know families want to hear from each other as well.”
To fit with the district’s 2017-18 theme, “Show Your Character,” students were invited to attend the event and enjoy a puppet show and puppet lesson from the Catskill Puppet Theater in the school’s auditorium while their family members attended the workshops. Families walked around the building, moving from classroom to classroom as they participated in discussions facilitated by district administrators and staff. They attended workshops that fit their interests, were provided with resources and heard first-hand experiences from their fellow community members.
The district will host more Parent Universities throughout the year at the different schools to reach students and their families on other important topics.