As part of this year’s Middle Gate Madness event, murals that were created by the school’s community were unveiled in the school’s cafeteria on Friday, May 15. The effort to create murals began in February, when Susan Rosano, an artist with Arts For Learning Connecticut who recently moved to Vermont, first worked to prepare students and parents to put paintbrush to paper to fill in the first of the nine murals. Middle Gate PTA President Rebekah Harriman-Stites applied for a $6,000 grant through the Connecticut Office of the Arts to cover the project, and $3,000 of the PTA’s money from fundraisers was also used to support the project.
Throughout the day on Wednesday, May 13, Hawley Elementary School students were visited by therapy dogs, handlers, and representatives of Charlotte’s Litter.
Charlotte’s Litter is a Newtown Kindness program that was founded by her parents to honor Charlotte Helen Bacon, who loved dogs and lost her life on 12/14, and the support that her family and friends received from local comfort and therapy dogs.
As Newtown Kindness Program Support Director Ken Murdoch visited Hawley kindergarten teacher Donna Albano’s classroom, where therapy dog Ringo and his handler Pat Tetrault were visiting, he noted it was an exciting day with one of the program’s three main efforts “concept coming to fruition.”
Ahead of the chorus’s Spring Concert held on Thursday, May 14, Sandy Hook School’s fourth grade students sang during an assembly on Wednesday, May 13.
Under the direction of Sandy Hook School music teacher Maryrose Kristopik, students performed songs both on their recorders and by singing.
Songs performed by the students included the Sandy Hook School song, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “Saints on Parade,” Everybody Smiles,” and “I’m Flying.”
The Board of Education approved on May 19 a pilot child care program that will be available for district staff and heard a report from a Climate and Culture Committee. Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, first introduced the idea of offering a child care program in Newtown for district staff at the school board’s meeting on February 17. At that meeting, Dr Erardi explained Monroe Learning Center Director Dawn Ryan was there to present a possible child care program for Newtown, similar to the one she oversees in Monroe, which is based at Chalk Hill Middle School where Sandy Hook Elementary School is housed. The school board also heard a presentation from a Climate and Culture Committee during its meeting.
The after-school Unified Theater program at Newtown High School is set to perform an original show, written by the students involved, called "The Pages That Bind Us," this weekend. Students wrote scenes based on a fairy tale theme. Performances will be Saturday, May 30, at 7 pm, and Sunday, May 31, at 2 pm, at the high school. Admission is by donation.
Newtown High School has announced the students who made the High Honor Roll and Honor Roll for the third quarter marking period of the 2014-15 academic year. The honor roll listings were recently released by the school for publication. Students earn recognition on the High Honor Roll by being enrolled in five or more classes with a minimum of four courses in areas of study other than independent study and related work experience, have an overall average of 90 or more for the marking period and the student must receive a grade of 85 or higher in each course.
Hawley Elementary School Principal Christopher Moretti welcomed the assembled students on Monday, May 4, to the fourth grade’s Spring Concert.
The fourth graders, Mr Moretti told the rest of the student body, had worked hard for the performance, and would go on to present the Spring Concert for family and friends during the evening of Wednesday, May 6.
A line of nets was set up outside at Newtown Middle School on Tuesday, May 5, for a volleyball tournament fundraiser for the American Heart Association.
It was the third annual “Volleyball for Heart Event,” and it had teams of seventh and eighth grade students go up against each other in seven-minute games.
The event was held after school, and NMS physical education teacher Ken Kantor, who organized the event, explained the rules of the tourney while surrounded by the seventh and eighth grade participants.
A sign was set up at Reed Intermediate School on Thursday, May 14, welcoming Broadway and movie actress Lilla Crawford and Tony Award-winning producer Van Dean to the Trades Lane school. Mr Dean, who is also executive producer and co-founder of Broadway Records, said he arranged the meeting after learning that Reed students were then preparing to perform Annie Jr, and to continue his efforts of supporting students in the community following the events of 12/14. Before Lilla — who is a 14-year-old singer, dancer, and actress who most recently performed in Disney’s Into the Woods as Little Red Riding Hood — was introduced to Reed’s Annie Jr cast members, the students rehearsed songs from their recent production. As Lilla walked in, the Reed students were singing “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.”
Artwork created by fourth grade students at Sandy Hook Elementary School was on display for the school’s Student Art Show on Thursday, May 7. According to Sandy Hook School art teacher Leslie Gunn, who oversaw the evening event, each fourth grade student at the school had a sculpture, a diorama made with a clay piece, an acrylic painting, and a printmaking piece on display for the event. Near the start of the Student Art Show, Ms Gunn, who was surrounded by her students and their parents, said there was a “marvelous turnout” and a “wonderful energy” for the event.