The Children’s Summer Reading Program returns to C.H. Booth Library on Tuesday, June 23. The annual incentive-based program is held to promote reading while school is out for the summer. Alana Bennison, head of the children’s department at the library, encourages all parents and children to get involved. “It’s all about finding the right books for each child, and it’s about improving the ability to recall and retell stories,” said Ms Bennison. This goal will be achieved with the help of the young adult volunteers from the program’s beginning to its end on August 15. Around 45 volunteers, ranging from seventh grade to twelfth grade, will be assisting this year.
Reed Intermediate School's 2015 Pushcart Warriors have broken the school's previous record, by earning more than $5,900 to use toward a charity of the students' choosing.
Pushcart Day was held on Tuesday, June 9, for this year's students, with sixth graders in Petrice DiVanno and Matt Dalton's cluster, Lil Martenson and Michelle Vaccaro's cluster, Maura Drabik and Todd Stentiford's cluster, and Georgia Smith and Valerie Pagano-Hepburn's cluster all participating.
The Pushcart Day effort was inspired by The Pushcart Wars by author Jean Merrill. The book tells the fictional story of a clash between pushcart vendors in New York City and the increasing truck traffic that competed for space.
Housatonic Valley Waldorf School, which celebrated its 25 anniversary this school year, held its annual commencement ceremony for graduating eighth graders on Saturday, June 6, under a tent on the grounds of its Newtown campus.
The students were welcomed to the stage by the school’s pedagogical resource teacher Marleen De Grande, who introduced Leslie Lew, who has been the Class of 2015 lead teacher for the past seven years.
Throughout the program, parents, trustees, and faculty spoke and the eighth graders recited, sang, and played recorders.
Newtown High School Principal Lorrie Rodrigue welcomed all in attendance on Wednesday, June 3, to the first evening dedicated to honoring and awarding students.
NHS seniors were awarded scholarships and honors during the evening on Wednesday, and NHS underclassmen were honored and awarded scholarships during the evening on Thursday, June 4.
Dr Rodrigue said the Wednesday event was a “very, very special” culmination for the seniors, who were only roughly two weeks away from graduating that evening.
The Newtown Scholarships Association held its Third Annual Awards Reception at The Dana-Holcombe House on Thursday, June 11. Students being awarded scholarships met with NSA members and school district educators and administration during the reception. According to the NSA, all of the awards are need based. NSA Awards Chairperson Stephanie Gaston said the NSA was able to award 58 scholarships for $105,000 this year to high school graduates.
The first Scholars Luncheon was held at Newtown High School on Friday, June 12, after school. The event, which was held in the school's cafetorium, brought students in the top five percent of the graduating Class of 2015 together with an educator that inspired them during the course of their educational career. Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, said a similar type of event was held in his former district. He also said he thinks the luncheon offers another way of recognizing student scholarship. The event, he said, was also special for the invited guests.
Fraser Woods Montessori School eighth graders graduated during commencement exercises held at the Newtown Meeting House on Tuesday, June 9. Head of School Myriam Woods welcomed all in attendance before the school's chorus sang "Simple Gifts," which, according to Ms Woods, is a Montessori graduation tradition. Middle School teachers and graduates spoke during the ceremony, before the diplomas were handed out by Ms Woods and Montessori School Board President Kate O'Leary.
Middle Gate Elementary School music teacher Tina Jones has been selected by the district as the 2015-16 Newtown Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year. A music educator at Middle Gate for the past eight years, Mrs Jones is a master teacher and one who is held in high regard by students, peers, and the Newtown community.
Newtown Middle School Principal Tom Einhorn said the school's Moving Up Ceremony on Monday, June 15, was being held to "congratulate and recognize our students." Mr Einhorn was joined on the stage at the O'Neill Center by NMS Assistant Principal James Ross, Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, Board of Education Chair Keith Alexander, school board Secretary Kathy Hamilton, school board member Michelle Ku. and Newtown High School Principal Lorrie Rodrigue. Students Jacquelyn Matthews, Baxter Page, Todd Petersen, Grace Howgego and Jenny Wadhwa all spoke as representatives of their different clusters to share memories of their time at NMS and their advice for the future.
Music played over the loudspeakers at Head O’ Meadow Elementary School on Wednesday, June 17, just moments before the last bell rang for the 2014-15 school year. And that was when some of the school’s fourth grade students began to dance. According to staff, students danced in their classrooms while the song “Happy” played. By the time “Uptown Funk” was being played, the fourth graders formed a dance line. “We’re no longer fourth graders!” one student said.