7:00 PM Forest Lake Curriculum Night
7:30 PM SEPTA Meeting WMS IMC
4:00 PM WUT Executive Board Meeting
Forest Lake Elementary School is dedicated to the achievement of academic excellence and the lifelong love of learning, the enhancement of self-esteem, the building of character, respect, and responsibility through the cooperation of home, school, and community.
In honor of Arbor Day, Wantagh students in Lori Gottlieb’s class at Forest Lake Elementary School learned how to make paper from recycled newspaper. Arbor Day in New York State is the last Friday of April and is celebrated by tree plantings and various recycling projects...
Touchdown Terror, Spider Bowl and Graveyard Golf are three of 15 physical education stations that comprise the Halloween Fitness Funhouse at Forest Lake Elementary School in the Wantagh School District. This thrilling physical education unit...
Now that a new school year is underway, it is once again time to begin our Book of the Month initiative. Last year, with the help of our PTA, we were able to purchase books for every classroom each month. The chosen books each had a specific theme or message. These books were stories that everyone in our school read together. We were able to talk about the same characters, the same problems, and the same authors. It helped us build a learning community of readers as well as reinforce some important character education concepts that we encourage and highlight every day within our learning community.
The book that I have chosen to kick off the 2014-2015 Book of the Month program was donated by Harper Collins Publishers and is a called Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes. I would like to thank Harper Collins Publishers for this generous donation to support our program. Chrysanthemum is a cherished little mouse, believed to be absolutely wonderful in her parent’s eyes, who chose the most perfect name for her. Until Chrysanthemum started kindergarten, she believed her parents when they said her name was perfect. But on the first day of school, Chrysanthemum begins to suspect that her name is far less than perfect, especially when her class dissolves into giggles upon hearing her name read aloud. That evening, Chrysanthemum’s parents try to piece her self-esteem back together again with comfort food and a night filled “with hugs, kisses, and Parcheesi.” But the next day Victoria, a particularly observant and mean-spirited classmate, announces that Chrysanthemum’s name takes up 13 letters. “That’s half the letters in the alphabet!” she adds. Chrysanthemum wilts. Pretty soon the girls are making playground threats to “pluck” Chrysanthemum and “smell her.” One day, the students were introduced to their new music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. This compassionate teacher pointed out that she too was named after a flower, and thought Chrysanthemum was a perfect name, as now did Chrysanthemum. Will Mrs. Twinkle have what it takes to make Chrysanthemum blossom again?
When we send our little mice into the world, they too often encounter such negative experiences. Often our first impulse is to banish the bully and restore our child’s happiness. Some parents arm themselves and leap into battle, enlisting other children’s parents or teachers to fix the problem. In doing so, they make the problem their own. The difficulty with this approach is that it doesn’t give our children the experience and confidence they will need as they encounter the negatives that are inevitable in their journey ahead. They continue to believe that someone else will be needed to right the wrongs. How much better the approach of Chrysanthemum’s parents, who spent their time and energy restoring her sense of self, strengthening her for the fray when she went out again. A child with a strong sense of self is well equipped to stand up for herself. Each experience she then has adds to her image of herself as capable of handling whatever comes up on her own. Chrysanthemum’s parents also helped her to understand the feelings that were the likely motivation for the kids who acted mean.
Thus equipped, with both understanding and a strong sense of self, all our little mice will be well-fitted to handle the matter on their own. What a great lesson to teach! When your child’s days are less than perfect, read Chrysanthemum, and remind both of you where true strength lies.
Anthony F. Ciuffo, Jr.
Forest Lake School