Not Quite Narwhal
by: Jessie Sima
Forest Lake fourth-grade students became more versed in Native American life and culture upon participation in the school’s annual Native American Day, held on Jan. 29. The activity was the culmination of a social studies unit in which the students learned about Native American life and how the Iroquois of New York State assisted the Pilgrims through their first harsh winter.
The district is pleased to announce that 12 elementary, 13 middle school and 13 high school student-musicians were selected to participate in the Nassau Music Educators Association All-County festivals, held in January at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. Selection was based on the students’ individual New York State School Music Association evaluation scores and teacher recommendations, as well as evaluations during solo performances at regional music festivals.
During an in-school field trip with North Shore Land Alliance educator Karen Mossey, fourth-grade students at Forest Lake learned about Long Island’s drinking water and the best ways to protect it. “The best way to protect our drinking water is to learn about it,” Mossey said.
Victoria Alssid, school nurse at Forest Lake Elementary School in Wantagh, has received the 2018 Excellence in School Nursing Award. Bestowed by the New York State Association of School Nurses, Alssid received the accolade for having excelled in her practice of school nursing.
Vaughn Messina, a fourth-grade student at Forest Lake, recently raised $1,025 to help two peers who are batting cancer. This past fall, Vaughn told his mother, Karen Maureen Messina, that he wanted to help them through the sale of his toys and by collecting donations.
Forest Lake fifth-grade student-scientists proudly displayed their research on natural disasters with peers and family during the second annual science fair held on Feb. 9. The projects showcased detailed information on avalanches, typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes and more, and was the culmination of a science unit on weather.
Dear Forest Lake Family,
The book that I have chosen as our March Book of the Month is Not Quite NARWHAL, by Jessie Sima.
“This is Kelp. He doesn’t mind being a little different from the other narwhals. But when a strong curent carries him away, Kelp encounters some mysterious, sparkling creatures who leave him wondering if maybe….just maybe…..he isn’t a NARWHAL at all!”
This story is one that we hold near and dear to our heart here at Forest Lake. It is a story of accepting everyone’s differences! Once Kelp realizes who he actually is (a unicorn), he is immediately embraced by the unicorns and narwhals. Both groups model easy acceptance despite Kelp’s inner conflict of where exactly he fits in. It is my hope that this story can lead to valuable discussions about children’s own identity as well as acceptance of others. Love and acceptance flow easily in this sparkly story filled with everyone’s favorites…..rainbows and unicorns!
Some discussion questions to consider when reading this story might include asking students if they ever feel that they are different from other people, if people seem to accept their differences, and if they accept differences in others. It can be a true journey in self-discovery and self-acceptance!
Anthony F. Ciuffo, Jr.
Anthony F. Ciuffo, Jr.
Forest Lake Elementary School