Be Brave Little Penguin
by: Giles Andreae
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.
Fifth-grade students in Robyn Hohenberg’s class at Forest Lake celebrated a special moment in their lives with peers, central administration and Director of English Language Arts Nicole Waldbauer by sharing their memoir writing during a recent publishing party.
“Will little Pip-Pip overcome his fear of water and finally take the plunge?”
Dear Forest Lake Family,
The book that I have chosen as our January book of the month is “Be Brave, Little Penguin” by Giles Andreae. The book is illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees.
Be Brave Little Penguin is a story of a little penguin named Pip-Pip who was struggling to fit in, mainly because he feared something that so many of his peers loved. Pip-Pip was afraid of WATER! He feared the unknown. What if the water is too cold? What if it is too dark, or too deep? What if I can’t swim? What if there are monsters who try to eat me? These fears paralyzed him and Pip-Pip began to feel sad and lonely because of it. Things changed when Pip-Pip’s mom was finally able to convince him to face his fears and be BRAVE. Pip-Pip eventually closed his eyes and took the plunge. What he discovered was much different than what he had imagined and a whole new world was opened up for little Pip-Pip!
I am certain that this story will resonate with many of our students. There is always something that a child (or adult) is hesitant to try, and it is usually because of fear of the unknown. As I walked around the building Wednesday wishing everyone a happy new year, I noticed that we were all busy making our new year’s resolutions. What a perfect time of year to engage in meaningful conversation about trying new things, being brave, being confident, and facing your fears! Many students shared some of the new things that they want to accomplish this year. Learning to ride a bike, learning to read, being kind to others, and learning to swim were amongst some of the resolutions that I heard. Hopefully this story will give some of our students the confidence and courage to face their fears and tackle their resolutions head on! I look forward to finding out together!
Anthony F. Ciuffo, Jr.
Forest Lake Elementary School