Thursday, June 17, 2010

Walnut Street School Assembly

Recently, Kixx Mascot, SocceRoo, and starting forward, Anthony Maher, visited our grade 3 through 5 students.

The focus of the assembly was on teamwork, setting goals, practice, and hard work.

Monday, June 14, 2010

National Town Hall -- America Speaks: Our Budget, Our Economy

(I thought that some in our school community may be interested in this offer that was extended by a University of Pennsylvania professor. Feel free to register if you would like to be involved in the June 26th event. Also, share it with any of our students ages 17 and older -- as noted, that group of particular interest.)

Dear Colleagues,

While it is late in the school year, I could use some help with outreach to student, staff and community members.

As you know, one strand of my work focuses on civic engagement. Currently, I’ve been asked by a national civic engagement organization called AmericaSpeaks to help with a national town hall meeting on the national budget and deficit.

The national town hall, called America Speaks: Our Budget, Our Economy, will be on Saturday, June 26, 2010 in Philadelphia. We’re hoping to have some 500 people gather in Philadelphia for this meeting.

I am writing to invite you and others from your community, including high school students (17 years of age or older) to participate in this event. We are looking for diverse participants, particularly students ages 17-25, people of all ages who are conservative/Republican in political thinking, low income persons and minorities.

I believe this can be a wake-up call for American democracy. It’s an event that has the potential to cut through the divisive exchanges that seem to characterize today’s political discussion about important issues.

Here’s more information about the national town meeting to set citizen-based priorities for the federal budget:

  • What: America Speaks: Our Budget, Our Economy
  • When: Saturday, June 26, 2010, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (lunch and snacks will be provided)
  • Where: 3801 Market Street, First District Plaza
  • Childcare will be provided
  • To register

o on-line: Philadelphia Town Meeting: Our Budget, Our Economy

o mail: complete the registration form attached to this email

Participants will be connected with people from 17 other cities so that we can share concerns and ideas, learn from each other and develop a set of priorities to give to Congress and the President.

I’d greatly appreciate your assistance in getting the word out across your district. It will be a great opportunity for students and teachers to experience another form of democracy in action. And I think other stakeholders will find the day memorable as well!

Why come?

Here’s why it’s important for you to give up a Saturday to join with others around this issue:

Our national deficit is projected to grow at an unsustainable rate over the next 10 years. This threatens our ability to fund what’s most important to us. The country remains deeply divided over what our national priorities are and what we, as a people, are prepared to do to support them. Clearly we need to do something and let our leaders know what we will support. It's time to come together as a country to make the tough choices that will ensure America's future.

With thousands of American voices joined together, this has true game-changing potential! It can provide the kind of pressure that can lead our elected officials to start governing rather than positioning and polarizing.

To register: Philadelphia Town Meeting: Our Budget, Our Economy

And when you do register, please indicate that you heard about this event from us at PPCE.

For more information:

I’ve attached an electronic flyer and other information.


Harris Sokoloff

Harris Sokoloff, Ph.D.

Center for School Study Councils

Graduate School of Education

3440 Market Street, Suite 500

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA 19104-3325


Internet pages:

Study Councils:

Civic Engagement:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

West End Twenty-Five Book Club

(This entry was sent in by Mr. Myers, Principal of the West End Memorial Elementary School.)

The 25 Book Club is a year long reading incentive where students are encouraged to read 25 books outside of school hours. Throughout the school year, students receive small rewards when they reach the five, ten, fifteen, and twenty book levels. Larger rewards are received when a student reaches 25 book or above. At West End, this effort came to a close on June 1st.

On Friday, June 4th, all students who made the 25 book goal participated in a school-wide ice cream party. All students enjoyed the cold treat on such a hot day.

Those students who extended themselves to read beyond the 25 book goal and who were one of the top eight readers in their grade level will be traveling to Liberty Lake in Columbus, NJ, on June 11th for a fun day of outdoor activities including team building events, swimming, boating, miniature golf and rock climbing.

Congratulations to all of our readers!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


(This entry was sent in by Mr. Richardson, 5th grade teacher at Walnut.)

On Thursday, June 3rd, fifth grade students from all three elementary schools in the district met at West End to celebrate the completion of a science unit on Environmental Education. The celebration, Reuse-A-Palooza, allowed these fifth graders to become more aware of ways in which the world can reuse, reduce, and recycle products. The objective was to create and advertise a product, made from recyclable materials, which could be useful in everyday life.

Parents, teachers, and students gathered in the West End auditorium, where projects were displayed, and ballots were cast to select the most creative, functional, and best use of recycled material project. Enrichment students, Ashley Campbell, Elese Bevelheimer, and Nate Recchia presented a Power Point on the importance of recycling. Kelsey Hoffman, Nija Spencer, Even Laneader and Naseemah Alfareh also assisted in the production of the presentation.

The event was a huge success, with over two hundred in attendance. Awards went to West End’s Tirzah McMillan, Annie Hughes, and Jada Love’s “Recyc-A-Bike,” Walnut’s Brianna Cramer and Amanda Tumolo’s “A&B Curtains,” and Evergreen’s Naquan Matthews, Shelby Turner, and Marti Salmon’s “Reuse-A-Palooza Hour Glass.” Honorable mention inventions went to West End’s Anna Schollenberger, Lauren Shamlian, and Lucienne Nowak’s “Gecko Bags,” Walnut’s Ashley Campbell, Kelly Powell, and Rebecca Rossett’s “Amaza Shelf,” and Evergreen’s Ayan Thompson, Tahi’r Roundtree, and Jennica Washington’s “Ecto Toys.” It was clear that all fifth graders learned from this meaningful experience while having fun.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Author: James McBride

James McBride, author of The Color of Water and the movie, The Miracle of Santa Anna, visited Woodbury High School to thank the students for sending him their condolences when his beloved mother passed away.

Woodbury students have read his personal narrative, subtitled A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, as part of their tenth grade English class for the past decade. Some have traveled to see him speak in the past. So when Ruth McBride Jordan passed in January, her obituary was read over the morning announcements.

Students decided to write Mr. McBride condolence notes, on notebook and composition book paper -- paper ripped from spiral notebooks they carried. Each one expressed how sad they were for him -- some offered to do anything they could to help him. All of them told him that they knew how much he loved his mother and how terrific a person she was. The letters were packaged in a handmade embellished envelope, tied with ribbon, and sent to a New York address with not so much as a phone number. But Mr. McBride contacted the school, saying that he was really touched by the students' heartfelt notes and he wanted to thank them personally.

He visited the high school from 12:30 - 1:30 pm on May 21. Our students collected money to donate to his mother's favorite charity, the church she helped found in Red Hook, Brooklyn called New Brown Memorial Baptist Church - where all of the funds from her memorials have gone. Mr. McBride encouraged them to study at four year colleges and to spend time reading, much as his mother had advised him. He spoke from the heart about how much he misses her and always will.

Story Contributed By: Donna Cohen/District AVID Director
Photos Contributed By: Lori M. Nichols/Gloucester County Times

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Elementary Clubs: Book Club @ Walnut

Here are a few pictures from the end-of-the-year "Book Club" party held at Walnut Street School yesterday.

The picture below is of the 3rd grade girls holding their yarn dolls that were made as part of the club activity. The yarn dolls went along with the pioneer days of the American Girl Kirsten stories.

After the students finished this last club meeting of the school year, they enjoyed the cookie cakes that are pictured and had root beer floats.

The elementary clubs are something that are part of each of the three elementary school experiences. Each elementary school has two different clubs:

  • Walnut: Book Club and S.L.A.G. (Student, Leaders, Athletes, and Gentlemen)
  • Evergreen: Readers' Theater and Art Club
  • West End: W.E.B.S.T.E.R. Club and Fitness Club

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

State Champs -- Boys Track

Congratulations to the boys track team for winning the NJSIAA State Group I championship this past weekend.

It has been quite a year in sports for Woodbury High School this year: South Jersey Group I Championship in football, South Jersey Group I Championship in boys basketball, and now this track success.

Read some of the details in the stories below:

Great job!