• 2023-2024

    April is Child Abuse Awareness Month

    Home and School Connection

    Parents were invited to join in their child’s learning by teaching their child about kindness, empathy, and the importance of supporting one another during the month of April for Child Abuse Awareness Month. Families were invited to work with their children to decorate and write kind words, affirmations, or messages of support on a pinwheel that serves as a reminder of the power of love and compassion of our community. The student’s work was displayed on the windows facing the school garden as a visual representation to promote awareness and unity.


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     Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Light the Night

    LLS SEL Spirit Week 

    Our school participated in a charitable fundraiser to educate our students on supporting people in need during the week of March 18th.  Pennies for Patients is a fundraiser which is part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s School and Youth Programs.  This program raises funds for lifesaving treatments and cures for blood cancer patients.  Students collected spare change to support the organization’ s mission — to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.  Throughout the activity, students discuss the importance of helping others, helping the sick and caring for others as we continue to instill our school motto “Friends Care Friends Share.” The students also worked on math concepts as they counted and sorted their donations. Students also celebrated spirit week during this time to bring awareness and to unite students in the strive to achieve a world without blood cancer. The activities were as follows; Monday = Gratitude We kicked off our spirit week by wearing RED. Students discussed what they were grateful for. They honored Heroes who are members of the community who support them. The students then shared what they are grateful for with their classmates and families. Tuesday = Strengths Students were invited to wear Green = TeamworkPurple = Empathy or Blue = Strength.  Wednesday = Self Confidence Students engaged in self-esteem building activities. Students discussed what they love about their classroom friends using the activity titled “What I love About……” Thursday = Thoughtfulness Students created words of encouragement cards for a child currently receiving treatment for cancer. The cards were later delivered to the children. Friday = Courage The students discussed who was their personal hero and then came dressed like them.   The impact our students’ participation will have on so many lives is significant, but their own sense of service and philanthropy is immeasurable. 

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    Random Acts of Kindness Week & SEL Day

     Our school celebrated ‘Random Acts of Kindness Week’ from February 11th – 17th.  As a Character Education school, the students practiced intrinsic acts of kindness by working on activities that teach empathy, patience, and kindness.  The teachers read books about character traits and social emotional learning.  After revisiting the story ‘Character Kids Save the Day!’, students from Room 131 were encouraged to practice random acts of kindness in the classroom.  Students held the door for one another, they helped each other put on their coats and came to each other’s aid when needed.  Parents were invited to join in their child’s learning by creating a superpower cape with their child and later discussing why they chose that specific character trait.  Students later shared their projects with one another in the classroom and practiced random acts of kindness throughout the week. On Friday, March 8th our school community participated in the annual International Social Emotional Learning Day by engaging students in numerous activities about kindness, friendship, sharing and caring.  A video featuring the students from School #51 commemorating this day was later shown in all the classrooms. Students in the video declared their favorite character trait and expressed joy and laughter during this special commemoration.

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    ‘We are thankful for….’

    November 20, 2023

    On November 20th, Miss Paniagua in Room 128 read the story, "El Pavo Que Se Olvido Como Hacer Glu Glu" by Alexis H. Purcell. Later, the students created turkeys using their hands, which they painted to create the feathers. Throughout the activity, the students discussed all the things they were thankful for. Afterward, the students’ work was sent home to their families just in time for Thanksgiving.


    Panda Pride Parade

    November 17, 2023

    Our school celebrated American Education Week with an array of activities during the week of November 13, 2023. As part of our school wide celebration, united as a school family, we came together for a parade, embodying our cherished school motto: "Friends Care, Friends Share." Everyone wore their school shirts in solidarity.

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    Fire Department Visit

    October 12, 2023

    On October 12th, the Elizabeth Fire Department visited the students during Fire Prevention Week to discuss the topics of fire prevention, cooking safety, fire alarms and evacuations.  In addition, the firefighter explained the different parts of the fire engine and the gear they wear.  Afterwards, the firefighter handed out draw string backpacks to every child with literature on practicing fire safety in the home.   Upon returning to the classroom, the students discussed Firefighters as community helpers and their work in the community. Later, the students in Room 141 created a Thank You card for the firefighters.

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    'Breast Intentions' 

    Breast Cancer Awareness Month

    During the month of October, staff members at our school collaborated to raise funds for ‘Breast Intentions’, an organization run by volunteers who support women struggling with breast cancer.  This fundraiser was led by our amazing school secretary, Marga Torres, who has firsthand experience as a breast cancer survivor.  We are proud to share that our school raised $420 dollars.  These funds will be used to help alleviate the day-to-day financial strain that a breast cancer diagnosis often brings (www.breastintentions.org). We would like to thank Mrs. Torres for being an active participant in helping others deal with their fight against breast cancer. 


    2022- 2023 

    Grow With Kindness

    April 2023

    Each classroom was given a flower and teachers were asked to add their class photo.  Teachers asked their students how they can show kindness to others.  Each classroom’s flower is displayed on the bulletin board in the school lobby to demonstrate how we as a school grow with kindness.     



    LLS SEL Spirit Week

    March 27-March 31, 2023

    Our school took part in SEL (Social Emotional Learning) Spirit Week to bring awareness to our mission & unite students to strive to achieve the ultimate squad goal: a world without blood cancer! Activities were as follows. Monday = Gratitude We kicked off our spirit week by wearing RED. Students discussed what they were grateful for. They honored Heroes who are members of the community who support them. The students then shared what they are grateful for with their classmates and families. Tuesday = Strengths Students were invited wear Green = Teamwork, Purple = Empathy or Blue = Strength.  Wednesday = Self Confidence Students engaged in self-esteem building activities. Students discussed what they love about their classroom friends using the activity titled “What I love About……” Thursday = Thoughtfulness Students created words of encouragement cards for a child currently receiving treatment for cancer. The cards were later delivered to the children. Friday = Courage The students discussed who was their personal hero and then came dressed like them.  They were encouraged to discuss their special trait.  Our school also participated in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Light the Night campaign; a service-learning program that helps raise critical funds for blood cancer patients like Harper. Classrooms formed teams to raise money for LLS through group activities and individual efforts. (Please visit the Spirit Week link under Our School for more images).

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    Fostering Good Character and Friendships

    February 14, 2023

    During the month of February, the children read many books related to friendship, love and kindness. As a School of Character we pride ourselves in fostering good character and friendships. The students in Mrs. Smith’s class, room 118 read the story, “Pete the Cat Valentine’s Day is Cool,” discussing different ways they could express their love and appreciation for their friends and families. The students were asked to brainstorm what they could say and do to show their friends how much they mean. Furthermore, the children drew pictures to illustrate their feelings and exchanged cards with their friends. Everyone’s heart was full by the end of this activity.



    Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    January 17, 2023

    To celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the students from Mrs. LeFever and Miss Llorente’s Pre-K class drew pictures and talked about how they could be helpful every day.  The students reflected on the power of being kind to others, just like Dr. King. The students came up with great ideas! Ideas included helping others when they are hurt, sharing toys, playing with their friends nicely, and even helping the planet by recycling. Donald Stewart School No. 51 motto is “Friends Care. Friends Share.”, and they are learning every day to be helpful and kind, just like Dr. King 




     Week of Respect

    October 3, 2022

    During the Week of Respect, our school community participated in an array of activities that included the completion of a display of student’s handprints with words of kindness.  Teachers infused the message of spreading kindness using Character Education books and stories, and by implementing words of kindness throughout the week, such as Please, Thank You, You’re Welcome, Excuse Me and our school motto, Friends Care, Friends Share.  Our music teacher, Mr. Kukla also took part in the celebration by inviting students to sing songs about kindness during his music class.  Parents were also invited to take part.  A home/school connection activity encourages parents to read books about kindness.  They were invited to share photos of their time together on ClassDojo. 



    SEL DAY 2022!


    On Friday March 11th our school community participated in the annual international Social Emotional Learning Day by engaging students in numerous activities about kindness, friendship, sharing and caring. The theme this year was ‘Finding Common Ground, Pursuing Common Good’. Teachers at School #51 infused their school motto ‘Friends Care, Friends Share’ throughout the day to foster social emotional learning.    The teachers read numerous books about building friendships.  Afterwards, the students were invited to write a letter for a friend in their classroom.  Students labeled their work by writing messages of friendship, and kindness.

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    Helpful Little Pumpkin Wreath

    Fall Harvest Activity

    Week of October 25, 2021

    To celebrate the Fall season and our school motto, Friends Care Friends Share the students created their own Helpful Little Pumpkin wreath. Teachers read numerous books in the classroom about kindness, friendship and infused the Fall season throughout the lesson.  Afterwards, the teachers created pumpkin frames using pre-cut paper plates. Later, the students glued small pieces of orange and green construction on to their wreath.  Lastly, the students traced their hand, cut them out and glued them to their project.

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    2020 - 2021

    American Education Week

    during Remote Learning

    Teachers continue to infuse a love of learning during virtual learning.  For example, during the week of November 16th, School 51 celebrated American Education Week.  On Monday, the students took a virtual tour of a Fire House and began a discussion of the roles of community helpers. Afterwards, the students were invited to discuss what they wanted to be when they grow up. Parents were invited to be guest readers on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the students took turns sharing their projects.  Career choices included fire fighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, and veterinarians.  On Thursday, the students created ‘Thank You’ cards for the support staff.  Friday was ‘School Pride Day!’ Students and teachers sang the School 51 song and wore the green panda shirt or wore something green as unified example of school pride day.    

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    Earth Day 2020

    during Remote Learning 

    April 22, 2020

    The students at School No. 51 celebrated Earth Day on April 22, 2020 along with the rest of the world utilizing the digital platform.   According to the website earthday.org  ‘While Earth Day may be going digital, our goal remains the same: to mobilize the world to take the most meaningful actions to make a difference. No matter where you are, you can make a difference. And you’re not alone, because together, we can save the Earth.’  As a National School of Character, teachers continue to work together with the parents to teach our students day to day practices to care for one another and our Planet.


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    School Violence Awareness Week

     October 21, 2019

    Unity Day

    Students and staff members wore orange on Unity Day to ‘UNITE AGAINST BULLYING.’ On October 23rd, the students from room 131 revisited the story “Please, Mr. Panda” to engage students in age appropriate conversations about manners and kindness. Afterwards, the students practiced saying “Please”, “Thank You” and “Your Welcome” by sharing a panda bear.     

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    Week of Respect

    October 7-11, 2019

    We began our celebration by inviting students to decorate a leaf with a kind message for a friend.  Mr. Del Risco, the art teacher assisted with this activity throughout the week. Another activity included a guest reader in every classroom.  Mrs. Okpych, our school’s Learning Consultant read the story ‘Have you filled a bucket today?’ and Mrs. Beaty, our school Social Worker read the story ‘Hands Are Not for Hitting.’  Both stories teach our young learners about doing nice things for our others and respecting one another.  On October 8th., Fireman Muñoz discussed fire prevention safety during a Fire Prevention Assembly.  He engaged the students in role playing scenarios to teach them what to do in case of a fire.   Several other firemen shared important tips on the special gear they wear and the different compartments of a fire truck.   Upon returning to the classrooms, the students discussed firemen as community helpers. Other activities included a ‘Word of the Day’ such as “Excuse Me”, “Please”, “Thank you” and “Your Welcome.”  We ended our week-long celebration by coming together in a sing along. The students sang ‘The More We Get Together’ and ‘Skidamarink’ led by our Music teacher Mr. Kukla.  During this gathering Mrs. Rodriguez, our school principal presented Ms. Sader with the Harmony Educator Award. ‘The award is given in recognition of their exemplary achievements in promoting diversity in both their schools and communities.  Recipients have courageously demonstrated a passion and commitment to inspiring and educating our youth to be leaders for social justice and change.’

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    School #51 CHEERS for the Police Unity Tour

    On the afternoon of May 9th. the School 51 family came together to cheer and thank law enforcement officers and veterans for their service by waving American flags and blue banners as they rode by dressed in blue in large crowds of bicycles and motorcycles during the Police Unity Tour. Teachers helped children understand this tribute by discussing the job of a soldier and law enforcement who work to keep us safe and protect our country.  Throughout the lesson, students worked together to create banners, thank you cards, noise makers and American flags to pay tribute to all the men and women in all branches of law enforcement and the military both active and veterans.  

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    Building Super Powers

    Our school celebrated Week of the Young Child on April 8th -12th with an array of activities to honor our young learners. This is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) which celebrates early learning, young children, their teachers and families. On Wednesday April 10th., teachers read character building stories and then discussed their super power. Each child wore a cape and a headband with a word that best described their super hero power such as kind, helpful, friendly, honest, etc.

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    Character Building

    Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy Dance Performance

    Students from the Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy dance program performed for our students on March 21, 2019. The dancers encouraged character building in a fun and interactive way through music and movement. They addressed and encouraged empathy, sportsmanship and leadership through music, song and dance.

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    Book Buddies

    February 2019

    The students in room 134 and 138 have been introduced to “Book Buddies” during Kindness Week. Every friend who plans to read a story in the classroom library can choose to read to a friend or stuffed animal that we call a Book Buddy. This shows the students a new way that they can share with their friends, both real and stuffed, every day.

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     Kindness Week

    February 11, 2019

    Throughout Kindness Week, the students in room 134 and 138 discussed the importance of being kind to everyone they meet. The students made cards for their friends and family that explained why they love and care about them.

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    Pennies for Patients

      February 2019

    The students in room 134 and 138 are excited to raise money to fight Leukemia and Lymphoma. They are collecting pennies to donate to children fighting blood cancer. Our super friends will help to fight this battle throughout the month of February and will continue to learn the importance of helping others in need through many service learning projects.


    Understanding Feelings

    Teachers implement intentional teaching strategies to help children understand their feelings and help them express them appropriately.  Teachers provide students many opportunities throughout the day to help them understand their feelings utilizing age appropriate activities.  They utilize books and an array of materials to engage children in learning new vocabulary that helps young learners develop empathy for others and create self-awareness. 

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                                                                                           Emotion Tiles,  Emotion Better Builders,  Privacy Cube,  Emotion Pillows and Books

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    Let's Dig In!

    Donald Stewart School 51 is proud to have received a grant from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders through a “2018 Moving Union County Forward-Union County Plant a Seed Initiative Program”.  On June 4th, 10 Earth Boxes were installed in our new garden where we will be growing various types of vegetables and herbs.  Through this program, our students will have hands-on lessons about planting, gardening, and harvesting produce which will educate them on the importance of eating healthy, caring for the Earth, and helping others. Our school will be donating 30 percent of what we grow to help our local soup kitchen and the members in our community.  We are excited to embark on this project which we hope will keep growing in upcoming years. 

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    Multicultural Month Celebration

    On May 24th.,  School #51 held their “Promising Practice Award” winning Multicultural Fashion Show/Song Fest event. This celebration of the school community’s diversity is one of the most anticipated events of the school year. They invited students’ families and community members to come and watch as the students walk down a red carpet and sing multicultural songs while dressed in clothing that is representative of their families’ culture and ethnicity. A special thank you is extended to the students and their families for making this year’s Multicultural Fashion Show/Song Fest another successful event. Additional activities leading up to this event included learning about different facts about other countries such as languages, music, traditional foods and clothing.

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    Let’s Bloom Together

    Donald Stewart ECC School No. 51 is continuously promoting character education through the exposure of meaningful age appropriate programs.  The Beautification Project is sponsored by our PTO and offered by Let’s Bloom Together. Marigold Mike presented the gardening program to our students on May 11th. and provided over 300 flowers to our school to beautify our community, which can be seen in our Reading Garden and by our school entrance.  In his own words, “We introduce this lesson with what it means to be part of a COMMUNITY.  Then similar to the FLOWER PLANTING EVENT, the children will be introduced to and learn how to care for spring flowers like Marigolds, Impatiens and Zinnia's” (2018). During the week of May 14th., the students planted the plants left by Marigold Mike and the Let’s Bloom Together enrichment program in the front of our school and in our school garden. In addition to helping students make the connection between nature and learning, the students were proud of working together to beautify the school.

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    Character Education Super Power!

    As a National School of Character and Promising Practice Award recipient, it is our mission to infuse character education in our daily routine and in our events for our school community. Our staff wanted to create a special activity during The Week of the Young Child to not only celebrate and honor our students, but also to showcase their understanding and implementation of Character Education. In the days leading up to our event, teachers discussed words that align with Character Education such as respect, kindness, helpfulness, honesty, empathy, etc. The children were read books and role played to further their understanding of how these words build and enhance their Character Education. The students then chose which word best described their Character Education Super Power and drew pictures depicting how they apply their Super Power in their lives. Throughout the day on April 11th., our students wore their Super Hero capes with their Character Education Super Power banners and enjoyed putting their super powers to use throughout the day. Our students and staff had a blast and we cannot wait to celebrate again next year!

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            Pennies for Patients                        

    During the month of February 2018, the students at School No. 51 took part in making a positive impact in the lives of blood cancer patients by raising funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s, Pennies for Patients Program. Students learned lessons on the immeasurable impact of helping others and service learning as they worked on a variety of everyday mathematical concepts.


    Cards for our brave soldiers

    Teachers at Donald Stewart Early Childhood Center School No. 51 incorporate lessons on caring for others and emphasizing acts of kindness throughout the school year. During the week of January 8th., the teachers highlighted the bravery and the sacrifice our troops make to keep our country safe. As a result, the students created Thank You cards for our brave men and women in the military. Over 300 cards will be shipped overseas to arrive just in time for Valentine’s Day. The Moving New Jersey Forward Foundation along with Union County Freeholder Sergio Granados, Elizabeth Councilman Manny Grova and Elizabeth Board of Education President Maria Carvalho will coordinate the care package. As a National School of Character, School No. 51 infuses lessons on supporting and recognizing service men and women to aid in character building.   

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    Helping our community means we care

    As a National School of Character, we infuse character education learning activities throughout the school year to teach the students how they can become caring individuals by doing caring things for others.   Our PTO family aids in this learning by sponsoring several collections and fundraisers. During the month of November, the PTO sponsored a Thanksgiving ‘Food for 500’ food drive. Donations of canned goods and non-perishable food items were collected and donated to the First Baptist Church Soup Kitchen in Elizabeth. Together with the help of our generous parents and staff members, we surpassed our goal of 500 food items. During December 1st – December 15th the PTO also sponsored their annual Coat and Jacket Drive. New and gently used coats and jackets were donated by the students and later donated to the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless. Teachers created lessons on carrying out acts of kindness including lessons that emphasized how acts of kindness provide support and can help their community.

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    2016-2017 Activities

    Letter for Liam

    Mrs. Kokoszka and Mrs. Torres in Room 124 learned about a boy from Rahway named Liam Donovan whom is suffering from a rare illness.  His birthday is in May and he loves getting correspondence!  In keeping with our school motto Friends Care, Friends Share, Mrs. Kokoszka shared the story with her students and encouraged them to make cards to help cheer up Liam.  Students were very receptive and excited to do something nice for someone else!  We hope our cards bring a smile to Liam's face!

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    Light It Up Blue Parade

    Week of The Young Child

    April 24th – April 28th

    The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association of Young Children (NAEYC) celebrating learning, young children, their teachers and families. Students and staff members wore blue in recognition of Autism Awareness Month and participated in the Light It Up Blue Parade to demonstrate their support and acceptance for individuals with autism. Students waved glow sticks as they sang a variety of songs led by our Music teacher Mrs. Santoro. Our school mascot, Tian-Tian also took part in the event. (Please visit our School-Wide Events link to view more pictures and information regarding this week long celebration.)

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     April is Autism Awareness Month

    April is Autism Awareness month. We began our celebration by wearing Autism Awareness bracelets provided by Mrs. Burnett-Williams, Mrs. Gallardo and Mrs. Gomez teachers at School #51.  The students also displayed large puzzle pieces with  their illustratoins to complete the following statement;"I am Special because.."   Their work was proudly displayed on the garden window for everyone to enjoy.  This was one of several activities the students worked on throughout the month to show their support and acceptance of individuals with autism. Other activities included our Special Olympics Unified Games Day.

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    Sharing and Caring with Books

    During Read Across America Week, February 27th - March 3rd, the teachers Mrs. LeFever and Mrs. Wilkes visited each classroom to read a story with the children. They read Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney and Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems. The books were chosen to incorporate our school motto, “Friends Care, Friends Share!” and to spread the message that working together we can accomplish more. 

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    Ms. Sader & Mrs. Faltas 

    Room 131

    Building friendships using Buddy Badges

    During greeting time in Ms. Sader's class, the students are invited to pick a friend's symbol out of the mystery bag. Throughout the day, he/she would be their buddy during work time. They are encouraged to look after each other and offer each other help when needed.  During recall time, the buddies come together to talk about their time together.  This activity is practiced daily and helps increase friendship skills.  March 2017

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    "Get Well Soon!" 

    On February 6th., students from Ms. Sader's class came together to create get well cards for a fellow classmate's mom after she had mentioned that her mom was not feeling well.  As a result, students worked collaboratively to send personal messages of love and friendship to her.   The student later delivered those kind messages of love to her mom.



    Reading Under the Stars

     During the week of February 27 to March 3, 2017 the students from Donald Stewart Center for Early Childhood Education School #51celebrated “Read Across America Week”.  During this nationwide event, students participated in numerous school-wide events and activities that were designed to promote literacy among young children.  In honor of this event the school commemorated some of Dr. Seuss’ wonderful books by creating birthday cards, wearing silly hats and socks and eating green eggs and ham for breakfast. In addition, the school’s multipurpose room was transformed into a stargazing extravaganza for Reading Under the Stars.  Books were read using flashlights as shooting stars flew over the students’ heads. This event was an opportunity to gather the parents, students and teachers in an environment which fosters a love of reading.

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    Pennies for Patients

    Our school participates in a charitable fundraiser to educate our students on supporting people in need.  Pennies for Patients is a fundraiser which is part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s School and Youth Programs. It will run throughout the month of February.  This program raises funds for lifesaving treatments and cures for blood cancer patients.  During a three-week period, the students will collect spare change to support the organization’ s mission — to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.  Throughout the activity, students discuss the importance of helping others, helping the sick and caring for others as we continue to instill our school motto “Friends Care Friends Share.” The students also work on math concepts as they count and sort their donations. The impact our students’ participation will have on so many lives is significant, but their own sense of service and philanthropy is immeasurable.

    Pennies for Patients


    2016 National School of Character




     As indicated by “Character.org” Donald Steward Early Childhood Center School No. 51 was recognized as a 2016 National School of Character in May 2016.  “National Schools of Character are schools, early childhood through high school that have demonstrated through a rigorous evaluation process that character development has had a positive impact on academics, student behavior, and school climate." The school principal, Mrs. Rodriguez as well the Assistant Superintendent Linda Seniszyn, teachers and parents were guests at this years’ award ceremony at Rider University, where they received a banner for their recognition as State School of Character and then presented with a plaque for their National award.   School #51 aspires to lead by example as they serve as role models for other schools.


     Escuela Nacional de Carácter 2016

     Como indicado por “Character.org” la Escuela de Educación Pre-escolar Donald Stewart No. 51 fué reconocida como una Escuela Nacional de Carácter en mayo del 2016. “Escuelas Nacionales de Carácter son escuelas desde primera infancia hasta la escuela secundaria que han demostrado a través de un proceso de evaluación rigoroso el desarollo del carácter positivo en el comportamiento academico y clima escolar." La directora de la escuela Sra. Rodriguez, la Superintendente Auxiliar, Linda Seniszyn, profesores y padres fueron invitados a la ceremonia de premios de este año en la Universidad Rider, donde recibieron una bandera para su reconocimiento como Escuela Estatal de Carácter y luego recibieron una placa por su premio Nacional. La Escuela #51 aspira a liderar con el ejemplo, ya que sirve de modelo para otras escuelas.


    Donald Stewart Center for Early Childhood Education has been named a

    “New Jersey School of Character”

     “Character education is an educational movement that supports the social, emotional and ethical development of students. It is the proactive effort by schools, districts, communities, and states to help students develop important core ethical (recognizing what’s right) and performance (doing what’s right) values such as caring, honesty, diligence, fairness, fortitude, responsibility, grit, creativity, critical thinking and respect for self and others.” Our school has proven worthy of this award as we exemplify core values that promote a positive learning atmosphere. Our school motto of “Friends Care, Friends Share,” is infused throughout our curriculum and everyday activities.  We are delighted to share this distinction with you and the entire school community. Thank you for sharing in our success. For more information please visit the links below.


    Donald Stewart Centro de Educación Infantil ha sido nombrada una escuela de

    “New Jersey School of Character”

     "La educación del carácter es un movimiento educativo que apoya el desarrollo social, emocional y ético de los estudiantes. Es el esfuerzo proactivo por las escuelas, distritos, comunidades, y los estados para ayudar a los estudiantes a desarrollar importante núcleo ético (reconociendo lo que es correcto) y el rendimiento (hacer lo que es correcto), la honestidad, la diligencia, la equidad, la fortaleza, la responsabilidad, la creatividad, el pensamiento crítico y el respeto por uno mismo y los demás ".  Nuestra escuela ha demostrado ser merecedor de este premio, ya que ejemplifican los valores fundamentales que promueven un ambiente de aprendizaje positivo. Nuestro lema de la escuela de “Friends Care, Friends Share", o en español “Los amigos se cuidan, los amigos comparten” se infunde en todo nuestro plan de estudios y las actividades cotidianas.  Estamos encantados de compartir esta distinción con usted y toda la comunidad escolar. Gracias por compartir en nuestro éxito. 


    2016 State Schools of Character


    School of Character - Home Page


    2016 National Promising Practice Award

     Donald Stewart has been selected as a 2016 Promising Practice by Character.org in May 2016 for its dedication in celebrating diversity during Multicultural Week.  During this celebration, School #51 recognizes and celebrates their diverse school community by embracing different cultures through hands-on activities planned by their Multicultural Committee.  Activities include “Travels Around the World” which invites students to tour the different countries featured on the hallway bulletin boards learning important facts about each country.  Students are also treated to different foods during mealtimes throughout the week prepared by the kitchen staff.  Parents bring in music from their countries and the students listen to the cd’s throughout the day and are encouraged to try different dances from around the world.  The music teacher includes new songs from different countries and explains how music is enjoyable from every part of the world. The art teacher focuses on artwork made by different artists from different countries throughout the week.  During show and tell the students showcase artifacts, pictures, maps and other items with significant cultural importance. They culminate the activity with a grand display of ethnic costumes during a Multicultural Fashion Show. During this event, students and staff come together to put on a lively Fashion Show for parents, district representatives, and community members.  This celebration teaches the students to respect and appreciate all the cultures that make up their diverse learning community by admiring, cheering and participating with everyone.  The school has embedded their embrace for diversity throughout the school and year round as they display their school motto “Friends Care Friends Share” in five different languages along with their school mascot, Tian – Tian the panda.  Congratulations to School #51 for making lifelong connections. 

     2016 Premio Nacional de Práctica Prometedora

      La Escuela Donald Stewart No. 51 ha sido seleccionada con el reconocimiento de Práctica Prometedora 2016 por Character.org por su dedicación en la celebración en la Semana Multicultural. Durante esta celebración , la Escuela No. 51 reconoce y celebra la diversidad de su comunidad escolar adoptando diferentes culturas a través de actividades prácticas planeadas por su Comité Multicultural. Las actividades incluyen “Viaje por el Mundo”, que invita a los estudiantes a recorrer diferentes países que aparencen en los tablones de anuncios en los pasillos de la escuela con información y hechos importantes acerca de cada país representado. Los estudiantes también disfrutan de diferentes alimentos durante el almuerzo multicultural a lo largo de la semana que es preparado por el personal de la cocina. Los padres envian música de sus países y los estudiantes escuchan las canciones durante el día escolar y se les enseña los diferentes bailes de cada pais. El maestro de música incluye nuevas canciones de diferentes países y explica cómo la música es disfrutada en diferentes naciones. El maestro de arte se concentra en explicar a los estudiantes como obras de arte son echas por artistas de diferentes países a lo largo de la semana multicultural. Durante “Demostrar y Decir” se exhiben artefactos, fotos y mapas de diferentes naciones y se explica  su importancia cultural. La celebración culmina con un gran Desfile de Trajes Típicos durante una presentación cultural de modas. En este evento, los estudiantes y el personal se unen para poner un desfile de moda que es presentado a los padres, representantes del distrito escolar y miembros de la comunidad. Esta celebración enseña a los estudiantes a respetar y apreciar todas las culturas representadas en la comunidad escolar y su diversidad. La escuela ha incorporado su diversidad a travez de todo el año escolar mientra incluye su lema, “Los amigos comparten, los amigos se cuidan” en cinco idiomas diferentes, junto con la mascota de la escuela, Tian-Tian el panda. Felicitaciones a la Escuela No. 51 por hacer conexiones educacionales para toda la vida.





    Watch “Panda Pride Parade” on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/157840048





    Lessons and Activities

     May 2016

     Mrs. Estrada & Mrs. Osnayo    Room 122

    During small group time, the students in room 122 read the story The Kissing Hand written by Audrey Penn. Throughout the reading the students discussed the characters, setting, problem and its solution as well as the sequence of events.  The children later drew a picture about the different events and their favorite part of the story. Throughout the day, they continued to discuss the different ways they help and make their friends feel happy when they are sad as well as how much they love their moms.

     Durante el tiempo de grupo pequeño, leímos  la historia Un Beso en mi Mano, escrita por Audrey Penn.  Durante la lectura discutimos acerca de los personajes, el setting ( dónde se desarrolla la historia), el problema y la solución al mismo, así como la sequencia de la historia. Luego los niños realizaron un dibujo acerca de los diferentes eventos en la misma que más les llamó la atención. Después ellos hicieron alusión al describir sus trabajos de cómo ayudar o hacer sentir feliz a sus amigos cuando se sientan tristes, así como de el amor por sus mamás.



    April 2016

     Mrs. Torres  &  Mrs. Santana   Room 151

    During small group time read aloud, we read the story The Very Grouchy Ladybug. The children asked and answered many open ended questions about sharing and caring including what they like to share the most. At the end, the children wrote/described their answers.

     Durante la actividad de lectura, leímos el libro La mariquita malhumorada. Durante la lectura, los niños hicieron/ contestaron preguntas abiertas acerca de cuidarse y compartir incluyendo lo que a ellos les gusta compartir. Al final, los niños escribieron/describieron sus contestaciones.



    March 2016

     Mrs. Kokoszka & Mrs. Torres   Room 124

     We did it! Our school was named a ‘New Jersey School of Character’!  We have dedicated the bulletin boards in the front of our school to display our proud accomplishment.  Our bulletin boards reflect messages of our school motto ‘Friends care, Friends share’. We hope to inspire all who enter our school building to follow our lead and share in our core values.

     Lo hicimos! Nuestra escuela ha sido nombrada una escuela de ‘New Jersey School of Character’.  Hemos dedicados los boletínes en la entrada de la escuela para demostrar lo que hemos realizado.  Los boletínes reflejan nuestro tema de la escuela de ‘Friends care, Friends share’, o en español ‘Los amigos se cuidan, los amigos comparten’.  Esperamos inspirar a todos los que visitan nuestra escuela a que sigan nuestros pasos y compartan nuestros valores fundamentales.



    Mrs. Wilkes & Mrs. Santiago   Room 125

     The children read books such as 'I Can Help' and 'I Can Share 'that reinforces our school motto "Friends Care Friends Share". We talked about the importance of helping people and being kind to others. The children then drew  pictures of themselves helping someone in the classroom or at home. The parents and teachers also provided pictures of the students performing acts of kindness.

      ?Los niños leyeron libros como 'Yo puedo ayudar ' y ' Yo puedo compartir ' que refuerza nuestro tema escolar "Los Amigos cuidan, Los amigos comparten".  Tambien hablamos de la importancia de ayudar a las personas y ser amable con otros. Los niños entonces hicieron dibujos de ellos mismos ayudando a alguien en el aula o en casa. Los padres y los profesores también tomaron fotografías de los estudiantes demostrando actos amables.?



    Mrs. Aleixo & Mrs. Delgado  Room 128

    Our class read the book, "In My Heart", written by Jo Witek.  A book about feelings. Throughout the readings, the students made connections between the message of the book and our school motto, “Friends Care – Friends Share”. For example, a student drew her heart and stated she was mad and wanted to explode because her best friend didn’t want to let her play in the house area.  She said, “We all have to share like the panda does.”   

     Nuestra clase leyó el libro, “En mi corazón”, escrito por Jo Witek.  Un libro a cerca de sentimientos.  El libro fue leído a los estudiantes varias veces.  En cada lectura, los estudiantes hicieron conexiones entre el mensaje del libro y nuestra frase de la escuela, “Amigos se quieren y amigos comparten.” Por ejemplo, uno de los estudiantes dibujo que su corazón estaba molesto y quería explotar porque su mejor amiga no quería dejarla jugar en el área de la casa.  Ella dijo, “Nosotros todos tenemos que compartir, como lo hace el osito panda.”



    February 2016 

     Ms. Sader & Mrs. Jardim   Room 131

    After reading the book “The Day It Rained Hearts,” the students discussed how the main character, Cornelius Augusta catches falling hearts and how each heart is special in its own way.  During small group time, they were invited to create a card for someone special.  They decorated their card and discussed why they chose that special friend.  Throughout the activity we discussed and role played sharing and turn-taking to practice being good friends and working cooperatively and discussed why friends care and friends should share. 

               Después de leer el libro “El día que llueve corazónes”, mantuvimos una conversación con los estudiantes sobre como la protagonista principal de la historia,  Cornelius Augusta encuentra los corazónes cayendo y como cada uno de ellos es especial para ella.   Durante el tiempo de grupo pequeño en la clase les invitamos a crear una carta dirijida a una  persona especial,  la cual fue decorada a su gusto e  inmaginación.  En esta actividad discutimos sobre como trabajar cooperativamente en la clase  y sobre todo como los amigos se cuidan y comparten.




    Mrs. LeFever & Mrs. Belit  Room 134

    During Small Group Read Aloud the children read “Our Big Home, An Earth Poem” by Linda Glaser. We talked about how Friends Care, Friends Share is a perfect way to keep the world a happy place to live in. The children decorated pictures of themselves and then we filled in a heart saying how we could take care of our world.

     Durante el tiempo de lectura en grupos pequeños, los estudiantes leyeron el libro “Our Big Home, An Earth Poem” por Linda Glaser. Después, hablamos de cómo cuidando de los amigos y compartiendo con ellos es una manera perfecta para mantener al mundo un lugar feliz para vivir. Los estudiantes decoraron fotos de ellos y luego las usaron para rellenar un corazón que dice cómo podemos cuidar de nuestro mundo.