February is Dental Health Month!
Home/School Connection Activity
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. To reinforce this concept at home, all the students were asked to complete a “Healthy Teeth” project by drawing or attaching photographs of how they keep their teeth healthy! These awesome projects are adorning our hallways. In the classroom, teachers read books about healthy dental habits that will help them maintain a bright smile and overall health.
Teddy Bear Clinic
On February 6th., our students visited the multipurpose room to participate in the Teddy Bear Clinic. Nursing students from the Trinitas School of Nursing invited our students to work on relevant and age appropriate activities on health and safety concepts. Upon returning to the classroom, the students visited the dramatic play area to role play scenarios including visiting the doctor’s office. Students used items from the Doctor’s Office prop box during their play.
‘Every Hero Needs A Squad’
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. This program raises funds for lifesaving treatments and cures for blood cancer patients. 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.
Assembly February 5, 2019
Lead Poisoning Prevention
The Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and Healthy Homes Program visited our school on January 9th & 10th. Ms. Melissa, Ms. Madeline, and Ms. Christy taught the students through songs, games and a Sesame Street “Lead Away” video how to prevent lead poisoning. The students were active participants throughout the presentation. The students also received coloring books which included information for the parents on lead poisoning prevention.
Winter Song Fest 2018
Students performed for a large group of parents, teachers and visitors during our annual Winter Song Fest. They sang numerous holiday songs led by Ms. Santoro, our school Music teacher. Students were treated to a special visit by Tian-Tian, our school mascot and Santa Claus.
American Education Week
November 13, 2018
Reach. Educate. Inspire.
Throughout American Education Week we are striving to teach our students to aspire to become active members in the community. The students were given an important assignment to create a poster outlining what they want to be when they grow up and to discuss how this career will help others in their community. Parents were invited into the classroom to talk about their professions and to share how their job helps others every single day. We talked about our school community and had a Panda Pride Parade to show our unification and support for our school. The students and staff also took the time to celebrate our school’s support staff with student-made thank you cards and a breakfast provided by teachers.
Violence Awareness Week
October 22, 2018
During Violence Awareness Week, the students from room 134 chose the books they love to read that talk about ways we can solve problems without being aggressive. Mrs. LeFever promoted our school motto “Friends Care, Friends Share” everyday by talking about ways we can work together and be kind and respectful of each other. The students did a great job listening to the stories and finding new ways to be responsible for their words and actions.
The Habits that Save Habitats
The Habits that Save Habitats assembly on October 17th., presented by Dave Street incorporates original songs, stories, movement, and visuals to teach children about the importance of recycling. The theme of the assembly was: “To develop good habits that help make our Earth the cleanest, healthiest world it can be.”
Teddy Bear Clinic
On October 10th, our Prek-4 students participated in the Teddy Bear Clinic hosted by the nursing students from Trinitas Hospital. The students visited several different hands on stations where they learned how to properly brush their teeth, learned tips on healthy eating, proper hand washing, bicycle safety, ideas on what to expect on a typical visit to the doctor’s office, and exercising tips. Upon returning to the classroom, the students discussed what they had learned and created an illustration of their favorite learning station.
Celebrating Week of Respect
During the week of October 1st., we celebrated Week of Respect by reading numerous books discussing the theme of Respect. After revisiting the book “Hands Are Not for Hitting” the students were invited to create handprints using paint. After doing so, they were invited to finish the following sentence starter ‘Hands are not for hitting….My hands are for….’ New vocabulary was introduced throughout the readings and were later displayed on the smartboard for students to revisit. Students demonstrated an understanding of the books by using kind words and sharing hugs. Students continued to work on a variety of activities throughout the week that invite students to use the new vocabulary in context as well as engage in writing activities. A school-wide activity included creating a Friendship Tree located on the bulletin board in the main hallway using leaf cut-outs. Mrs. Okpych our school’s LDTC and our school Social Worker Mrs. Beaty were guest readers. They were invited to read to the students to foster a school-wide understanding of kindness and friendship.
Terence C. Reilly School No. 7 Dance Performance
Students from Terence C. Reilly School No. 7 performed a variety of dances for our students on June 19, 2018. Our students were excited to dance along to familiar tunes. Thank you to all the dancers for a great show!
Stepping Up to Kindergarten Fun Day!
On June 15th., all kindergarten bound students enjoyed fun, outdoor activities to commemorate their time at Donald Stewart ECC #51. They visited different play stations and later enoyed icies in the small courtyard. A special thank you goes to all the parent volunteers for their help. Congratulations students!
2018 Union County Kids Dig In!
School Grant Program
Congratulations to Donald Stewart School No. 51 for being awarded a grant by the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. Thank you to Chairmen, Mr. Sergio Granados and Mr. Alexander Mirabella for awarding our school with the 2018 Union County Kids Dig In! School Grant Program. Schools with students in grades pre-K through 12 were eligible to apply for a Union County Kids Dig In grant. The grants are funded through the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados started this initiative last year as Open Space Chairman to encourage students, school staff and parents to grow healthy produce for students in their own schools and to donate 30 percent of their harvest to local soup kitchens, food pantries, or community residents in need. This experience will have a lasting impact on our youth and encourage giving back to others throughout their lives. Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados has always been of the mindset that we must find ways to help others in need, and Kids Dig In is a perfect example of paying it forward while also learning about agriculture and stewardship of the land. The grant program covers produce gardens including vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, herbs and spices, pollinator-attracting plants and plants for pest management. Gardens must agree to set aside 30% of their harvest for community donation and enroll in Come Grow With Us! a free countywide information and resource sharing network for community gardens. (June 2018)
Safe Routes to School
On May 31, 2018 parents and students of Donald Stewart Center for Early Childhood Education were visited by members of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is a nonprofit organization that improves quality of life for kids and communities by promoting healthy living, safe infrastructure, and physical activity, starting with walking to school. Their goal is to promote safety awareness while offering their expertise in supporting and educating communities and schools. The students participated in a Walking Safety Program which provided them with tips on being safe while engaging in a fun and healthy walk to school.
Multicultural Month Celebration
During the month of May, our students worked on numerous activities that fostered a love of learning about different cultures embracing diversity. We celebrated Multiculturalism to recognize our diverse school community. Activities included, an ‘All About Me’ poster as a home/school connection project. Student work was displayed outside of the classrooms. Students were later invited to ‘Travel Around the World’ visiting the student work and discussing importing facts about the countries such as languages, music, traditional foods and clothing. Teachers also exposed students to multicultural stories, multicultural music and a special multicultural lunch on May 17th. On May 22nd., the students were invited to bring in items from their countries for a Show and Tell. On May 24th., our school hosted our annual Multicultural Fashion Show/Song Fest event led by our music teacher Ms. Santoro. Students and staff members showcased outfits from their country of origin to a large crowd of parents and visitors.
Celebrating Autism Awareness Month
On April 24th, School No. 51 held its annual Light It Up Blue Parade. The purpose of the parade is to demonstrate support and acceptance for individuals with autism. The grand marshals of the Light It Up Blue Parade, was the special education classroom for children with autism. The parade into the multipurpose room was followed by a video of the students showing their support for individuals with autism. There was also a school wide sing along prior to everyone parading back to their classrooms led by the music teacher Ms. Santoro. This event was organized by Mrs. Burnett-Williams, special education teacher and Mrs. Rodriguez, the school’s gym teacher. On April 27th, School No. 51 also celebrated inclusion during Autism Awareness Month by participating in Special Olympics Unified Game Day. This event was organized by Mrs. Burnett-Williams, special education teacher and Mrs. Rodriguez, the school’s gym teacher. They worked together with Mrs. Andrea Moore, Young Athlete Director of Special Olympics to promote inclusion, compassion, and confidence. Activities for Unified Games Day, included group dancing and a cooperative parachute activity to promote unity and inclusion in school.
Week of The Young Child
April 9th – April 13th
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. Throughout the week, the students shared their Home/School connection project “All About Me.” Each class also showcased their 3D art pieces made out of beautiful junk in the lobby. The theme was Science. On Tuesday, the teachers read books about healthy food choices and exercised in the classroom. The teachers discussed the nutritional value of the meals the students eat. Students also had a visit from farmer Eric from Quiver Farms and the Chick Hatching Project. He introduced Night the rooster and Gale the hen to the students during his visit and encouraged the students to be good farmers when caring for the 12 eggs in the incubator. Students visited them daily to observe as the chicks pecked their way out of the shells turning into active baby chicks. The students were invited to discuss the changes they observed, create illustrations and label their work with new vocabulary. On Wednesday the students wore special capes with a word describing their super power such as Helpful, Kind, Friendly, Honest etc. 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 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! Thursday was Crazy Hair Day. Students and staff engaged in meaningful conversation as they talked about their silly hair styles. In addition, students and staff members wore blue in recognition of Autism Awareness Month. Grandparents visited the classrooms to read to the children on Friday.
February is Dental Health Month!
Home/School Connection Activity
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Our students learned about the importance of having good dental hygiene. To reinforce this concept at home, all the students were asked to complete a “Healthy Teeth” project by drawing or attaching photographs of how they keep their teeth healthy! These awesome projects are adorning our hallways- check them out! Let’s continue to stress the importance of good dental hygiene!
Keep Me Lead Free
Melissa Mittelholzer, Program Specialist from the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and Healthy Homes Program provided an in-class presentation for the 4 year old classrooms following the Healthy Homes Workshop for parents on the morning of January 25, 2018. The children were actively engaged as they watched “Lead Away!” a Sesame Street video on staying lead free (https://www.youtube.com). She also provided examples on healthy habits we can do to have a lead safe day. Examples included, washing your hands, eating healthy foods, taking off your shoes outside before going in doors and going to the doctor for a blood test. Students reflected on what they had learned during a coloring activity at the end of her presentation.
Cards for the Military
Throughout the school year, we incorporate lessons on caring for others and emphasizing acts of kindness. During the week of January 8th., we highlighted the bravery and the sacrifice our troops make to keep our country safe. During the week of January 8th., our students created Thank You cards for our brave men and women in the military overseas. (please visit the Character Education link to learn more about this activity)
Winter Song Fest
On December 21st., our students participated in our annual Winter Song Fest. They sang songs for a large crowd of visitors led by our music teacher Ms. Santoro. At the end of the show, they had a visit from both our school mascot and Santa himself.
'Raising a Confident & Caring Child'
Donald Stewart School No.51 hosted a parenting workshop titled, Raising a Confident & Child on November 30th and December 1st (w/Spanish translator). Early Childhood facilitators, Dr. Julio Olivo and Margarita Torres, provided parents with positive discipline strategies to use in order to strengthen the parent and child bond, to address common childhood behaviors and to enhance social and emotional skills. With an impressive turnout, the parents actively participated in the informative and interactive workshop. Parents enthusiastically shared with school staff how they benefitted from learning various, practical discipline techniques.
American Education Week
November 14, 2017
During the week of November 14th -17th, our school celebrated American Education Week. Tuesday was Parent Day. Parents were guest speakers in the classroom to discuss their profession. Parents also chose to assist in the classroom by reading a story. Wednesday was Panda Pride Day! The entire school including PTO parents participated by singing and dancing to special songs throughout the school grounds to show our school pride. Students, staff members and parents wore their green panda shirts. Students also took part in the Teddy Bear Clinic in the multipurpose room. Students rotated between five relevant and age appropriate centers addressing health and safety topics. On Thursday, the students worked together to decorate a Thank You card for a member of our support staff. We ended our week-long celebration with Educator For-A-Day. Members of the community were invited to visit the classrooms and read to the children.
Fire Department Visit
November 8, 2107
Fire Official Omar Muñoz discussed the topics of fire prevention, cooking safety, fire alarms and evacuation. Along with engaging students in drills, Fireman Muñoz practiced ‘Get Low and Go’ and ‘Stop, Drop & Roll’. In addition, firemen from Fire Engine 6 explained the different parts of the fire engine and the gear they wear. Upon returning to the classroom, the students discussed Firemen as community helpers and their work in the community.
Fall Harvest Festival
October 31, 2017
Our school celebrated the Autumn season with our annual Fall Harvest Festival. The garden was beautifully decorated with dozens of pumpkins for the students to choose from during their pumpkin picking adventure. Afterwards in the classroom, they participated in a PTO funded arts and crafts activity. Mrs. Kate Rodriguez, the gym teacher joined in the celebration by creating numerous gross motor activity stations during gym class. She infused Math and Language Art concepts during children's play experiences. The entire School No. 51 family would like to thank all the parent volunteers who helped make this possible.
Visit from School Board President Mr. Neron
October 30, 2017
The Board of Education President, Mr. Neron visited several classrooms at our school on the morning of October 30th. Upon arriving to Ms. Sader’s class, students welcomed Mr. Neron by inviting him to take part in their on-going pumpkin exploration. He was approached by a student with an apron and invited to carve a pumpkin. He graciously agreed. As he carved the pumpkin, Mr. Neron invited students to walk him through the process by asking them questions. Students were excited to walk him through the process as they recalled a recent pumpkin carving activity they did a few days earlier. Our school would like to thank Mr. Neron for being an active participant in our students’ learning.
October 26, 2017
The School 51 family came together to rock their pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Staff members also brought in pink goodies and sweets for their annual Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon.
October 25, 2017
On October 25th., the students and staff wore ORANGE to bring awareness and stand together against Bullying. Students wore an ORANGE accessory united for Kindness, Acceptance and Inclusion. Activities included reading the book “Hands Are Not for Hitting” with the help of Clifford the puppet who helped remind the students to be kind, play fair and share toys.
School Violence Awareness Week
October 16, 2017
Orange is the official color for the theme of Anti-Violence. Thorughout the week of October 16th., teachers read books to engage students in a discussion about manners and acts of kindness. Books included "Clifford's Good Deeds" and "Clifford's Good Manners." Teachers also engaged students in activities that build social skills utilizing large picture cards to role play scenarios as well as discuss problem solving solutions. On October 20th., Ms. Sader revisited the story “Please, Mr. Panda” to engage students in age appropriate conversations about manners and kindness. Afterwards, her students practiced saying “Please”, “Thank You” and “Your Welcome” by sharing an orange handkerchief.
Week of Respect
October 2, 2017
During the week of October 2nd., our school celebrated Week of Respect by reading numerous books discussing the theme of Respect by guest readers Mrs. Okpych, the school’s LDTC and Mrs. Pasteur, the school Social Worker. Books included “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” read in the four-year old classrooms and “Hands Are Not for Hitting” read in the three-year old classrooms. New vocabulary was introduced throughout the readings and were displayed on the smartboard for students to revisit. Students demonstrated an understanding of the books by displaying how they can fill up someone’s bucket with joy and laughter, as well as by using kind words and sharing hugs. Students continued to work on a variety of activities throughout the week that invited students to use the new vocabulary in context as well as engage in writing activities. A school-wide activity included creating a Friendship Tree located on the bulletin board in the main hallway using student handprints.
Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month
On the evening of September 14, 2017 students and teachers from our celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month by dancing to a popular tune by Gente de Zona & Marc Anthony. The students and teachers performed for a large group of parents and the Elizabeth Board of Education members during September’s board meeting. The participants wore traditional outfits from several different Latin American countries. Our ongoing celebration included highlighting and honoring Hispanic Leaders throughout the first several weeks of school.
Visit to 'Second Home'
On June 19th., our students visited Second Home, an adult day care center. Led by music teacher, Ms. Santoro, the students sang numerous songs for the senior citizens. The students presented the seniors with several gifts which included blankets and board games to remember them and to let them know we care and respect them. The Second Home staff thanked the students for their generous gifts and told them they reminded the seniors of their grandchildren and it warmed their hearts to have them visit.
Quiver Farm Project
On June 9th., the traveling farm from the Quiver Farm Project visited our school with farm animals that included ducks, rabbits, chickens, geese, goats and a pig. Students fed the animals and learned how to properly care for the animals. In the classroom, students read stories on animal homes and different kinds of animals and worked on activities that included using letters to match animals with their homes and then narrating a story. Independent exploration included building animal homes in the block area, reading books about animals, creating models of animal homes and exploring new vocabulary related to animals.
During May 22nd through June 2nd, our school celebrated Multiculturalism to recognize our diverse school community. In the classrooms, teachers and students created bulletin boards representing different countries, as well as a class passport. Students were taken on a trip around the world as they visited the different bulletin boards and had their passport stamped at each one. During the week, the children were treated to a multicultural lunch, learned about music and dance from around the world and were able to bring in items from their native countries to share with their class. On June 1st students and staff members participated in a Multicultural Fashion Show modeling outfits from over 25 different countries. At the end of the show, all the students participated in a Sing Along led by our Music Teacher Ms. Santoro. Students sang several multicultural songs for a large crowd of parents, staff and visitors.
On Friday, May 12, 2017, the parents and students of Donald Stewart Center for Early Childhood Education were visited by members of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is a nonprofit organization that improves quality of life for kids and communities by promoting healthy living, safe infrastructure, and physical activity, starting with walking to school. Their goal is to promote safety awareness while offering their expertise in supporting and educating communities and schools. The students participated in a Walking Safety Program which provided them with tips on being safe while engaging in a fun and healthy walk to school.
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.
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. The week included an array of activities. On Monday, the students shared their Home/School connection project; “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up.” Each class also showcased their 3D art pieces made out of beautiful junk in the lobby. The theme was Science. Parents/Caregivers were invited to read their child’s favorite book from home during Books and Breakfast on Tuesday. The kitchen also served tacos for lunch. The teachers discussed the nutritional value of the meals the students eat. Wednesday was Wacky Hair Day. Students and staff engaged in meaningful conversation as they talked about their silly hair styles. In addition, 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. Wednesday was also Work Together Wednesday. Students were encouraged to work together to build relationships. On Thursday, teachers lead their students in creating self-portraits. Students also had the opportunity to spend the day with their teachers’ own children on Bring Your Child to Work Day. Finally, on Friday morning, the students and staff participated in Special Olympics Unified Game Day organized by Mrs. Rodriguez the gym teacher and special education teacher Mrs. Burnett-Williams. They worked together with Mrs. Andrea Moore, Young Athlete Director of Special Olympics in an effort to promote inclusion, compassion, and confidence. As a result, they were gracious enough to donate all the equipment used in order to gain success and confidence in gross motor skills. Activities included group dancing and a cooperative parachute activity to promote unity and inclusion in school.
April is Autism Awareness Month
April is Autism Awareness month. We began our celebration of Autism Awareness month by wearing Autism Awareness bracelets provided by Mrs. Burnett-Williams, Mrs. Gallardo and Mrs. Gomez teachers at School #51. We will continue to work on activities throughout the month to show our support and acceptance of individuals with autism. Activities include “Light It Up Blue Parade” and our Special Olympics Unified Games Day.
The Teddy Bear Clinic
On April 12th., the students participated in the Teddy Bear Clinic hosted by the nursing students from Trinitas Hospital. The students visited several different hands on stations where they learned how to properly brush their teeth, tips on healthy eating, proper hand washing, bicycle safety, and exercising tips. Upon returning to the classroom, the students discussed what they had learned and created an illustration of their favorite learning station.
Keep Me Lead Free
On April 5th., a program specialist from the Partnership for Maternal & Child Health of Northern New Jersey visited our school to talk about keeping our bodies lead free to a large group of parents. Later that week, Ms. Melissa a Program Specialist from the Childhood Lead Poising Prevention Program shared a child friendly Sesame Street video on keeping lead out of our bodies to the students in the classroom. She taught the students a special jingle to remember three important things; wash your hands, stay away from peeling paint and follow up with the doctor if you feel sick.