FAIR HAVEN: A GALLERY OF FUTURE ARTISTS

A large crowd of visitors admired an array of art created by students in grades K through 8 at Sickles and Knollwood Schools at the April 25 Fair Haven School District Art Show.

The event was organized by borough art teachers RoseAnn LaBrocca, Jessica Data and Chris Dudick.

Above, Sickles School first-grader Jude Burkhardt and third-grader Brody Burkhardt with Brody’s mixed-media painting. At right, Sickles School third-grader Celia Cope and her mom Carolyn admire Celia’s “Kitty Kitty Love” papier-mâché creation.

FAIR HAVEN KIDS MEET THE AUTHOR

Children’s author Patricia Polacco with Sickles School third graders during her recent visit to the Fair Haven School District.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

She is the writer and illustrator of over 115 books, including Keeping Quilt, Babushka’s Doll, The Dream Keeper, My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother, Chicken Sunday (a 1994 President’s Commendation Medal winner), and Welcome Comfort. Her Thank You Mr. Falker was awarded the 1999 Best Book Award by the Association of Dyslexic and Learning Disabled Readers — and in 2013, the Library of Congress and the President of the United States recognized her book Pink and Say as one of the best books written for children in the past 100 years.

A wish came true last week, when New York Times bestselling children’s book author Patricia Polacco paid a special two-day visit to the Fair Haven school district.

Students in fourth, fifth, and sixth grades at Knollwood School spent quality time with the author during presentations on April 3, while Polacco’s visit to Viola L. Sickles School on April 4 included lunch with two students chosen by lottery from each third grade class, along with their teachers.

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FAIR HAVEN KIDS DO LUNCH WITH VIPS

The atmosphere was fun and festive, during the annual “Lunch with a VIP” event at Fair Haven’s at Viola L. Sickles School.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

“Lunch with a VIP” is a yearly event that provides students the opportunity to connect with a loved one during the school day, in a highly celebratory atmosphere. This year’s VIP luncheon was held at Viola L. Sickles School between March 28 and 3, with students from first, second, and third grades sharing tables with the Very Important People in their lives.

During the hour-long celebration sponsored by the Fair Haven Parent Teacher Association, Sickles students and their VIPs enjoyed fun activities and created lasting memories. A questionnaire for VIPs was provided to encourage lunchtime discussion about “favorites” – including color, song, and holiday movie. A photo booth and professional photography by Lara Robby were featured to capture a special moment in time.

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FAIR HAVEN TEEN ATTAINS EAGLE SCOUT RANK

Michael Frissora Elmer PotterEagle Scout Michael Frissora of Fair Haven (left) is pictured at the BSA Troop 67 Court of Honor with Elmer Potter, who at 90 years of age is Monmouth County’s oldest living Eagle Scout.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Fair Haven resident Michael Frissora has attained the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest possible achievement for a member of the Boy Scouts of America. The award was conferred by BSA Troop 67 Scoutmaster Michael Maier at a Court of Honor, held on January 8 at First Presbyterian Church in Red Bank.

For his Service Project, an Eagle Scout requirement, Michael returned to his “roots” and gave back to Fair Haven’s Viola L. Sickles School, the public primary school where he began his education. Michael’s project was a large garden constructed of recycled wooden pallets and located on a 1,000 square foot lot adjacent to the school.

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FAIR HAVEN KIDS EMBRACE ‘THE OTHER R’

duffy-gaunt-butler-fhSuzanne Duffy, Laraine Gaunt, and Suzanne Butler at the “It’s OK to Be Different” assembly, which helped kick off the “Week of Respect” at Sickles School in Fair Haven.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

At Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven, the subject of respect – like reading and writing — is taught all year long. During this year’s state-mandated Week of Respect, Sickles  students participated in meaningful activities designed to reinforce lessons about kindness and acceptance.

A kickoff event was held on Friday, September 30, and featured the “It’s OK to Be Different” assembly presented by the program’s creator and director Laraine Gaunt. An educator whose now-grown children once attended Sickles School, Gaunt introduced “It’s OK to Be Different” in 1978 to teach young children respect for all individuals and to promote understanding and tolerance.

“It’s OK to Be Different” is a year-long initiative at Sickles School and complements the tenets of the Responsive Classroom Philosophy already in place at all grade levels – “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully” (Pre-K and Kindergarten), “Understanding Disabilities” (First Grade), “Respect for Different Learners” (Second Grade), and “Celebrating Cultures”  (Third Grade).

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FAIR HAVEN KIDS GET A LEGO UP ON LEARNING

bricks-4-kidz-fair-havenSickles School third graders get a hands-on lesson with a Bricks 4 Kidz model building project as Media Specialist June Sustick looks on.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Kindergarten through third grade students at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven recently enjoyed a unique learning experience thanks to Bricks 4 Kidz, an enrichment program designed to teach children STEM concepts through hands-on learning using LEGO® bricks.

Director Melina Stock visited Sickles School on September 26-30 for an instructional “in-school field trip.” This consisted of active building sessions for individual classes with the goal of creating finished models.

Working with a Bricks 4 Kidz original design and LEGO technic bricks, the students built their mechanical masterpieces – colorful sailboats for first through third graders (with varying levels of challenge based on grade level) and shiny red apples with bright green stems for Kindergarten students.

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FAIR HAVEN KIDS CELEBRATE TRANSITION DAY

Fair Haven Transition DayIt’s an “enduring and endearing tradition” that scores of Fair Haven students have participated in throughout the years — and this past Monday, the third graders at Viola L. Sickles School hopped onto their bicycles or boarded the “big red trolley”  as they celebrated their move to nearby Knollwood School during Transition Day. A song and memory-filled Parent Show, an informative tour of their new school, and a special performance by members of the Knollwood glee club, band and orchestra were enjoyed by the incoming fourth graders, with the highlight of the day the traditional rolling journey that saw the kids cheered on by district administrators, eighth grade peer leaders and teachers from both schools.

AN EXPEDITION FOR FAIR HAVEN KIDS

google fhPress release from Fair Haven School District

Thanks to a partnership between Google and the Fair Haven School District, students from Viola L. Sickles and Knollwood Schools enjoyed a recent a “virtual reality” field trip experience, courtesy of an event showcasing Google Expeditions. The schools were among the first chosen for beta testing, from a wait list of approximately 6,500 schools.

Google Expeditions associates visited both schools on November 17 to introduce Expeditions to students in grades one through eight. Expeditions is a program that Google has created — using a cardboard viewing device, smartphones, and the Google Expeditions app — to create a virtual experience of places and activities. Google views Expeditions as the “next level” in learning, since students can actively engage in the lesson.

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FAIR HAVEN KIDS TAKE PART IN MAKER FAIRE

Fair Haven makerFair Haven School District EdTech Coach Chris Aviles joined students from Knollwood School in a “Maker Faire” event at Barnes and Noble in Eatontown.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Recently, a group of eight students from Knollwood School joined Chris Aviles, EdTech Coach for the Fair Haven School District, in a special “Maker Faire” event that allowed participants an opportunity to experience some of the latest trends in 3D printing, robotics, coding, and more.

The event, held at the Barnes and Noble Booksellers location in Eatontown, took place between November 6-8. Event sponsors included such tech companies as Ozobot, SPRK, and Protocol.

Barnes and Noble representatives invited Aviles and his students to participate during an “Innovation Lab” program offered to fifth and sixth graders at Knollwood School. The EdTech Coach agreed, and on November 7 the eight Knollwood students helped facilitate two hands-on workshops — a “Little Makers” session for ages 5 and up, and “Junior Makers” for ages 8 and up — that allowed youngsters to explore the creation of structures using Lego brand building materials.

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TRADITIONS, TRANSITIONS FOR FAIR HAVEN

knollwood 1Graduating third graders from Sickles School made the transition to incoming fourth graders at Knollwood School, in a ceremonial ride to their new school on June 11. Then on June 18, a separate ceremony marked the transition of Knollwood’s Class of 2015 to the next freshman class at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

From press materials furnished by Fair Haven School District

The Fair Haven School District celebrates the “transition” of students from third grade at Viola L. Sickles School into fourth grade at Knollwood School in a big way. Held on the afternoon of June 11, this year’s Transition Day saw teachers and students from Viola L. Sickles School cheering from the sidelines on Willow Street, as the third graders began their journey on bicycles and the big red trolley. Escorted by members of the Fair Haven School District staff and administration, as well as eighth-grade Peer Leaders, the students headed toward Knollwood School on Hance Avenue. They were greeted along the way by many well-wishers holding signs and shouting encouragement.

At the grades 4-8 Knollwood School, the third graders were given a tour by the eighth grade Peer Leaders, learned about the school’s music program, and attended a brief assembly hosted by Principal Kevin Davis, who remarked that “It’s always so much fun to greet the incoming students at Sickles School and bring them over to Knollwood.”

Then in a separate ceremony on the evening of June 18, the graduating Knollwood School eighth graders marked their own transition to the next stage of their education career — as incoming freshmen at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

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‘UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENCES’ ACTIVITIES ENLIGHTEN, INSPIRE FAIR HAVEN STUDENTS

Sickles School 4Volunteer Risa Bertodatti assists third grade students with a hands-on activity during Understanding Differences Day at Sickles School.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Each year, an innovative day-long program at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven helps third-grade students explore and celebrate differences. Presented on May 15, Understanding Differences Day featured hands-on activities and presentations throughout the day, hosted by school staff members and volunteers.

Covered topics covered physical disabilities (including visual and hearing impairments), as well as developmental and learning disabilities. Students engaged in interactive learning activities that included the maneuvering of crutches and wheelchairs (supplied by Little Silver Pharmacy), the making of name tags using Braille, and a demonstration of how a visually impaired person might keep track of money and organize food.

Guest speakers included Lori Timney, who is hearing-impaired and who shared her life experiences with students. Volunteer Sarah Maris helped students to understand the challenges faced by individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Down’s syndrome, and cerebral palsy. Sickles School Social Worker Nicole Green and Sickles School Psychologist Ashley Goral hosted an information session about learning disabilities; this session included presentations by students from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School who discussed their personal experiences and ways in which they have learned to cope through the years. At the conclusion of the morning and afternoon sessions, all of the third grade students participated in reflective writing sessions based on what they had learned.

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FAIR HAVEN YOUNG ARTISTS A HIT

FH artVisitors to the Fair Haven School District Art Show admire self-portraits created by eighth graders at Knollwood School.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

“Make Your Mark” was the theme of the Fair Haven School District Art Show, with more than 1,000 pieces of student-created original art displayed at Knollwood School on the evening of April 14.

This year’s edition of the annual show represented the District’s implementation of new standards in the visual arts.  The new standards focus on essential questions to help develop both critical thinking and problem-solving skills, with students are encouraged to create, present, respond, and connect their artwork to ideas that have personal meaning.

Kindergarten through third grade students at Viola L. Sickles School, and fourth through eighth grade students at Knollwood School each contributed at least one project for display.

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SPECIAL HAPPENINGS AT FAIR HAVEN SCHOOLS

LesterAuthor Lester Laminack conducted workshops for young writers, and addressed parents and teachers on the topic of the writing process, during his recent visit to the Fair Haven School District.

Press releases from Fair Haven School District

An appearance by a talented special guest speaker — and some events that featured the talents of Fair Haven students — were among the highlights of the late winter and early spring at Viola L. Sickles and Knollwood Schools in Fair Haven.

On February 26, the  rousing musical No Strings Attached was presented by the 6th, 7th and 8th grade Performing Arts Troupe at Knollwood School. Inspired by the familiar tale of Pinocchio, the show tells the story of Carl, a young boy seeking to dodge all responsibility. He makes a deal to trade work for fun — and unwittingly ends up transforming into a puppet member of the Magical Mystery Marionettes. Carl learns that “no strings attached” is not all he had hoped for — but with the help of his loyal friends, he recovers his human powers in time to help save his beloved father from the mouth of a whale.

Directed by Social Studies teacher Alison Dooley and Literacy teacher Gabrielle Illiano, the production featured Lisa Sandoli as Carl/Pinocchio, and Jacob Gerbman as Gepetto. The 25-member cast also included Lucas Tucker as Cricket, Grace Gallagher as Blues Fairy, Isabella Mitterando as Professor, Giovanna Darcy as Madame Azure, Anna Phillips as Marionette/Dipstick, Nora Doonan as Marionette/Fox, Fiona Lenahan as Cat, Mikey Bogardus as the Driver, Lauryn Jones as Tina Tuna/Peg, and Blodwen Bindas as Mary Annette.

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FAIR HAVEN: KIDS DO LUNCH WITH VIPs

20150311_115509Press release from Fair Haven School District

“Lunch with a VIP,” a yearly event that is highly anticipated by students and their guests, was once again a rousing success at Viola L. Sickles school in Fair Haven.

Sponsored by the Fair Haven Parent Teacher Association, the event offers students the opportunity to enjoy lunch, treats, and fun activities with a special guest “Very Important Person” from their life. This year’s “Lunch with a VIP” was held from March 11-13 for first, second, and third graders respectively.

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FAIR HAVEN SCHOOLS CELEBRATE SEUSS

seussStudents at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven listen intently as they try to guess the identity of a “mystery reader” during the school’s birthday celebration for Dr. Seuss.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Even a cranky “Grinch” would have been smiling at the Fair Haven School District’s birthday celebration for beloved author Theodor Seuss Geisel — the writer and cartoonist (1904-1991) best known under his pen name, Dr. Seuss.

The extravaganza at Sickles School kicked off on March 2 – Suess’s birthday and “Read Across America” day — with a “Birthday Celebration” assembly.  Kindergarten-through-third grade students, attired in red and white in honor of the Seuss character “The Cat in the Hat,” listened as faculty members, onstage but hidden by the curtain, acted as “mystery readers.” When challenged to guess the teachers’ identities, the students succeeded “one hundred percent.” The entire assembly then took part in a spirited rendition of “Happy Birthday to You.”

The fun continued as Guest Readers from the community visited classrooms to share Dr. Seuss books. Guest Reader Kevin Davis, Principal of the fourth-through-eighth grade Knollwood School, read a few of his favorites to third graders. Another celebratory event at Sickles was the creation of a “Books Will Build You Up” music video (which can be viewed here), featuring students and staff celebrating the joys of reading.

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FAIR HAVEN BOARD OF ED MEMBERS SWORN IN

FH Board 1It’s official as (left to right) Bruce Padula, Jennifer Halcrow, and Karen Saad participate in the January 7 Fair Haven Board of Education meeting after being sworn in.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

At a reorganization meeting held on January 7, Fair Haven residents Jennifer Halcrow, Bruce Padula, and Karen Saad were sworn in as members of the borough’s Board of Education. The three new members, all of whom were duly elected to full three-year terms, will  serve on the board along with Michael Bernstein, Claudia Brasch (Vice President), Mark Mancuso (President), Tracy Rehder, Jeffrey Spector, and Randi Walker.

The oath of office was administered by Board of Education Attorney Anthony P. Scarrillo. Among those in attendance and offering congratulations and support was former Board member Katy Frissora, who was thanked for her eight years of dedicated service by Mancuso. Frissora and Cathy Alescio, who served one term of three years, both did not seek re-election this year when their terms expired.

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FAIR HAVEN SCHOOLS GROWING WRITERS

Press release from Fair Haven School District

“When you think you’re done, you’ve just begun,” is the motto of the Student Writer’s Workshops at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven.

And while you may have guessed otherwise, Colleen Doogan told a roomful of surprised parents that her blossoming writers actually get excited when they hear this phrase.

“They view it as an invitation to carry on with a process they thoroughly enjoy,” said Doogan, who is in her first year as the K-3 Literacy Coach and provides support for teachers to enhance their reading and writing instruction.

This gratifying fact was revealed during the Parent Literacy Lab at Sickles School on the evening of October 9. Doogan hosted the event for parents of students in Kindergarten through fifth grade, to demonstrate how Fair Haven Schools are growing good writers through modeling, engagement, and reflection.

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FAIR HAVEN KIDS MAKE A MARK FOR DOT DAY

RFH Dot DaySickles Art Teacher RoseAnn LaBrocca explains International Dot Day activities to her second grade students.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

The message board located near the entrance to Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven proclaimed, “International Dot Day – Make Your Mark.” Yet even after being forewarned, visitors to the school would still be pleasantly surprised by the level of excitement — as well as the sheer number of dots — creatively displayed throughout the building on September 15.

In the hallway outside Kerry Kennedy and Pamela Greenhall’s classroom, young Kindergarteners excitedly sponge-painted dots on a poster taped to the wall. Courtney Robinson’s first-grade class sat on a dot-embellished carpet while discussing the collaborative dot art project they would soon be displaying for the entire school to see. Nan Hagen’s second graders were thinking hard about how to represent themselves in individual name-glyphs, carefully marking colorful dots to represent their personal characteristics. The third graders had filled their hallway with a dazzling display of dot-centered artwork, displaying their talent and ability to “think outside the box.”

It was all part of International Dot Day, an initiative held each year on September 15, and inspired by the best-selling children’s book The Dot, written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.

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THERE’S A NEW PRINCIPAL AT SICKLES SCHOOL

cuddihyCheryl Cuddihy has been appointed Principal of Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Fair Haven Superintendent of Schools Nelson Ribon has announced the selection of Cheryl Cuddihy, M.Ed, M.A. as Principal of Viola L. Sickles School. Cuddihy’s appointment was approved at a scheduled meeting of the Fair Haven Board of Education held at Knollwood School on the evening of June 25, 2014.

A resident of Middletown, Cuddihy most recently served as Vice Principal of Red Bank Primary School. Prior to joining the Red Bank Borough School district in August 2013, Cuddihy taught Kindergarten, first, second and fourth grade at Leonardo Grade School and Nut Swamp Elementary School in Middletown Township. In 2005, during her first year of teaching at Leonardo Grade School, she was the recipient of the “Teacher of the Year” Award.

“I am very excited to be joining a progressive educational community which embraces the achievement of literacy skills through the workshop model,” said Cuddihy, who was selected after an extensive search process, and who plans to become a familiar face at Sickles School well before her official start date of August 1.

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3rd GRADE BUILDERS GET HANDS-ON IN FH

photoThird grade students created their own amusement park through an Exploratory Investigations Program introduced recently at Viola L. Sickles School.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Third grade students at Viola L. Sickles school in Fair Haven recently brought hands-on learning to a new level, by building their own amusement park through a program designed by Bricks 4 Kidz.

The third-graders were the first Sickles students to participate in an Exploratory Investigations Program designed to supplement the curriculum, and provide additional opportunities for learning and exploration.

The Bricks 4 Kidz project marks the first appearance at Sickles School for the program, designed to teach children the principles of engineering and architecture using Lego® bricks.

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