25 Nov

Notable November!

Autism Awareness: by Kim Lewis
Lessons in building awareness and making an impact!

Maya Gunaseharan, Director of Student Activities and class of  ’08, Lana ’22, Briana ’22, Eila ’22, and Lisa ’15

Three fifth-grade girls had a wonderful idea about hosting a fundraiser and raising the awareness of their classmates about autism.  Over the course of the past 8 weeks, their philanthropic spirit resulted in some valuable lessons for the entire fifth-grade class about all that is involved behind the scenes when planning a fundraiser.  

They learned about several things ranging from writing a proposal to the Upper School Fundraising Committee to seeking approval for this event, to the creation of a logo that represents the event and meets D-E branding requirements. They also created a PowerPoint presentation that explained autism and their reasons for wanting to host a fundraiser.  Planning the soccer game and the bake sale proved to be great deal of work with many lessons about process and patience.

On Thursday, November 24, 2014, the soccer game fundraiser was held.  It was a huge success thanks to the contributions of all the 5th grade students, their adult helpers and some very willing Super Senior Soccer Players!

Please read the students’ reflections about the event:

Brianna ’22: I learned that an event isn’t just something that you just plan in your head.  Although everything turned out really well, we had to do some last minute things.  For example, we changed fields because of the weather. All-in-all, it was a great event.  I feel really good about everything!

Lana ’22: I learned lots of lessons too.  The biggest was that everything can’t happen right away.  For example, we wanted to make and sell T-shirts.  We worked with Mrs. Tausner on the design for the logo, but we needed more time to place the order for the shirts so that they would be here in time for the game.  In the meantime, we have come up with a solution to order and sell the T-shirts, before the winter break, as a way of continuing our school spirit.

Eila ’22:
Writing the proposal helped me to learn that there are many steps to take when you want to bring an idea to life.  I didn’t snap my fingers and then everything was done.  It was a great way for us to focus on the real purpose of the day.  I also learned that a fundraiser isn’t just about getting everything to be perfect.  Really, what I learned was that perfection isn’t everything. We put lots of time in raising awareness and money for Autism Speaks!

Sincere thanks to several former Lower School students, 
David Victor ’15, Cory Klein ’15, Yu Omiya ’15 and their senior friends for their participation in the soccer game.

Special thanks to the adults in the community that helped to realize our students’ vision for this wonderful event:
Pat Boig
Maya Gunaseharan
Elizabeth Tausner
Bart Klemensowski
Erik Swanson
Barry Ostrer
Jessica Pomeroy
Susan Abramson
Kim Lewis

Finally, we would like to thank the parents who donated the baked goods that helped the students raise over $579 to donate to the organization Autism Speaks.

5th Grade Trip to the MET by Mary Heveran

On Friday, November 14 the fifth grade, accompanied by the opera teachers, attended a final dress rehearsal of Rossini’s opera II Barbieri di Siviglia at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

In preparation for the trip, students were told about the story, listened to the music and the arias of the characters Figaro, Rosina and Count Almaviva.  Some students even acted out the scenes as if they were the actual performers.

It was wonderful to have the students see the various opera jobs being executed by professionals   The students have their own opera company, Crew of 52, which is comprised of musicians, singers, set designers, carpenters, electricians, costume and make up designers, public relations officers, historians, stage managers and a production manager – all of which are also jobs that are held by professionals at the Met.

As soon as the students entered the Met, there were very excited. Seeing the Austrian crystal chandeliers, the red carpet, the gold leaf ceiling, the rosewood walls and how beautiful the opera house is, brought such delight to the eyes of all the students.

Below are a few quotes from the students:

“I enjoyed Figaro’s aria.  It was catchy and jumpy.”
“I enjoyed watching the scenery being moved.”
“I enjoyed being able to actually see and hear the the opera after Mary had described the process to us.”
“The singers’ voices were wonderful.”
“I enjoyed watching how much emotion the diners showed while performing.”
“I really enjoyed the music the most.  I play piano, so I know how hard it is to play Rossini.”

3rd and 4th Grade Assembly by Clinton Carbon, Director of Multicultural Affairs

The third- and fourth- grade classes celebrated the observance of National Native American Heritage Month with Kevin “Two Steps” O’Connell, storyteller, artifact seeker, primitive technologist and educator.  He began his study of the Lenape people over forty years ago.  Kevin brought an extensive display of artifacts from his extensive collection.  Pelts, skins, art, tools, instruments, toys and clothing were placed with care along the walls and tables in the Lower School gym.  The students found him to be very knowledgeable and engaging.  Kevin incorporated chants, songs and drumming into stories that he told.  Each story contained an important lesson about friendship, caring for nature and the spirits that the Lenape believed were in charge of taking good care of humanity. It was an excellent celebration filled with facts and fun.

THANK YOU!  Keep the recess ideas coming!

Thank you for sharing your memories about recess games!  If you did not have a chance to share your memories of recess games from your childhood with Ms. Abramson, you may still email her at abrams@d-e.org.  Please refer to the last Lower School blog entry to read about our work with the children about improving recess.

LS Photo Gallery 

First Graders Hard at Work and More Autism Awareness Soccer Game Photos

Reading time in first grade
Indoor recess block building
Collaborating during writers’ workshop
Autism Awareness Soccer Game

Krish ’22 works with Mrs. Tausner on a logo for the event.

Lucy ’22 manages the Bake Sale.

LS Notes Update:

Please note that this blog will be published on a bi-weekly basis during the month of December.  Be on the lookout for new entries during the week of December 8th.