Todays Events - September 26, 2022

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CMS IN THE NEWS

On the road again

The kindness was seen again, as well as felt. After the pandemic paused school field trips and turned the annual Kindness Tour into an inside Kindness Day last year, the second-graders brought kindness outside into the community ­again. Though the outdoor activities were limited, the lessons of the importance of helping others and the joy it brings were just as poignant.
 
With COVID still lingering, the tour’s annual visit to sing at Paragon Village was off the table. In its place, however, was a performance for the entire community. The second-graders, donned in “Kindness is Just Love” teeshirts – walked to the All Veterans Memorial at Turkey Brook Park and sang for Paragon seniors, community residents, and parents. Under the guidance of music teacher Chris King, the young singers belted out songs of kindness.
 
While at the memorial, the students presented gifts to seniors and wrote notes of gratitude that were sent to active military personnel. Money had previously been collected and donated to buy planters for the memorial.
 
A new activity this year showed students that kindness wasn’t just an activity done for school. Prior to the tour, 20 families volunteered to complete their own acts of kindness. They then decorated their cars to showcase the specific acts they undertook. The second-graders strolled through the rows of cars in the Turkey Brook lot to see the display of good deeds such as assembling pet adoption baskets and baking brownies for neighbors.
 
Back inside, the students decorated bags for Midnight Run, a group that provides meals and other support for the homeless. The bags were sent along with a gift card.
 
Mother Nature was the beneficiary of CMS kindness, too. On the day of the tour, students showed their kindness to nature by constructing birdhouses to place throughout the community.
 
The second grade had previously collected canned goods for the Mount Olive Food Pantry and donated a gift card.


"M" is for "I Mustache you a question"

Kindergarten countdown

 The countdown is on. Kindergarten classes are counting down the last 26 days of school, not with numbers but with letters of the alphabet. Each day features activities and assignments related to the letter du jour.
 
The classes started with “Z” and are working their way backward. On the last day of school, they will end with “A” for aloha – a Hawaiian word for affection, peace, and compassion that is used to say hello and goodbye.
 
“The countdown adds excitement to the end-of-the-year review and lets them practice many previously learned skills,” said teacher Kristyna Lynch. “It keeps them entertained and engaged during a time of year when their thoughts are on summer fun.”
 
The alphabet activities were varied. For “S,” students celebrated sunglasses, sunflowers, and shapes. They wore sunglasses, learned about the life cycle of a sunflower and planted their own, and worked at centers focused on 2D and 3D shapes.
 
“M” was for “I Mustache You a Question.” Classes worked on distinguishing between asking and telling sentences, and deciding when to use a period or question mark. They then created their own mustaches. Ladybugs, kindness, jerseys and jump ropes, ice pops, and hats were the themes for letters “L” to “H.”


Book donation promotes the love of reading

CMS kindergartners won’t be bored this summer, thanks to the National English Honor Society from Morris Catholic High School. The honor society donated a book to each kindergarten student – 110 books in all.
 
Nineteen honor society members, adviser Mary Christian, and MCHS teacher John Ward recently visited CMS to present the books and read to students.
 
The donation came about after Christian approached her friend, CMS teacher Janet Polizois, to discuss ways that the honor society could help promote literacy. After the decision was made to distribute books to these early readers, Polizois and co-teacher Cathy Caros made a list of the students’ favorite authors such as Eric Carle and Mo Willems, and also several popular book series including Pete the Cat and Fancy Nancy. The honor society took it from there.
 
“We thought this would be a great way to encourage the little ones to continue reading and building their literacy skills over the summer,” said Polizois.  “Kindergarten is such a formative grade. It’s when students master letter identification, learn to make words, and turn those words into sentences. They’ve come to love having books in their hands. We want them to keep finding magic in those pages as they get older.”
 
Christian’s children went through the school district and Ward’s daughter, Serafina, is currently a student at Mount Olive Middle School.


Salome Nino shows off her mason jar decorations

TREP$ is back

The gym bustled with activity on May 12 as CMS held the TREP$ marketplace – the finale of the TREP$ afterschool program. A total of 65 fifth-graders participated in TREPS$, which teaches students the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship by walking them through product development, from concept to final sale. Hundreds of parents, family members, teachers, and friends turned out to see the creativity and ingenuity of the students – and shop, shop, shop!
 
TREP$, which stands for entrepreneurs, provides students with very concrete business fundamentals over the program’s two+ months. The students met weekly and learned a different business skill each week. For example, one week students wrote business plans and identified their target customers; another week they learned about marketing and effective advertising, and another it was salesmanship and customer service. They also learned the process of cost analysis – a key to deciding which product to manufacture for sale.
 
Among the handmade products for sale were decorative wall hangings and art, fidget spinners, key chains, bookmarks, reusable bags, pet toys, dog treats, and picture frames.
 
Salome Nino created light-up mason jars.
 
“I thought they would be a really good decoration for rooms,” said Salome. Days before the marketplace, though, anxiety was running high. “I’m scared my product won’t sell. And I’m going to be nervous when I demonstrate it. But I think this is a cool way to let everyone know you’re creative and show off.”
 
Entrepreneurship has always been a hallmark of America’s growth and history. But with reality shows such as “Shark Tank” and entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg regularly in the news, students have never been more interested in innovation and business ownership.
 
This is the eighth year that CMS has run TREP$. Teachers Karrie Blomquist, Katlyn Houtz, and Maryellen Nyce served as advisers this year.

Edgar Lazovski and Dominic Moscatello

Rylee Zabriskie

Kai Collins and Adithi Balusamy

Fifth-graders win awards in art and essay contest

CMS students won the top two county awards in the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey’s “Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest.” Kai Collins, a fifth-grader in Kathy Fiebel’s class, was chosen as Morris County’s first place winner; Adithi Balusamy, a fifth-grader in Maryellen Nyce and Katlyn Houtz’s class, took home the second place award.
 
Kai’s essay discussed the Eastern mud salamander, a threatened lizard-like amphibian that is indigenous to New Jersey. He described their diet, habitat, and unique physical features such as their red skin, which is toxic to humans. He also suggested ways that people can help protect the species from extinction. In her essay, Adithi discussed the endangered checkered white butterfly and steps we can take protect the dwindling population.
 
The essays were originally written as a cross-curricular research report – an assignment completed by all CMS fifth grade classes. Each student researched an endangered or threatened species native to New Jersey using print and online sources, and then wrote a short informative essay about it. Students illustrated their reports with original drawings that depicted the species in their native habitats.
 
Kai and the other first place county winners will be honored at an awards ceremony this summer.
 
The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey’s art and essay contest is held fifth grade event. The goal of the program is to inspire students to learn about New Jersey’s wildlife and diverse ecosystems, and understand what can be done to preserve the rare and imperiled species that live in the state.
 
For more information on the foundation, go to:
 
http://www.conservewildlifenj.org
 


Art in a cone

Fifth-graders recently served up ice cream sculptures with more flavors and toppings than Baskin-Robbins could even imagine. The paper mache artwork was based on Cologne, Germany’s “Dropped Cone” sculpture by artist Claes Oldeburg.
 
The eight-week project began with students planning their visions then using crumbled paper, foil, a coffee cup, and masking tape to form the skeleton armature. The paper mache was layer over the rough formation. When dried, the young artists applied tempera paint in a rainbow of colors and shaped modeling clay for use as their toppings.
 
The project, a student favorite for many years, fits into the curriculum’s art history component and also the fifth-grade focus on multimedia and sculpture.
 
“The kids love it,” said art teacher Denise Palmisano, who translated the famous German sculpture into a kid-friendly and smaller-scaled project. “It incorporates art skills that students have learned in prior grades and allows kids to show off their creativity and individuality.”


CMS raises money to benefit students with Down syndrome

In recognition of Choose to Include Week and Down Syndrome Day, CMS students donated more than $1,900 to benefit Ruby's Rainbow. The foundation awards scholarships to students across the country who have Down syndrome and are seeking post-secondary education, including enrichment or vocational classes.
 
The money was raised in honor of Anthony Vizzone, the 4 year-old son of the school’s reading interventionist (gr. 3–5), Kathryn Vizzone. The grades competed against each other to raise the most money. First grade took the top honor, contributing $416, and won a pajama dance party.
 
To explain Down syndrome and raise awareness of the drive, Vizzone spoke with students and created two read-aloud videos which the teachers shared with their classes. The books read were "47 Strings: Tessa's Special Code" by Becky Carey and "Different is a Great Thing to Be" by Heather Avis.  Both authors have children with Down syndrome.
 
“Bringing awareness to specific disabilities can be challenging with elementary-age students,” said Vizzone. “However, the students were accepting and wanted to learn all that they could. They really embraced the idea that they were helping make someone's dream come true. I'm so proud of our CMS community, and we are hoping that every year we can continue to make a positive impact.”
 
In addition to collecting change from CMS students, the fundraiser in Anthony’s honor collected money via social media outreach. In total, the Vizzone family raised almost $6,000 for the foundation.
 
Because the amount donated was more than $3,000, the Vizzone’s will be given the opportunity to personally present a scholarship to the chosen winner. Ruby’s scholarship committee does its best to choose local high school students to benefit.
 
“I don't know if college will ever be in my son's future, but the idea that more and more colleges are accepting students with Down syndrome is amazing,” said Vizzone. “After I had Anthony, I always thought he would just live with my husband and me forever. I remember even telling my husband that we can travel the world with him. But knowing that college may be an option for him makes me think the sky's the limit for him.”
 
This year, more than $500,000 was raised for Ruby’s, which will provide more than 100 scholarships to young adults across the country to pursue post-high school education.

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