CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
Terrill Middle School To Host Health Fair
SCOTCH PLAINS – Seventh grade students at Terrill Middle School in Scotch Plains will present a health fair for students, faculty and their parents on Thursday, April 13, from 9 to 10: 30 a. m.
Cancer, fitness, nutrition, heart disease, depression and other topics will be presented.
For more information, please call Catherine Panico at (908) 3225215.
Kathleen Marie Wagner Completes Requirements For Degree at Montclair
WESTFIELD – Kathleen Marie Wagner of Westfield was one of 650 students at Montclair State University to complete her degree requirements this January.
Kathleen was awarded her Master of Arts Degree in Communications Sciences and Disorders with a concentration in Early Childhood Special Education.
Douglas Keeton Earns Dean’s List Status At Ohio Wesleyan
SCOTCH PLAINS – Douglas Keeton, a graduate of Scotch PlainsFanwood High School, has been named to the Dean’s List for the 1999 fall semester at Ohio Wesleyan in Delaware, Ohio.
Douglas is the son of Mr. and Mrs. David Keeton.
Marina K. Powell Earns Achievement Scholarship
WESTFIELD – Marina K. Powell of Westfield has received an Honorary Achievement Scholarship from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation in Evanston, Ill.
An Honorary Achievement Scholar designee is one whose educational plans or monetary awards preclude acceptance of an achievement scholarship award. The student’s name is included in the public announcement in recognition of the student’s outstanding
performance in the competition. At Westfield High School, Marina has been a member of the Student Council for four years, Recording Secretary of the Spanish Club for four years, Treasurer of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, an Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar, a member of the Varsity Lacrosse Team for four years, the school musical for two years and a Senior Class Senator.
Heritage, Culture Recognized In Program at Coles School
SCOTCH PLAINS — The Parent Teacher Association of J. Ackerman Coles Elementary School in Scotch Plains recently held its annual Family Heritage night. It is on this night, all students, their families and the staff celebrate their cultural diversity.
Earlier this year, Coles School received an award by the Education Commission of the New Jersey State
Parent Teacher Association for “Parent Involvement in Multicultural Enrichment” because of the Family Heritage Night program with the associated classroom activities.
The award was presented at the state convention on December 2 of last year.
This year’s event was chaired by Deborah Mattson and Wanda Perez. As in the past, the International Food Tastings, which is a buffet prepared by all families, was the highlight for many. Crafts included a Ukranian Easter Egg demonstration by Dianna and Kristin Cassidy.
A demonstration of mehendi, an India henna art, was presented by Bina Merchant and family. Origami was taught by Shui Wah Chan. Carina and Chris Gerveshi had the students making international flags.
At each grade level, the students participated in classroom activities prior to Family Heritage Night. Some of these classroom activities included a paper “multicultural” class quilt, paper dolls in the dress of your culture, “travel brochures” describing the country of origin, family trees and interviews with family elders.
The Scotch PlainsFanwood High School Black Student Union Dance Ensemble performed an African dance from the production of Raisin. Irish Tap Dancers from Dance 2000, performed “Lord of the Dance.” Master Sung Keum Yoo, from Martial Arts America in Westfield gave a Tae Kwon Do demonstration.
An alpine horn demonstration by Dr. Theodore K. Schlosberg, the Founder and Director of the New Jersey Workshop for the Arts was given. Vani Kilakkathi and Priya Kamdar each performed a traditional dance from India. Alex Hahn performed a German folk song on the piano. Kunal Saxena gave a performance on the tabla, a classic Indian drum.
Many students and their families participated in a fashion show of costumes from around the world. The traditional grand finale of “This Land Is Your Land” was led by fifth grade student, Allyson Rome, accompanied on the piano by vocal music teacher, Suzanne Barclay.
The Learning Curve
Inclusion of Disabled Students Along With Others Can Have Positive Result
By SUSAN M. DYCKMAN
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
SCOTCH PLAINS — As schools move toward fuller inclusion (that is, integrating students with disabilities into regular education classrooms), parents of special needs children and parents of typical children all wonder what that may mean for their individual child. If handled properly, inclusion can mean good things all around.
The presence of a special needs child in the classroom can cause a domino effect. Children with disabilities interact with peers, peers model appropriate behavior, and all children become more accepting and appreciative of individual differences. With the right information and support, children come to understand that “different” is not bad or frightening, but a quality worthy of appreciation and respect.
However, while social benefits top the list of reasons why inclusive education is good, experts warn that physical proximity alone does not ensure friendships will blossom among classmates. It takes committed effort and ongoing communication among parents and teachers.
Making It Work
Parents and teachers need to encourage children to think about what they have in common with their classmates, and to help them empathize with those children who live with differences that make them unique.
In some school districts, for example, physical, speech and/ or occupational therapy are delivered to special needs students in regular classrooms. This approach gives typical students a bird’seye look at services that were previously provided in a separate room.
Kindergarten teacher Karen Redding likes the idea of therapists doing more “pushing into” the classroom rather than “pulling students out” for support services. She believes her special education colleagues provide tips and suggestions that add a positive dimension to the class that can benefit every student.
When Karen Pilkington, an elementary art teacher, discovered that one student was physically unable to sit crosslegged like the rest of the class, she followed the suggestion of the occupational therapist working in her classroom to have everybody (teachers included) lie on their stomachs at circle time.
Packaged programs also help teachers foster acceptance within their classrooms. A Circle of Friends, for example, encourages children and parents to focus on what people can do rather than what they cannot, according to Lois Glaster of the Scotch PlainsFanwood middle
school child study team. Each child draws four concentric circles around herself to represent the people closest to her, starting with family members and working out toward teachers or camp counselors. The activity helps to “raise the selfesteem” of the included child and “replace the fear” other students may be feeling, said Ms. Glaster.
Inviting persons with disabilities, therapists or parents to speak to a class can dispel the mystery surrounding a child’s leg brace, wheelchair or computerized communication device. While visiting her son’s class as a guest reader, Lois Brooks took the opportunity to explain why it is sometimes difficult to understand Robby’s speech.
She explained how Robby’s tongue and muscles work differently because he has Down’s Syndrome. That can make him hard to understand, even for his family, she said. But, she assured the class, “Robby will never get angry” if asked to repeat something.
Parents can help smooth the path toward acceptance by providing socialization opportunities outside school. These might include making play dates or inviting classmates to parties. Ms. Brooks regularly invites one or two of Robby’s friends out for a schoolday lunch at Burger King.
In class, teachers can raise children’s awareness by reading books about children with differences. Role playing, cooperative learning activities, and simulation exercises, too, can help bridge the gap between suspicion and understanding.
Exercises like getting a drink from the water fountain while confined to a wheelchair or picking up a paper clip while wearing a bulky glove allow typical children to experience what it feels like to live with a disability.
In the book, “Including Students With Special Needs in the Regular Classroom” (Allyn and Bacon, 1999), authors Marilyn Friend and William D. Bursuck say the teacher’s primary responsibility in nurturing acceptance and fostering social interaction is to model appropriate behavior.
Teachers can, from day one, clearly state and enforce the class rule that every person should be treated with respect and kindness. Teachers can also affirm the contribution every child makes to his class and community. By acknowledging the best efforts of a special needs child, the teacher guides classmates to do the same.
A Positive Experience
Ms. Brooks admitted that, initially, she had huge reservations about en
Alexandra Donovski, Thomas Hogan Named
To Fall Dean’s List
SCOTCH PLAINS – Alexandra E. Donovski and Thomas R. Hogan, both of Scotch Plains, have been named to the Dean’s List for the fall 1999 semester at William Paterson University in Wayne. Students Earn Academic Honors
At Franklin & Marshall College
Students from Westfield and Scotch Plains received academic honors for the 1999 fall semester at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.
Those students were: Jodi Goldberg of Westfield, Amelia (Mia) Baker, George Daniledes and Lindsey Everitt, all of Scotch Plains.
Jodi, a senior government major and history minor, is a 1996 graduate of Westfield High School. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Don Goldberg of Westfield.
Amelia, a senior classics major, is a 1996 graduate of The WardlawHartridge
School. She is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Baker of Scotch Plains.
George, a senior sociology major and music minor, is a 1996 graduate of Scotch PlainsFanwood High School. He is the son of Peter Daniledes of Freehold and E. Joy Daniledes of Scotch Plains.
Lindsey, a junior business major, is a 1997 graduate of Scotch PlainsFanwood High School. She is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Everitt of Scotch Plains.
FIESTA TIME… Kindergartners at Washington Elementary School in Westfield recently hosted a Mexican Fiesta for parents and guests. Students studied the customs, traditions and lifestyles of Mexico through crosscurricular activities, including art, literature and music. The monthlong unit concluded with a traditional fiesta, where the sombrerowearing children collectively gave a short presentation on Mexico, each reciting their memorized lines. The children also broke a pinata. Pictured, left to right, are children in Siobhan O’Connor’s class: Claudine DeHaas, Justine Alexander, Brian Doles, Maddie Chandler, Clement Ponsennet, Alex Graff and Joseph Salmon.
Meghan Erin Bender Selected for Membership
To Rho Beta Chapter
WESTFIELD – Meghan Erin Bender, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce F. Bender of Westfield, who is attending the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education Master’s program in Secondary Guidance Counseling, has been selected for membership in the Rho Beta Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, The Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society, International.
Meghan is a 1995 graduate of Westfield High School and a 1999 graduate of Bucknell University. CONTINUED ON PAGE 17
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