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Birch School Receives Anonymous Donation To Benefit Music Program

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The Birch School music department extends its sincerest gratitude to two anonymous parents who graciously donated instruments for students to enjoy. The parents of two former students in Paul Graham’s band class recently donated one electric and one acoustic guitar, both with stands and amplifiers. Mr. Graham said that the new additions have helped to expand the opportunities for his sixth grade students. 

“It was so thoughtful and generous of them,” he said of the anonymous donors. “The students have a field day picking up and playing these instruments every day!” 


‘Merrick Stars’ Honored For Contribution To Community

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The Merrick Union Free School District Board of Education was pleased to acknowledge Birch and Chatterton Elementary School students Jason B., James C., Max M., Adam S. and Alex S. as “Merrick Stars.”

In December, as members of Cub Scout Pack 206, these students collected nearly 500 winter coats to donate to local Merrick families in need and charities across Long Island. 

Board of Education President Nancy Kaplan commended the children for their “exceptional contribution” to the Merrick community and to those in need. 

Each of the students received a certificate in honor of that contribution, as well as a “Merrick Star” T-shirt to wear with pride.

“We are so very proud of you, and many families across Long island will be warm this winter because of your efforts and what you have done for them,” Chatterton School Principal Dana Bermas said. “You truly are Merrick Stars.”


Chatterton and Birch Schools Kick Off PARP

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Students at Birch and Chatterton Elementary Schools are getting their read on as part of the schools’ “Pick a Reading Partner,” or PARP, initiatives. Each year, the national, PTA sponsored program encourages a love of reading in students and, in turn, helps parents and caregivers become more active reading partners with their children. 

At Birch, students are celebrating PARP with a centralized theme of “Birch readers are warriors.” From Jan. 15-Feb. 1, there will be several themed days, offering students an opportunity to dress up, as well as reading activities. 

In keeping with the theme, the school has partnered with Coleman Country Day Camp in Freeport, to film videos from American Ninja Warrior greats, Joe Moravsky and Daniel Gil, who will challenge students to build their “reading muscles.”

To enhance the PARP experience this year, students will also have the opportunity to use classic American Ninja Warrior equipment that the PTA graciously purchased for the school last year.  A series of lessons using the equipment have been planned to give the children their own American Ninja Warrior experience.

Additionally, students will enjoy a virtual visit from famous author, Dan Gutman, as he reads aloud one of his books and talks about his experiences as an author.

At Chatterton, students enjoyed a virtual, school-wide assembly on Jan.14 to kick off its PARP theme: “Reading is our superpower.” Principal Dana Bermas and Assistant Principal Michael DeLuca read aloud, “Thank You, Mr. Falker,” by Patricia Polacco, which 
tells the story of a young Patricia Polacco, who learned to read thanks to the help of a special teacher and “everyday superhero.” 

The book’s central message of perseverance will be highlighted throughout the week at Chatterton as students honor every day heroes, such as teachers, custodians, caregivers and even themselves.

Throughout the week, students will also have the opportunity to dress up as their favorite superheroes, and participate in several school-wide PARP activities, including “Virtual Bingo for Books.”

“Our PARP theme for this year is superheroes,” Mrs. Bermas said. “This seems fitting more than ever. We wanted to highlight how all of our teachers, teaching assistants, custodians and all staff members are heroes!”



A lesson on PPE In the Age of COVID-19

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Now, more than ever, it’s crucial for children to understand the importance of personal hygiene. That’s why, Levy Lakeside Elementary School physical education teacher Jen Barba recently visited Mrs. Klein and Mr. Wolf’s first grade classroom to present a lesson on personal protective equipment.

 To explain the importance of using PPE properly, and the proper hand-washing and sanitizing of students’ hands, Ms. Barba read “A Mask is For Me,” by Kristen DeLeon and “Do Not Let Your Dragon Spread Germs,” by Julie Gassman.

Students then created their own "Positive PPE Habit Cards,” which they safely shared with their classmates. “It was a great lesson that the students truly enjoyed,” Mr. Wolf said. 


Birch Music Students Create Rhythmic Patterns

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Second graders in Mr. Cabeza's class at Birch School are working together to create their own rhythmic patterns through the Quaver Music Program. Great job!