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posted: Mon, Jun 19th, 2017

They’re on the air! (sort of)

Staff members of the Sandshore Digital Dish, the school’s student-run newspaper, recently produced a newscast of its final edition. Recorded at the television studio at Mount Olive High School, the 14-minute video featured a look at the school-wide and grade-level activities that took place during May and early June.

The 23 budding broadcast journalists worked in teams and took turns sitting behind the anchor desk, reading their material from teleprompters. Fifth-graders Gabriella Harmon, Shubiksha Murali, and Isabella Pepe designed the graphics that accompanied the stories and wrote the segues that linked the stories together. About a dozen high school television students handled the production work behind the cameras.

"The experience gave our newspaper students an opportunity to take a deeper look into the field of communications and see what news reporting is all about,” said Patricia Mitchell, who serves as newspaper adviser along with Joanne Bosco. “It generated a great deal of interest in the field. And I can’t say enough about how wonderful the high school students were. They created a great work atmosphere. They made it light yet kept it very professional.”

The edited newscast was shared with the families of the student reporters after a screening and premiere party during the newspaper staff’s final meeting. Nicole Musarra, school principal, gave reporters pins to thank them for their efforts throughout the year in producing the four digital editions of the Digital Dish and the special video edition.

Girls on the Run

A group of Sandshore girls recently finished a non-competitive 5K run which culminated Girls on the Run, a national program for intermediate grade elementary girls that encourages positive emotional, social, mental, and physical development.

The students met Tuesdays and Thursdays afterschool from April to early June for classes that were part character education and part exercise. Taught by Sandshore teachers Joanne Bosco, Kelly Rogalsky, and Kit Thompson, each session began with a lesson or activity about a life skill such as building self-esteem, developing a healthy body image, managing conflict, or working as a team. It ended with running laps outside or in the gymnasium.

Core components of GOTR include understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork, and understanding how we connect with and shape the world. During the program, students share their own life experiences; that sharing helps the girls see that they all have common concerns and helps them build new friendships. 

“The girls always begin the program nervous and unsure what to expect,” said Ms. Rogalsky, team leader. “As the season goes on, they start to open up and their personalities really shine through. GOTR gives the students an opportunity to become more comfortable in their own skin, as well as make friends in other grade levels. In the two years I have done the program, I can really see the confidence boost that it gives each girl.”

The 5K run was held in Florham Park and brought together all the girls in the area who participated in GOTR during the spring. Crossing the finish line is a defining moment that allows the girls to experience the satisfaction of a major accomplishment and helps underscore the importance of fitness and healthy choices.

For more info on Girls on the Run, go to: https://www.girlsontherun.org

Understanding the meaning of Memorial Day

In a school-wide Memorial Day recognition that mixed poignancy, patriotism, and information, Sandshore honored the men and women of who gave their lives fighting for our country. The highlight was a presentation to the school by Cub Scout Pack #62 of an American flag that flew over a base in Afghanistan. The same flag will be raised and fly over Sandshore on Flag Day.

Guidance counselor Julie Kester and teacher Dave Misener, coordinators of the recognition program, reached out to the community to help make the day memorable for students. 

The Mount Olive Police Department provided a uniformed honor guard. Carrying two ceremonial rifles and the state and American flag, the honor guard marched into the gym and brought the audience to attention. The four members then led a moment of silence, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner. 

“The honor guard brought gave the assembly a sense of importance and seriousness,” said Mr. Misener. “Here were people in uniform in service to their communities. It said to the kids that uniforms aren’t worn to look cool, they’re worn to show that these are people who do something important. Their job is to protect.”

Flags of every branch of the military, provided by the town for use at Turkey Brook, were held by fifth-grade flagbearers during the ceremony.

Mrs. Kester and Mr. Misener then delivered a Powerpoint presentation about Memorial Day and its orgins before inviting several students to read essays they had written about the personal meaning of the holiday to them. Students described family members and friends who served, many who gave their lives while fulfilling their duties. Mr. Misener also read a short piece he had written.

"Memorial Day took on a whole different meaning to me when my son [Jason] became a Marine and he had to deal with the loss of his brothers in arms,” he said after the assembly. “It changed the whole family. Jason wears on his wrist every day a bracelet with the names of his friends that were lost in combat."

The recognition program lasted for more than an hour, with the honor guard and personal narratives giving the proceedings a solemnity and seriousness not typically found in elementary school assemblies. By the silence in the gymnasium for the duration of the program, it was clear that the students took note. 

“We wanted kids to remember the real meaning of Memorial Day among all the sales and backyard barbecues,” said Mrs. Kester. “I think by the end of the program, we had all learned something and reconnected to the holiday in a special way.”

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Sandshore School
498 Sandshore Rd Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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Phone: 973.691.4003 Fax: 973.691.4027

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