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Learning about the military and NJ’s past
Retired Army Colonel Warren J. Curd recently delivered a presentation to the fourth grade on the U.S. military. While it was nearly two weeks after Veterans Day, the students didn’t seem to mind. Colonel Curd kept the kids enraptured with discussions on the five branches of the military, the differences between Veterans Day and Memorial Day, U.S. flag history, and proper flag etiquette.
The core of the colonel’s presentation, though, focused on New Jersey’s role in the American Revolution and the crucial part our area played in the nation’s fight for independence. After winning major battles against the British army in Trenton, the Continental Army spent the winter of 1777 (and also 1779-80) in Morristown. The students learned too that New Jersey was the site of more battles against the British than any other state and was known as the Crossroads of the Revolution.
The trip back in time fit perfectly into the social fourth grade social studies curriculum, which includes the study of New Jersey history. The students soaked in the knowledge as they heard stories of a way of life far removed from what they know.
The colonel also showed off an artifact from his military history collection: a non-functioning rifle nearly 200 years old. The long flintlock, crafted around 1816 and later modified for use in the Civil War, had a complex loading method and limited effective range. Pouring in gunpowder then using a ramrod to squash down the metal ball and wadding is a far cry from the simple magazine loading of today’s rifles that the kids are accustomed to seeing in action movies and video games.
Colonel Curd, the father of fourth grade teacher Rebecca Hopler, served in Vietnam and taught ROTC at Seton Hall. He is the recipient of numerous medals, awards, and decorations including the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit.
Tinc Road brightens the holidays
Two outreach programs are underway here at Tinc Road that will help make the season jolly for those in need. The annual food drive and holiday giving tree both began on November 2 and run through mid-December.
The holiday food drive collects canned and boxed products to benefit the Mount Olive food pantry at Christ Episcopal Church in Budd Lake. Parents, students, and staff members are encouraged to contribute items used for a traditional holiday meal and drop them off in the nurse’s office. Suggested items include:
Canned cranberry sauce
Canned yams/sweet potatoes
Boxed pie crusts
Canned pie fillings
As of November 19, nearly 200 pounds of food has already been collected and delivered to the pantry.
“The response has been overwhelming,” said Geri-Lynn Sullivan, school nurse. “But there are so many needy families out there. I hope the generosity and support continue with the same level of enthusiasm we’ve seen so far.”
The giving tree, another Tinc Road tradition, collects toiletries for the church food panty and ShopRite gift cards for families within the school community that could use a helping hand this holiday season. PTA members staffed a table during parent/teacher conferences held in early November to encourage parents to take part.
Teacher Mary Hund has incorporated the real-life activity of weighing the collections into the instructional process. Over the course of the six-week drive, a group of her students use the mobile scale from the nurse’s office to weigh the items each week and will be using the weight figures in math activities such as creating graphs and pie charts. (To get the most accurate measurements on a scale with a weighing surface designed for two feet instead of large boxes, the donated products are placed in bags and weighed with students holding them. The necessary calculations are then made to determine the actual weights of the goods.)
Ms. Sullivan and Jaimie Swingle, interim guidance counselor, coordinate the food drive. Donations should be in by December 11.
PTA member Jill Bastarrika coordinates the giving tree, which ends on December 18.
|Teacher Mary Hund with a group of her students in charge of weighing donated items|