Thursday, June 26, 2014

End of the Year Message from Chancellor Fariña

Dear Families,

What an energizing school year! Your children have worked hard and accomplished a lot, and I want to thank you for the joy they have brought to our classrooms. As your children head off for summer break, I have one request: please encourage ongoing engagement and learning. This is a great opportunity to continue your child’s education. Doing enriching, educational activities during the summer is fun and enables kids to sharpen their academic skills, priming them for success in the next school year.

Here are three simple ways to keep the learning going:

  • Have your children read at least 10 books over the summer. Help them select a mix of fiction and non-fiction in areas of their interest, and engage them in discussions about what they’ve read. This teaches kids how to think critically and confidently express their opinions, skills that will serve them throughout their lives. Promoting literacy and language skills is one of the most important ways parents can support their kids.
  • Take your kids to at least one cultural institution or live performance. We are privileged to live in a city with amazing theater, dance, music, and an abundance of museums—from art and design to science and history. These are the kinds of experiences that both inspire kids and cultivate high-level learning. Many institutions offer free days or times. For more, see the NYC Culture Calendar.
  • Involve your children in community service. Giving back to the community is not only rewarding, it helps kids become civic-minded citizens. There are a wide range of opportunities, from volunteering at a compost site or helping to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy, to assisting at a thrift shop. To find ways to serve your fellow New Yorkers, visit NYC Service.
Finally, please give your children time and space to just hang out. As I tell my grandchildren, learning is important but it’s equally important to enjoy being a kid.

Have a wonderful summer.

I look forward to welcoming you to an exciting new school year in my favorite month of the year, September!



Saturday, June 21, 2014

Talent & Fashion Show - 2014

On Friday, June 20th, the talented students of PS4 celebrated the 8th annual Talent & Fashion Show!  "This is a special year", announced host Mr. Harris at the start of the show.  "This year we have comedy, magic, martial arts and dub stepping!  These are acts that you've never seen on our stage!".  With a special ballet performance and fashion show from Elizabeth's Modeling Talent Studio, this show was the best show ever!

Principal White-Jones would like to thank:
  • all student performers
  • Assistant Principals Ms. Martin, Mr. Batiz, and Ms. Rivers
  • Elizabeth Rosario, Keila Morales and the models from Elizabeth's Modeling Talent Studio
  • Talent Show Director, Ms. Lennon
  • Talent Show Host, Mr. Harris
  • Sound Engineer, Mr. Means
  • Pianist, Mr. Theodore
  • Backstage Manager, Ms. McLeod
  • Auditorium Manager, Mr. Nycz
  • Refreshments, Morena and Denise Nunez
Special thanks to all the Talent Show Coaches, parents, teachers and PS4 staff that made this a successful event!  For more information about Elizabeth's Modeling Talent Studio, click here!  Check out the slideshow below, to see photos and videos of Talent & Fashion Show 2014!

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Congratulations Graduates!

Congratulations to the Class of 2014! Woohoo! Fordham University hosted our graduation ceremony featuring the Ellington Poets, student musicians from the Midori & Friends Guitar Program (with Nick Russo) and two songs from the entire graduation class! Well done, girls and boys! We are so proud of you

For some great 5th grade memories from the 2013-2014 school year, take a look at the slideshow below!

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Capoeira Program - 2014 (VIDEO)

Students in 3rd and 4th grade have been practicing the Afro-Brazilian art from of Capoeira!  Capoeira blends dance, martial arts and acrobatics into one beautiful art like no other.  This martial art was created by Africans brought to Brazil from many parts of Africa as a means of self-protection and as a way to fight for their own freedom.  During its early years, Capoeira was disguised as a dance in order to be practiced openly.  Today, Capoeira is widely known and practiced in more than 100 nations around the world.

Congratulations to the twenty boys and girls that participated in this year's Capoeira program!  Special thanks to Master Jelon, Chuvisco, Sabia, and all the instructors from NY Capoeira Luanda that visited PS4.  Click here to see videos of those talented instructors!  Very special thanks to Patty Bryan, Director of Educational Programs at Dance Brazil, for continuing to support PS4.  Take a look at the slide show below and watch a video of the final performance!

Capoeira Program 2014 - Part 1 from PS4M on Vimeo.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Chinese Dance Residency

Students in Ms. Santana's class (321) and Ms. Marino & Ms. Barnosky's class (302) were taught a form of Chinese dance that broadened their dance literacy and allowed them to develop an understanding of the historical and cultural connection in dance.  For five weeks, students learned Chinese folk dance languages, techniques and incorporated martial arts. Throughout the residency, taught by Ling Tang from the NY Chinese Cultural Center, students improved their self-control, refined their gross motor and listening skills.  "My students really loved this program", said Ms. Santana.  "The are so focused on each movement and learned a lot about traditional Chinese culture".

Special thanks to Makalina Gallagher, LOTUS Music & Dance Arts in Education Coordinator, and Janie Wong, Operations Manager at the New York Chinese Cultural Center, for bringing this great program to the students of PS4!  See the photo collage below to see highlights of each class and videos from the final performance!

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Special Thanks to the Jazz Foundation

At a recent performance, PS4 presented The Jazz Foundation (represented by Will Glass) with a token of appreciation for the many legends in jazz that have come to the school.  "Thank you for keeping music in our school", said Ms. Lennon. "We appreciate all that you have done".

Take a look at our thank you card to the foundation below, to see photos and a video!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Ellington Poets Perfrom at NYU (VIDEO)

The Ellington Poets perform at the 2014 No Place for Hate Recognition Ceremony.
No place for Hate is an initiative of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) that offers students educators, administrators and family members the opportunity to work together to combat prejudice and enhance a culture of respect in their schools and communities.  Recently, the ADL awarded the seventy-six schools that participated in this anti-bullying initiative.

This year,  The Ellington Poets performed in front of an audience of students, teachers and honored guests at NYU's Performing Arts Theater!  Under the direction of Mr. Cantu, PS4's Dean and ESL teacher, the talented group of 4th and 5th grade poets were chosen to perform their rendition of Imagine by John Lennon.  Congratulations, boys and girls!

Take a look at the video below or click here to see a video of their entire performance!  Special thanks to the ADL's Associate Education Director and No Place For Hate Coordinator, Jason Sirois for his continued support of PS4.  We love you too, Mr. Jason!

The Ellington Poets with Mr. Cantu at NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts Center following their performance.

Ellington Poets from PS4M on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals for Class 482

Each year, District 75 holds an Adaptive Physical Education Parade and Sports Day!  This event is specifically for students with disabilities and is very similar to the Special Olympics.  Teams presented banners, a torch was lit to symbolize the beginning of the games and all students received ribbons and medals!  Students in Ms. Torres class (482) were able to compete in games against students from other schools.  Some of the events were the standing long jump, softball throw, and the 50 meter run.  "I'm very proud of my students", said Ms. Torres.  "They showed their ability to physically compete".  Most of the students in her class, received gold, silver and bronze medals!  Congratulations, class 482!

For more information about the Department of Education's Adaptive Physical Education Program, click here!  Take a look at some photos and videos (taken by Ms. Torres) in the collage below!

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