First Community Project Expo Inspires
On May 13, Pelham Middle School held its first Eighth Grade IB-MYP Community Project Expo Night. This event, held in the MS Gym, gave parents and community members an opportunity to hear directly from eighth graders about the projects that they worked on all year. The Community Project is an important element of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme and serves as an authentic learning experience and capstone project. Among the incredibly exciting projects that were on display were creating a bee garden, collecting teen clothing for “The Sharing Shelf,” creating murals in the sixth and seventh grade hallways to raise students’ self-esteem, combating cyberbullying and promoting internet safety, spreading awareness about teen drug prevention and raising money for a drug rehabilitation center, building a “Little Free Library” book exchange, collecting soccer equipment to send to third world countries, conducting surveys and research on improving pedestrian safety in Pelham, helping to raise funds to support victims of domestic violence, raising money for animal shelters, and volunteering at the CSA Soup Kitchen and raising money and awareness about homelessness, among others. We were so proud to see how well our students used the communication skills they have developed in middle school in order to discuss their projects and advocate for causes close to their hearts.
Rosalind Wiseman Visits Pelham
Pelham Middle School joined forces with Pelham Together and the Pelham Educational Foundation to bring Rosalind Wiseman to our students and community in order to pursue our goal of promoting the positive social, emotional, and ethical development of our students. Ms. Wiseman is the best-selling author of the books Queen Bees & Wannabes (the inspiration behind the movie and Broadway show Mean Girls), and Masterminds & Wingmen, as well as the curriculum, Owning Up. She is also a frequent guest on national television and speaker all over the country on the topics of teen culture, bullying, ethical leadership, and the use of social media. Ms. Wiseman met with a group of sixth and seventh grade “student ambassadors” as well as conducted a workshop for teachers and an evening presentation for the community at the Manor Club. We look forward to following Ms. Wiseman’s leadership as we work to improve school culture and civility and increase student well-being and achievement.
Students Line Up to “Pie a Teacher”
Pelham Middle School teachers (and our principal, Ms. Sabia!) “took it on the chin” for a good cause. As part of their eighth grade community project, Larisa Breskin, Robbie Shepherd, and Audrey Leung held a “Pie a Teacher fundraiser in which students donated money for the privilege of pelting their teachers with whipped cream “pies.” While our staff came prepared with plastic bags and goggles, they were no match for our students! The event was a fundraiser for Pencils of Promise, a global community dedicated to providing a quality education for all, including building safe schools, supporting teachers with innovative resources, and providing students with health programming in order to increase education outcomes. Messy fun, for a great cause, was had by all.
8th Grade Mural is Complete
Each year, our eighth grade class collaborates on a mural as a commemoration of their time here and a gift to future generations of students and teachers. This year, since the new mural was going to decorate the main office, the eighth grade mural committee took a different approach. In this case, Ms. Sabia and Mr. Llewellyn, along with Ms. DeBartolo, Ms. Bugoni, and Ms. Rossi in the main office, acted as “clients” for the design project, with the students the designers for hire. Students then presented a series of proposals for the mural, which Ms. Schwarz shared with the clients who voted on the winning design, one that embodies our character education goals and brightens our front office. The finished mural was completed and mounted in June, just in time for the end of the school.
International Day Celebration
As part of their community project, eighth graders Mary Kate Boldyrev,, Natalie Nakayama, Lauren Rocco, and Ava Paolucci created an “International Day” Celebration, at which students had the opportunity to taste dishes from around the world (created by our students and their families) experience songs, skits, and displays from our various language clubs and teachers, and even take a turn hitting a piñata out on the field. Students had the opportunity to learn about the many cultures represented in Pelham, a goal that fits in very well with the focus on international-mindedness which is part of the IB Middle Years Programme.
Seventh Graders Donate a Well
The seventh graders have finally done it! After three years “walking for water” inspired by Linda Sue Park’s novel A Long Walk to Water, which they read in English class, students have raised the $15,000 they need to donate a well for a village in South Sudan. The well will be donated through the organization Water for South Sudan, which “delivers direct, transformative and sustainable quality-of-life service to the people of South Sudan by efficiently providing access to clean, safe water and improving hygiene and sanitation practices in areas of great need.” Water for South Sudan was founded by former “Lost Boy” of Sudan Salva Dut in 2003 in Rochester, NY. To date, the organization has drilled over 350 wells, each of which pumps approximately 1,800 gallons of water per day and serves anywhere from 500 to 1000 people. We are very proud of our students and can’t wait to hear about the well we have built and the help it will provide to so many people. Our students are truly learning to think globally and create a better world through, in the words of the IB, their “shared guardianship of the planet.”
S.T.E.A.M. Club News
In April, fifteen middle school students from Pelham Middle School's S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) Research Club competed in the Tri-County Science Fair at White Plains High School. Two students won second place in the category they did their research and project on. Leah Sherbanski's project “Usage of Thermal Imaging to Detect Musculoskeletal Ailments” won second place in the Health and Medicine category, and Irene Basu's project “The War Against the Greatest Germ Sanctuary: Which Brand Will Win?” won second place in the category of Biology. In addition, Leah won “top 10” for the overall competition and the chance to progress on to the national level of the competition, the Broadcom MASTERS.
Seventh Graders Visit Italian Cultural Center
On April 12, the seventh grade Italian classes participated in two workshops at the Westchester Italian Cultural Center in Tuckahoe. They learned about the history of Venetian masks and then created their own masks. Students also participated in a pasta-making class led by the Cultural Center's resident chef, and made cavatelli to enjoy for lunch. The Westchester Italian Cultural Center’s school and community group visits are designed in collaboration with teachers, community organizers, students and families to create an active learning environment. Our students’ experience there helped bring their learning to life and encourage an appreciation of the culture and language they have been studying in class.
World Language National Exam Award Winners
This spring, we were proud to hear of all of our students who demonstrated excellent performance on their National World Language Exams. They were, in Spanish: Olivia Polsky, Aadita Roy, Ryan Tanaka, Riana Annbinu, Isaac Lief, Mary Boldyrev, Katherine D’Angelo, Naiya Gonzales-Breen, Max Kuehlwein, Julia Meyerson, Daniel O’Keefe, Tiana Richardson, Michael Sample, Leah Sherbansky, Isabella Rosado, Shreyas Basavatia, Delaney Brown, Teddy Dunn, Eleanor Neu, Jonah Sherbansky, Kaitlin Sheehy, and Brianna Mory; in French: Amelia Des Marais, Samantha Gregware, Vivian Guo, Connor Normoyle, Genevieve Pereira, Laura Shelton, Josephine Oliver, Nathalie Brown, Victor Chang, Sophia Cipolla, Tobias Frei, Aoife Jeffries, Abagail Miyake, Natalie Nakayama, Brian Ndoka, Grace Rainero, Jaya Seecharran, Audrey Levenson, and Adam Wolf; in Italian: Sienna Giuseppi, Charlie Pilla, and Lauren Ulto; and in Latin: Matthew Michailoff, Emily Rackley, Scarlett Kaplan, Brandon DeRogatis, Soroush Rassi, Spencer Conrad, Andrew Scott, Katie Brandler, Sean Condon, Eli Baccei, Serena Li, Larisa Breskin, Sorany Campo, Claire Pachuta, Ian Urquhart, and Adina Sasson. In addition Emma Van Praagh, who is an eighth grader taking level 2 high school Spanish, placed in the 99th percentile in the metropolitan area in the Spanish National Exam and was honored at a special awards ceremony held by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. She is pictured along with her teacher Ms. Snyder and high school student Lucas Facciuto. Also pictured are three of our Latin award winners, Larisa Breskin, Adina Sasson, and Clare Pachuta, wearing their medals at our International Day. We are very proud of all of our language scholars!
National History Day Competitors
The following students were chosen by the 6-12 Social Studies department to represent Pelham Middle School at the National History Day Lower Hudson Regional Competition on Saturday, March 9 at St. Thomas Aquinas College: Audrey Levenson, Leila Brady, Kristen Agbenyega, Robbie Shepherd, Magnus Adams, Bruno Hochberg, Adam Wolf, Victor Chang, Andy Wang, Bella Rosado, Katie Brandler, Sorany Campo, Audrey Leung, Larisa Breskin, Dorentina Lucgjonaj, Kaitlin Sheehy, Katie Prisco, Grace Colkin, Isabella Fauber, Sara Tapogna, Julie Meyerson, and Adina Sasson. Congratulations to all our history scholars!