January 12, 2018

Friday afternoon a flash mob of 7 and 8 year olds took the front office by storm, bursting into a choral reading of portions of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.  The children were from Caren Whaley's 2nd grade class.  Vera and Declan led off together:  I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed...  Logan picked up, solo voce:  I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.  19 voices joined in unison:  I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.  And on from there, every child reading his or her part.  (Many had memorized their lines.)  

In and of itself this was a powerful moment for students--and for us adults hearing King's magnificent, iconic words uttered with strength and sincerity by children.  And there's a back story, or, in this case, a back "study" that transpired over the past two weeks.  
Mrs. Whaley chose Martin Luther King, Jr. to kick off a new biography unit.  She introduced portions of King's speech as the "Reading Warm Up," a daily routine when the whole class tackles a single text and, in the process, learns fluency, vocabulary, expression and, in this case, history, civics and geography.  She chose two "mentor texts" for children to contrast and compare:  Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport and Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King by Jean Marzollo.  Add in class discussions about human rights, diversity and tolerance, and a viewing of King's actual 1963 speech during the March on Washington, and you've got a timely, relevant, inspiring lesson that covers all bases.  Mrs. Whaley's students enthusiastically "posed hands" for a group photo, symbolizing their unity.  All together now:  From every mountainside, let freedom ring...  Free at last!  Free at last!  Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Haven Helpers:  Mac n' Cheese, Please!
3rd graders are our Haven Helpers during the month of January. The main collection item is Macaroni & Cheese.  There are collection bins in the 3rd grade classrooms, as well as in our front lobby.  Please mark your "To Do" list and contribute if you are able.   During the December concerts, we collected a total of 261 pounds of soup and 40 pounds of toiletries.  Thank you for your support!

Take Extra Caution in the Traffic Circle
With the elements bearing down on us--snow, ice, rain, bracing cold--and with a giant plowed snow mountain in the center of our traffic circle, there are added challenges for drivers and pedestrians alike during morning and afternoon drop-off/pick-up.  Please take extra care and keep an eye out for children who are more liable than usual to slip, slid and fall.  Safety reminder:  Grown-ups, please stay in cars in the traffic circle to help ensure smooth progression of vehicles. 

Parent Volunteers Needed: Wednesday Whaleback Skiing

Wednesday skiing/snowboarding at Whaleback Mountain has begun!  Whaleback is still seeking several parent volunteers to arrive at the close of school (1:45PM) to help with taking attendance and getting children on the bus.  Contact Principal Sjostrom if you are interested and available. 

Timeliness is Next to... 
Timeliness may or may not be next to godliness, but it sure can make a huge positive difference in a child's school day.  54 students, more than 10% of our school population, have been late 10 or more times this year!  (This is excluding lateness due to late buses, doctor's appointments and the like.)  Please add the following resolution to your new year's list:  "I will plan accordingly to get my child to school on time -- or ahead of time -- so that he or she can ease into the day, stress-free, and enjoy some casual conversations with friends."  You'll reduce teachers' stress levels too:  when children arrive on time, classes glide into their morning welcomes and routines without interruption.  Thank you!

Ray School Art on Display
Ray School artists continue to brighten up Hanover during the month of January.  Artwork can be found in the Children's section of the Howe Library
(go upstairs to view work by Hanover High School students too).  More artwork is on display at the SAU#70 offices in the Hanover High School building.  Thank you to Rick Lemay and Mascoma Savings Bank for the terrific job hanging student artwork during the month of December at the Hanover branch.

News Literacy Project
On Monday February 5 at 5pm, Alan C. Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the founder and CEO of the News Literacy Project, will be discussing “The Case for News Literacy” at the Neukom Institute of Computational Science, Dartmouth - Donoho Colloquium.  The Colloquium will be held in Moore Hall, Filene Auditorium.  Free and open to the public with a Q&A and reception to follow.  Questions?  
More information here.  Email: Christine.E.Alberga@dartmouth.edu