Elementary School

As part of the United Way Youth Venture program, 12 fourth-grade students at South Street Elementary School joined forces to help the homeless at Our Father’s House in Fitchburg.

The students orchestrated a school-wide collection of canned goods, food, hygiene products and other donations to put together care bags for the homeless, presenting their plan to a Youth Venture panel to do their part to help some of the 20,000 homeless people in the state.

In the presentation, the students highlighted several statistics about the homeless statewide including that a quarter of the homeless are kids and that there are 10,000 homeless veterans. Locally, about 900 people stayed at Our Father’s House last year, including 600 who visited for the first time.

The drive was competitive by grade in the K-4 school, with the classes that collected the most in each grade winning an extra recess on the last day of school.

Last week, South Street Principal Jon J. Thompson loaded up his car with more than 2,000 items collected and transported the donations to Our Father’s House — a shelter in Fitchburg.

Read more here.

Fourth-grade students at South Street Elementary School are planning to make a difference in their community.

As part of the United Way Youth Venture program, these students -- Ryan Anderson, Dorothy Chelsea Barnor, Dominick Berdeguer, Danica Boivin, Joniel Figueroa, Kimberly Gonzalez, Melissa Kendall, Jeremy LaFleur, Finnegan Magennis, Joan Mlinga and Madison Ward -- are joining forces to help the homeless at Our Father's House in Fitchburg.

They officially presented their heart-felt plan to a panel on Wednesday morning at South Street Elementary School.

"I am very proud of our South Street Youth Venture Group," South Street Principal Jon Thompson said. "They worked hard and are very passionate about helping the homeless within our community."

In helping the homeless, the students plan to make care bags because there are over 20,000 homeless people in the state, according to the students' presentation. The fourth-graders said they would also "like to make an impact on our homeless peers within our South Street community. We have the power to change that."

The plan centers around donating canned goods to the homeless so they don't starve. They will also provide the homeless with hygiene items so they can stay clean, and also provide cards -- for young and old -- to bring them cheer.

Read more here.

Music is in the air at South Street Elementary School.

For the first time, South Street is offering a band program to 37 students in the fourth grade.

"I was so excited for it and I knew they were excited for it, too," South Street Elementary School Music Teacher Mary Ellen Kazanjian said. "Music has always been a big part of my life, so I feel that it's important. It's a different way for them to be able to express themselves, a different skill for them to have that allows them to have confidence in themselves and to work with a group of people that maybe they don't work with necessarily because they are coming from different classes, so they are interacting with different kids in their grade.

Read more here and here.

Congratulations to South Street Elementary School students Aspin Barkley (1st place), Chelsea Barnor (2nd) and Juan Rivera Jr. (3rd) for placing in the top 3 at the annual Spelling Bee. What a great job by all the students! The Central Mass. Spelling Bee championship will be held on March 20. Good luck Aspin!

Congratulations to Reingold Elementary School students Braden Dow (1st place), Brian Jiang (2nd), and Gabrielle Abare (3rd) for placing in the top 3 in the annual Spelling Bee. Also a special thanks to Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale for attending the event. We appreciate the support!!! The Central Mass. Spelling Bee championship will be held on March 20. Good luck Braden!

Congratulations to Crocker Elementary School students Zachary Huckins (1st place), Angeli Deras (2nd), and Ariannie Hernandez (3rd) for placing in the top 3 at the annual Spelling Bee. The championship word was "exasperation." The Central Mass. Spelling Bee championship will be held on March 20. Good luck Zachary!

Students were smiling and sharing laughs with one another during lunch at Memorial Middle School on Friday.

As part of "Start With Hello Week" -- a national youth violence prevention program run by Sandy Hook Promise -- students at Memorial participated in "No One Eats Alone Day."

"We're always trying to teach kids to be kind," Memorial principal Fran Thomas said. "More important than anything else, be kind."

This was the first time Memorial has participated in the "Start With Hello" program, says Memorial psychologist Beth Foley.

"I think it went very well," Foley said. "It was important to explain the events of Sandy Hook and why this program came into existence. The students thought it was very exciting to be participating in events simultaneously with hundreds of other schools across the country. We scheduled activities for three days this year. I hope to expand it when we participate next year."

Read more here.

Since Ronald Reagan's second term, students have cast their ballots at Crocker Elementary School.

The outcome at the elementary school and the outcome at the elections booths on Tuesday -- with the exception of last year's presidential race -- rarely differ, according to organizer and teacher Debbie Jeffries.

"Sometimes we've even had the percentages work out the same," she said.

The students made their decision Monday after listening to brief statements about voting and democracy from many of the 17 candidates and politicians who attended the school-wide assembly.

What started as a college project became a 30-year tradition, according to Jeffries who is a teacher in the Title 1 program for first through fourth grade students.

Read more here.

The holidays are a time for giving and being kind to one another. At Reingold Elementary School in Fitchburg, students in the second and third grade have taken the act of being kind very seriously.

With the guidance of School Adjustment Counselor Sue Caron, students have been spreading acts of kindness at school and at home since the beginning of the school year.

They've taken it one step further recently by partaking in a "Kindness Challenge" and creating colorful cards for children that will be in the hospital over the holidays.

The cards will be mailed to the Chicago-based charitable organization called "Cards for Hospitalized Kids."

According to its website, Cards for Hospitalized Kids "spreads hope, joy and magic to hospitalized kids across America through uplifting, handmade cards."

Read more here.

It’s all about safety at Reingold Elementary School.

Twenty fourth-graders, who are members of the AAA School Safety Patrol program, had an end-of-term celebration in the library on Thursday with officers from the Fitchburg Police Department in an event dubbed, “Cupcakes with Cops.”

“We could not be prouder of this safety patrol,” said Reingold Elementary School Principal Martha Clark.

The safety patrol had a list of duties to follow during the term, including setting a good example and encouraging other students to also observe rules at all times, report for duty on time and with proper equipment, knowing and helping enforce all rules and regulations, reporting to classroom teachers, administrators and staff members as needed, and attending and participating in all patrol meetings and training sessions.

Fitchburg Police Chief Earnest Martineau, Sgt. John Maki and Patrol Officer/Community Engagement Officer Frederick Lake were on hand to meet and decorate cupcakes with the children after they received their certificates.