Archive for January, 2012

A Wonderful Day to Remember

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Yesterday was a wonderful day to remember, not only for those who received, but for those who gave. Kimarie Lynn, our amazing Fifth Grade teacher, shares the experience:
“Earlier in the year I discussed with our Room Parents some ideas for our class Christmas party. We thought about a book exchange, then explored the idea of giving books to economically disadvantaged children. My sister-in-law teaches 30 Kindergarteners at a Title I school in Long Beach, and so I talked with her.”Fifth Graders with Backpacks
“She is the only teacher in this class; her own aunt comes two days each week to provide much-needed assistance in the class. I learned that what the children really need are school supplies to take home, so the parents of our Fifth Graders contributed and purchased a backpack for each child, pencils, erasers, little pencil sharpeners, two activity books, scissors, glue sticks, and a pillow pet for each.”
“As we walked into the kindergarten class in Long Beach on Wednesday, our students were so excited, and so were the Kindergarteners! Each Fifth Grader had a backpack for one of the Kindergarteners, and watching them share and communicate was really quite emotional.Enjoying the Backpacks There were squeals of delight and hugs from the little ones, and we heard, ‘This is the best day of my life,’ or ‘This is better than Christmas!’ as the new backpacks were opened. They read and worked together in their activity books – each enjoying their new friend.”
“Elisabeth Lesser had contacted Dr. Martha Bernadett of the Molina Foundation, and their people brought four beautiful books for each child. Plus this foundation will also be bringing books for the entire school.Reading with New Friends Next we all enjoyed a delicious Subway lunch generously donated by our Martinez family. After playing together on the playground, we took a group photo to capture the moment, and then we had to leave.”
“I was so proud of our students as we watched them interact in the real world. None of them were smug or aloof. Rather, they understood; they were empathetic and genuine, and they knew they were bringing joy to others.”

A Lot More Than Song and Dance!

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Since the rehearsals are in progress for our January Assembly and the Fifth Grade’s “History Comes Alive!” play, we would like to focus this blog on one of the supremely talented teachers in our Theater Arts program: Deborah Wilcox! One mother recently shared, “My child wanted nothing to do with performing arts when he came to PHS. Now, with Mrs. Wilcox, it’s one of his favorite activities!” Here’s Miss Deb sharing with you her focus and work in this field:50th Anniversary Celebration
“The story goes that my parents took me to a wedding reception with a live band when I was two. The music started, and I was off – dancing the whole time! When I came home from elementary school each day, I watched and performed along with all the dance party shows, learning the latest crazes. At age thirteen, I started dance lessons and soon worked in the office of the studio plus taught preschoolers dance each Saturday. I had various teachers and mentors throughout high school and college, then auditioned and performed on stage and in variety shows – acting, singing, and dancing in theater, television, and film on a professional basis.”
“One summer our daughter was in a show in Long Beach, and I met Fifth Grader teacher, Kimarie Lynn. She had decided to direct a musical here at Peninsula Heritage, and I helped her with choreography. I met Mrs. Cailler, and she invited me to assist the PHS teachers as they presented their Character Qualities assemblies. I’ve been here ever since!”October Assembly “I see our PHS students gaining an appreciation of all the arts as they participate in our theater arts program. We realize the benefits of our PHS Character Qualities as we study and learn the arts. Children discover their individuality and build self-confidence. Family Day AssemblyOur performances require Perseverance in rehearsals, Respect and Caring in working with the other artists, Self-Control in learning new dances, a positive Attitude if we have challenges, and Gratitude for all the ways in which the arts are appreciated and experienced in life!”
“I am just one part of the PHS Performing Arts program – there’s Mr. Miller with music and Danielle Standard with the visual arts – together we produce the Character Qualities assemblies that enable the students to display their talents. Thanks to Mrs. Cailler’s vision of educating “the whole child,” I keep learning and growing as a person and artist with the help and inspiration of all the PHS students, parents, staff, and faculty.”

Admissions Outreach

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

We were graciously invited to Town & Country Nursery School in Palos Verdes Estates on Wednesday of this week, to share our Kindergarten program with their interested pre-school parents. Along with representatives from other private schools in the area, we were warmly welcomed by the school’s director, Miss Romi, and her colleague, Miss Toni. Our PHS Director of Admissions, Debbie Schwartz, and our Kindergarten teacher, Christy Burden, gave a wonderful overview of Peninsula Heritage’s program and then answered questions from the parents.Christy Burden & Kindergarteners
“It was lovely seeing all the young, eager moms and dad!” reports Debbie. “Their questions were thoughtful, light-hearted, and very age-appropriate. We hope to see many of these parents visiting our campus.”
Christy Burden observes, “It was nice to help guide parents in their decision-making regarding their children’s educational future, and it was a great way to meet and talk with prospective parents prior to their visiting our classrooms.”
We are now right in the midst of our PHS admissions season, and parents may come and visit us on our Discovery Mornings, Jan. 19 or Feb. 23. In addition, Debbie Schwartz can arrange for a lovely individual tour that best suits the schedules and interests of prospective parents. And please remember to mention our dear school to your friends…we would love to welcome them.

Literary Lunch Bunch

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Our indefatigable Terry Metzenbaum, Fifth Grade Teacher Support and PHS Student Council Advisor, also hosts our school’s Literary Lunch Bunch. Terry enthusiastically shares the beautiful experience she provides for our students:
“Literary Lunch Bunch is open to all students from First through Sixth Grade. We currently have about 30 children who share a love of literature and enjoy meeting together during lunchtime each Wednesday and Friday. This is what they choose to do – it’s on their own time during lunch recess. We gather in the School Library at noon and begin by reviewing what we read the previous time. This portion is very interactive, with students recollecting the various elements of the plot and character actions. I also engage the children in predicting what might occur next in the story. These reading skills can be developed at a young age and are used to enjoy literature throughout one’s life. We also provide time for the children at the conclusion of the reading to run and play outside before the lunch recess ends, and of course they have the other three days of the week to do the same. It’s a nice balance.”Terry Metzenbaum & Literary Lunch Bunch
“This year, I am reading the classics to the children, using the abridged children’s versions. This builds a foundation of literary knowledge among these students. We completed The Story of Dr. Dolittle prior to Winter Break; we are currently reading Treasure Island, and next will be Black Beauty followed by The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. It takes about a month to complete each volume, and some children come for just the stories they like, while others come for all the books.”
“It’s very calming for the children in the middle of their day, as I read and they are eating their lunch. They may sit at the desks in the library or on the floor – wherever they wish. I only have one rule: no one talks during the reading. The children are extremely respectful, as they are so interested in the content of the book. If an advanced vocabulary word comes up, I discuss synonyms so the children grasp the meaning while also expanding their word knowledge. This setting also provides a cross-age experience for students who share a common love of reading and can follow this with conversations and social interactions outside the Library. The only complaint I hear from the children, which is actually a great compliment, is ‘Can’t we do this more than twice a week?’”

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