Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Canned Food Drive

Did you know that nearly 1.4 million New Yorkers struggle with hunger, including close to one in four New York City Children?!  Since December 12th, Student Government Members have encouraged their classmates in grades 3, 4 and 5 to donate canned food for hungry New Yorkers.  This year, City Harvest will rescue 55 million pounds of food and deliver it to 500 soup kitchens, food pantries and other community food programs throughout New York City.

Student Government Member Jaybrian, from class 520, packs up all donation in the lobby.
In total, our school has collected 172 cans of food, 26 boxes of cereal and macaroni and cheese, and 25 bags or rice to donate to hungry New Yorkers.  Some of our donations will go to City Harvest. The rest of our donations will stock shelves on our new food pantry here at PS4!  Principal Stevens will give us more details about this important initiative will come next month.

Student Government member Maria, from class 520, counts the donations of canned food.
Congratulations to PS4's Student Government Organization for a second successful service-learning project! With their leadership,we collecting more than 225 pounds of food to donate to hungry New Yorkers.  Our next service-learning project will focus on those individuals living in shelters.  (Photos taken by Jaylen C.)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Student Government Organization Raises $500

Our school has completed the challenge of helping The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society find cures for blood cancer! Student Government members from 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes encouraged their classmates to donate money to specifically support children living with cancer. Thanks to all of the contributions from PS4 and schools all over the United States, patients will be able to go beyond surviving and live a long and happy life.

Student Government Organization members count the donations from students in their class.
At a recent meeting, student-leaders completed the campaign by counting the many boxes of change. Although donations are still being collected.  As of January 9, 2016, $521.04 has been collected from upper-grade classes.  A special congratulations to students in Dr. Thomas's class who donated $101.41!  Special thanks to Madeleine Hamingson, Student Series Campaign Assistant, from LLS for attending one of our Student Government meetings and talking to our scholars about her organization.  For more information about LLS, click here!

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Book Fair Is Here!

The library is transformed into a book fair.
You are invited to attend our winter book fair from Tuesday, December 13 to Friday, December 16! Teachers will announce the day and time that classes will be visiting our library that has been transformed into a Scholastic Book Fair! The schedule will also be posted on the library door and on the counter in the main office. Contact Ms. Shlansky (Literacy Teacher) or Denise Nunez (Parent Coordinator) for more details.

Check out the video below from the Scholastic Book Fairs website to see some of the books available or click here for more author videos!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

PS4 Students Meet Derek Jeter


Former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter surprised more than 400 children from across the five boroughs, including students from PS4M, when he stopped into two events as part of his Turn 2 Foundation’s annual Holiday Express at Chelsea Piers.

“From their personal growth to their academic achievements, these children continue to amaze me. They each deserve a happy holiday season, and I am excited to be able to celebrate with them at our annual Holiday Express,” Derek Jeter said. “This has been an unforgettable year, especially as we celebrated 20 years of Turn 2, and I look forward to what 2017 will bring.”

Class 483 poses with Derek Jeter as they present their winning anti-bullying poster.

The children who attended the events at Chelsea Piers and Queens included members of Turn 2’s after-school programs – a partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation – and the Turn 2 Us program – a program created as a collaborative effort between Public School 128M of Washington Heights, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and Turn 2 that is now administered under NewYork-Presbyterian’s Ambulatory Care Network.

“All their efforts in school definitely paid off with a fun-filled day at the recreation center and the icing on the cake was Mr. Jeter’s and Santa Claus’ surprise visit,” said Evelyn Montanez, program manager of the Turn 2 Us program at NewYork-Presbyterian’s Ambulatory Care Network. “The smiles and excitement of each and every child was priceless!

Special thanks to Dr. Montanez!  We appreciate her efforts to support our students.   For the full article, click here! To see the video from NBC-Channel 4, click here!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

First Service Learning Project

Members of PS4's Student Government pose with Madeleine Hamingson from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The Student Government Organization, led by Technology Teacher Ms. Lennon, launched their first service-learning project this week!  Madeleine Hamingson, Student Series Campaign Assistant from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society visited our student leaders at their monthly meeting to distribute materials, discuss details of how to run a successful campaign and give them information about the organization.  "We really are thankful that you have chosen to help the many children and adults who suffer from cancer", she said to the members in attendance.

Ms. Madeleine speaks to Student Government members.

Student Government members have decided to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society whose mission it is to help find a cure for Blood Cancer!  PS4M/The Duke Ellington School joins over 29,000 schools across the nation to make a difference and raise as much money as we can.  Until the end of December, our school will be working to reach a goals of $1,200.  Envelopes have been sent home to all students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades with information about the Pennies for Patients campaign.  Each classroom has a collection box for all donations.  For families that would like to make an online donation, click here!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Highest Class Attendance

A bulletin board from the first floor hallway lists students with perfect attendance and classes with high attendance.
Congratulations to the following classes who have achieved the highest class attendance for the month of October!

K020 (Ms. Fernandez) - 94.9%
Class 101 (Ms. Pinales) - 94.8%
Class 202 (Ms. Miller) - 96%
Class 302 (Ms. Hodge) - 96.7%
Class 402 (Dr. Thomas) - 96.8% *Highest attendance in the school!
Class 520 (Ms. D. Cabral) - 95.2%
Class 504 (Ms. Marmolejos & Mr. Rosario) - 95.2% 

Excellent attendance is a crucial requirement for doing well in school--and life! We know that a student may be absent for illness, emergencies, or for religious observance, but the goal is for every student to be in school every day.

Did you know that a student who has 90% attendance is missing one month of instruction?  A student with less than 90% attendance is considered chronically absent.  Here's a list from the NYC Department of Education, that may be helpful:
  • Attendance is a required, legal record of whether a student was in school or not.
  • Absences may be excused--but are not eliminated--for religious observance, illness, or other reasons defined at each school.
  • Attendance can be part of academic plans and grading policy but cannot be a sole factor in determining grades or promotion.
  • The school must have a practical mechanism to notify parents when students are absent or late.
  • The school must examine attendance, lateness and early departure data and develop effective intervention strategies to improve school attendance.
  • Families are advised to schedule trips and vacations when school is not in session to minimize interruption in schoolwork that may impact academic progress.
To learn more facts from the DOE about attendance and read tips for managing common reasons for absences, click here or contact the main office.

Friday, November 18, 2016

2nd Graders Visit The Farm!

2nd grader from Ms. Salce's class rides a pony at the farm.

Students in 2nd grade recently went to Green Meadows Farm in Floral Park, NY!  Once they arrived, they went on a pony ride and then they got a chance to see a mother cow and milk her!   Students had an opportunity to go on tractor trailer ride around the park. They saw different animals, such as the pigs, sheep's, rabbits, turkeys and lamas. They even got a chance to feed the animals!

Along with all the great activities, Green Meadows Farm gave students information about animals, such as how many babies a rabbit can have and how only the male turkey gobbles.   Students also learned how animals help humans!  Did you know that insulin comes from pigs?  Did you know that the skin of a pig can be used on someone who has been several burned?  Did you know that the aorta of the pig can be transplanted to replace the human heart?  Our students learned a lot on their trip to the farm.

Special thanks to Ms. Fatim (School Aid) for providing us with details of the trip and all the great photos!  For more information about Green Meadows Farm, click here and click play the photo collage, below!

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Jazz & Democracy At PS4

Musicians from The Jazz & Democracy Project visited PS4 to perform for 4th and 5th grade students.
Hosted by Mr. Means (Music Teacher) and Mr. Cantu (Dean/ESL Teacher) students in grades 4 and 5 recently enjoyed a performance by a group of talented musicians from The Jazz & Democracy Project!  Their Jazz for Young People Concert Series allowed students to answer questions about where jazz began, details about woodwind instruments, and about the form or patterns that "blues" music follows.  Mr. Means was very proud of our students.  "I was so proud", he said.  "It was wonderful to see our students make the connection between jazz music and what we must do for a successful democracy".

Mr. Means speaks to students about the history of jazz music.

Mr. Cantu speaks to students about the connection between jazz, democracy and pride.

The Jazz and Democracy Project at PS4 is organized by Mr. Cantu who serves as our Arts Liaison.  The project helps the scholars make connections between democracy and jazz in a historical perspective.  It is a music integrated curriculum that utilizes jazz as a metaphor to bring American democracy to life, enrich the study and teaching of U.S. history, government, civics and culture, and inspire youth to become active, positive contributors to their communities.

For more information about the Jazz and Democracy project at PS4, contact Mr. Cantu.