Northport K-8 Media Center is busy promoting books, programs and initiatives, but the one most special to media specialist Lynne Gruszka and principal Glenn Rustay is the “Building American Pride, One Flag At A Time” program. The program was kick started immediately following the Northport annual 9/11 Remembrance program in September. Guest speaker, retired New York City Detective and 9/11 First Responder Albert Hickey, spoke to the students about his experiences and noted that few homes had American flags waving on his drive to the school. Many students expressed that they would like an American flag flying from their homes and want to know where to purchase flags. Ms. Gruszka began a campaign of community involvement and education about the program and continues to receive many donations from community clubs and citizens who care about the students, the school, the programs offered and the country and wanted to help the school fulfill the need. Students will receive their American flag kits right along with their diplomas in June at the formal eighth grade graduation. The Sons of the American Revolution will hand out the flags and many veterans as well as Detective Hickey will be present. The flags will be dedicated to the extremely difficult work that Detective Hickey did to assist the country and the victims of September 11, 2001. Special thanks to Robin Booth Cafarelli, Vic and Cheryl Rowe, Dorothy Vanderhoff, Karen Sweeney, Dr. Michael Salerno, Linda Walker, retired Northport principal Jane Summa, Nancy Wernicki, Grace Therapies, LCC, Bill and Mary Arnold, Detective Albert Hickey, Jack Ivy Detachment, Women’s Aux. Mirta Cepeda, Dr. Judi Miller, Korean War Veterans Association chapter 106 and Retired USAF Sgt. Roy Brewer. The educational initiative will continue until April when the flags will be purchased. If interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Pictured is Ms. Gruszka accepting a donation from Sgt. Brewer.
Northport VPK-8 School Media Center is working with the Saint Lucie County Public Library System to help students and families achieve reading success, assist in helping to promote summer reading and to make reading and public library programming easily accessible while the school is closed for summer break.
The Saint Lucie County Public Library offers a variety of programming including tablet tutoring, movie matinees all summer long, family game nights, Lego learning activities, and a plethora of books that will make a child thrilled to check out the action. The public library will be offering summer reading activities. Stay tuned for more information on programming notes.
Northport Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka is working with the Port St. Lucie Library Branch to get real library cards into the hands of the students. Parents fill out the application and each student receives a “License to Read!” The school has had a great response from parents, and well over 150 students have received their public library card.
Check out the public library locations, hours, and summer offerings at library.stlucieco.gov. We are proud to promote youth literacy.
At Northport, we realize that we can’t educate our students alone, it takes the community working hand-in-hand with our teachers and parents to be a SUCCESS! Visit the public library this summer. Tell them that NORTHPORT sent you!
The Northport K-8 School Media Center offered students an opportunity to showcase their multifaceted talents in a terrific Women’s History and Girl’s Empowerment Program recently. The program highlighted the accomplishments of women role models in history, Northport teachers and staff, mothers, daughters, and students. Students were empowered to shed poor role models like Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes, Britney Spears and Beyoncé and to look for strong women who have made important changes in the world. Women’s struggles and successes were highlighted in a PowerPoint presentation that included music, news clips and clips from actress Hilary Swank playing the role of Alice Paul depicting the struggle of Suffragettes in the film “Iron Jawed Angels.” Students performed poems including Maya Angelou’s “Women’s Work” and “Phenomenal Woman” and read thank you notes to women role models written in class. Students sang songs including Alicia Keys, “Girl on Fire,” Katy Perry’s, “Roar” and Christina Aguilera’s, “Beautiful!” A resounding rendition of “We Are Family” was sung by instructor Juliette Thelusma and a group of her students. Instructor Georgia Stone spoke of the importance of strong female role models and shedding the images that are portrayed by many modern singers and entertainers. New Horizons Prevention Specialist Maryanne Warren read an open letter to girls about not letting go of the past struggles of women and becoming empowered. The program was wrapped up with a rendition of Helen Reddy’s famous song, “I Am Woman!” Special thanks to media clerk Sarah Lewis, and band and choral directors James Kirk and Brian Hoce for helping to make the program strong, powerful and filled with meaning for the students. Pictured is a gathering of youth and adult women in the media center celebrating the event.
Middle grades students at Northport K-8 School have been working diligently on learning how to build strong leadership skills. Through a series of guest community leaders, students are learning to generate and pose deeper level questions about a variety of topics and to dig deeper and get into a more provocative atmosphere of questioning. Students have asked extended, well thought out questions of each guest and then have been learning to respond to those questions with follow up questions. The platform allows students to get out of their comfort zone, stand up and pose questions on serious issues and to have those questions answered with a well thought out and respectful response.
The series of guests for the Leadership Summits have included Florida State Representative Gayle Harrell, Deputy City Manager of Ft. Pierce, Nick Mimms, a host of local veterans, SLC school board member, Deborah Hawley and most recently, Ashley Mock, Communications Coordinator of our local Children’s Services Council. Ms. Mock answered many hardball questions about the large variety of programs offered through Children’s Services Council, about her opinions on issues such as domestic abuse cases, programs offered for children of substance abusers, common core and education questions and went into great lengths talking to the students about career paths and how it is imperative to find a passion, not just a job and sometimes that search can take a meandering path. The list of leadership traits that Northport students, collaborating with Northport Media Specialist, Lynne Gruszka and classroom teachers, have compiled include: a leader must love the people they lead, be flexible, be organized, respect the people you lead, be capable of seeing the “big picture,” give lots of positive feedback, be able to delegate, use humor, be a constant learner, have integrity and be a great listener.
Eighth grade student, Finn Carey presented Ms. Mock with a gift card and flowers in appreciation for her efforts to help build leadership skills at Northport and for her willingness to share her own life stories to encourage students to make better choices in life. Special thanks to Northstar, teacher, Nick Carey for facilitating the summit and for working with his students to help formulate deep and intriguing questions. The next Leadership summit will be held in February in the Northport Media Center. Pictured is Ashley Mock with Northstar students.
Northport Principal Glenn Rustay gave our Northport Media Center Christmas decorations an “A” Grade after the Student of the Month celebration.
HATS OFF to Mr. Rustay for topping off our “It’s A Hallmark Christmas @NP.” Everything we do at Northport is with our children and families in mind. Stop over and visit our “Hallmark Christmas @NP!”
Northport kindergarten students from Mrs.Ceville’s class, Toore Chester and Abigail Reid, took the very first Valentine picture in the media center Valentine Picture Booth. The little girls were thrilled to take their first Valentine photo together. The picture booth will be open until Valentines Day for pictures with students and teachers as well as parents, grandparents and families. Simply PRECIOUS!
Northport K-8 lower school students proved their domination over hundreds of words by participating in a vocabulary parade recently. Students poured over lists of words from their texts and chose words that appealed to each, then made posters, signs, decorations and costumes declaring the definitions, the synonyms, antonyms, correct spelling and use of the words in sentences. All students used the book “Miss Alaineus” by Debra Frasier as a road map to comprehension. Northport K-8 School reading coach Deb Mock led the parade with an excellent costume of “Miss Alanieus” herself! Northport K-8 particpated fully in the Just Read, Florida initiative, “Celebrate Literacy!” Pictured is Jonathon Santos from John Fallon’s third grade class.
Northport second grade instructor Jennifer Lusardi and her class, along with students and teachers from VPK to grade five, participated in fun and energizing field days recently at Northport. The students loved the time playing games and competing for ribbons. According to campus participants, this was healthy, fun, and promoted positive interaction and socialization skills. The kids absolutely loved it!
Many thanks to coaches, teachers and parents who made NP Field Days a success for the children.
Students in Sherree Madorma’s 5th grade class not only celebrated Valentine’s Day, but also paid tribute to one of the finest American poets and a Black History icon, Langston Hughes. The program entitled, “We Love Langston Hughes!” was an animated group reading of the Hughes poem, “Harlem.” Students studied what Langston Hughes’ poetry meant to people in the 1950’s. The theme of the poem, students learned, was to always follow your dreams, to never give up, and to “Just Do It!” Students learned all about segregation and the sadness that people felt during that time in history. Students paid wonderful homage to one of the greatest African American poets of all time.
Northport K-8 School has a reputation for battling for causes of all kinds with our local community, our students, our families and the school staff. Whether it is teaching children respect for veterans and patriotism, teaching kindness for all living creatures through the “Paws For Claws Animal Kindness” club, teaching children to care for the environment by nurturing a campus that has been declared a natural habitat and a butterfly sanctuary, participating in the local Relay For Life to help find a cure for cancer, partnering with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Saint Lucie County to help support students who need mentoring and tutoring, collecting for the elderly, homeless shelters and natural disaster victims, fighting against bullies through our Unity Day efforts, helping families in need through collections and donations and so many other causes to make students aware of their civic duty and their humanity.
This month we are lifting up one of our instructors, Marie Solide. Mrs. Solide lost her daughter Kookie recently to Sickle Cell Disease. On October 8, Northport faculty, students and staff wore red to support Mrs. Solide and her devastating loss. The school community also was invited to purchase bracelets for a dollar to support finding the cure for Sickle Cell disease. All proceeds for bracelet purchases will be forwarded to Howard University Center for Sickle Cell disease in the name of Northport K-8 School. The education of our students in not only the Florida Standards but in partnering with parents and community members to help form well-rounded, loving, caring and kind individuals is tantamount to becoming ready for a full and dynamic life and it is our duty as educators to further enhance every partnership we build with our school community. Pictured are some of the valiant warriors at Northport K-8 School who are helping lift up Marie Solide in her fight against Sickle Cell disease, from left, Roy Thompson, school social worker, Angel Bracero, 7th grade civics instructor, Sandra Tyndale, intensive reading instructor, Lynne Gruszka, Media Specialist, Marie Solide, special education instructor, Lorie Monroe and Brooke Wigginton, assistant principals, Melody Nieves, kindergarten teacher, Sarah Lewis, media clerk and Glenn Rustay, Northport Principal as well as students from the school.
It was a sincere pleasure to host Port Saint Lucie Mayor, Greg Oravec recently at the school’s sixth Student Leadership Summit. The mayor fielded a variety of questions from sixth grade Sharks students and interacted with the large group of students for nearly two hours. The Leadership Summits, held in the school’s Media Center, have been host to Florida State Representative, Gayle Harrell, SLC school board member, Deborah Hawley, Deputy City Manager of Fort Pierce, Nick Mimms, a cadre of twelve local veterans and SLC Children’s Services Council Communications Coordinator, Ashley Mock. Each community leader extended the list and scope of leadership skills required to be a strong leader.
The list of qualities includes: you must love the people you lead, be flexible, be organized, respect your people, be capable of seeing the “big picture,” give much positive feedback, ability to delegate, use humor, be a constant learner, have integrity, be a good listener and from Mayor Oravec, “have credibility!”
Mayor Oravec responded to students questions about his strengths, his weaknesses, his history, his legacy, his correctable mistakes and he gave a personal message to each student, to “not hide from your mistakes, to own it, learn from it and get better as a result!” He spoke about his desire to have the Cross Town Parkway completed and to bring jobs and higher wages to our community. Mr. Mayor told the students his favorite leader in history was President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a Rough Rider, a sportsman, an avid outdoorsmen, a reformer and he was all about “Doing!” Mayor Oravec said, “We need more Do’ers and it starts with you!”
Mayor Oravec recommended a book to teachers and students entitled, “Good To Great” by Jim Collins about having the right people in the right places. His responses to student posed questions were terrific and his demeanor of leadership and strength spoke volumes to the young students. Northport K-8 School middle grades students, teachers, parents and media specialist, Lynne Gruszka along with many community and local business leaders have been diligently focusing and targeting student leadership skills, from developing well thought out, deeper level questions, standing and introducing themselves when asking a focus question, looking the community leader in the eye and extending the response questions. The Northport Leadership summits have been a wonderful experience for the students. Special thanks to Port Saint Lucie Mayor, Greg Oravec for giving back to his community by meeting with the students and interacting so graciously.
Northport K-8 students and teachers on the Northstar and Starfish teams collaborated on a critical lesson using new and intriguing information recently. Teachers Mala Woessner and Georgia Stone, along with Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka, worked together to present indepth information on the shocking assassination that changed America. Students read the student version of Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing Lincoln,” a realistic and historical best selling account of the last two weeks of Lincoln’s life and the conspiracy that brought a nation to its knees. The student version called “Lincoln’s Last Days” is filled with pictures, timelines and enrichment sources. The book is very student reader friendly and is appropriate for children in grades four through eight. Ms. Woessner stated, “Students were enthusiastic readers and enjoyed the historical and factual account of “Lincoln’s Last Days” and became immersed in the suspense and conspiracy.” Pictured are teachers Mala Woessner, back left, and Georgia Stone, and students Sarah Abulathou, from left, Ashley Quijada, McKenzie Hunsicker and Chayse Hirsch in the school’s Media Center.
Northport K-8 School students in Shana Cicio, Melody Nieves, Nancy Yost, Tiffany Tredor and Kara McNair’s kindergarten classes have delved into a Community Helpers project recently. Students took an indepth look at community members who affect their lives. After classroom discussions and questions, students interacted with guest speakers who work in the community. Students met as a group in the media center and welcomed Mrs. Rose Cash, Northport Maintenance Foreman, Sgt. Chris Cicio of the SLC Sheriff’s office and Paula Earll, client advisor from Chase bank. Students listened to the speakers intently in a series of scheduled visits and then asked many questions to learn all about the guest’s careers. The lessons were intriguing for the students and the kindergartners were thrilled to welcome the important guest speakers. The lessons were an excellent scaffolding tool for deeper questions about careers and community helpers. Pictured is Sgt. Cicio speaking to the students.
Northport K-8 School students in Shana Cicio, Melody Nieves, Nancy Yost, Tiffany Tredor and Kara McNair’s kindergarten classes have delved into a Community Helpers project recently. Students took an in-depth look at community members who affect their lives. After classroom discussions and questions, students interacted with guest speakers who work in the community. Students met as a group in the media center and welcomed Mrs. Rose Cash, Northport Maintenance Foreman, Sgt. Chris Cicio of the SLC Sheriff’s office and Paula Earll, client advisor from Chase bank. Students listened to the speakers intently in a series of scheduled visits and then asked many questions to learn all about the guest’s careers. The lessons were intriguing for the students and the kindergartners were thrilled to welcome the important guest speakers. The lessons were an excellent scaffolding tool for deeper questions about careers and community helpers. Pictured is Sgt. Cicio speaking to the students.
Northport kindergarteners in Megan Castiglia’s class, better known as Ms. MC and the “Little Hammers” invited parents and administrators to the Media Center to help celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss and the kickoff for the students’ Young Author’s program. Students built a main character using the Dr. Seuss model, wrote stories to share with all parents and performed several songs including the class pledge and motto! The parents and grandparents moved from student station to student station, enjoying the work and achievement of each child in the class. The enthusiasm was obvious as the students were provided the opportunity to celebrate their work!
Northport K-8 kindergarten students in Melody Nieves class recently
participated in an impressive lesson using the story, “The Legend Of The Indian
Paintbrush!” The kindergarteners listened to the story and then talked about
describing words. Each student identified a list of words that described
characteristics about themselves and created a Native American name for
themselves using their describing characteristics. Each then made a special
headband with their Indian name enscribed on the band. Students proudly wore
the bands all day long and called each other by their Indian names. The lesson
engaged the kindergartners and provided each with an opportunity to share
information about themselves.
Northport K-8 kindergarten students in Melody Nieves’ and Megan Castiglia’sclasses enjoyed a special holiday story time in the school’s main media center recently. Students listened to a rendition of the beautiful story “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg, and then sang holiday songs together. Students sang Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and other holiday favorites. Students each received a candy cane
pencil and held teddy bears. Pictured are Northport media specialist Lynne Gruszka and media clerk Pam Crum with students in the beautifully decorated media center.
Northport K-8 kindergartners dazzled parents,grandparents,administrators and guests as they read from a fluency showcase of reading skills. Students dressed for their parts such as the lion, the skateboarder, the cat, the frog, the dreamer and the bug and used a microphone to show off their reading fluency skills in a readers theater program. The school’s media center was filled with parents, grandparents and guests as the students blended different story lines to make one great student showcase of reading skills. Included in the program was a special presentation by ESOL students who portrayed their language cultivation success. Pictured are teachers Chelse Goergen, left, and Staci Saunders on the far right and students in their classes.
Northport K-8 School kindergartners in Shana Cicio, Kara McNair, Nancy Yost, Melody Nieves and Tiffany Tredor’s classes celebrated being 100 days smarter recently by giving a big “Hip Hip Hooray!” to a “One Hundred Days” celebration. Students and teachers collaborated by reading the book “100 Day Worries” by Margery Cuyler. Students also made “100 Day trail mix” with 100 ingredients, counting by tens. Students practiced counting to one hundred and reading and writing one hundred words. Kindergarten teacher Tiffany Tredor thrilled the students by dressing up as a 100-year-old woman. By the end of the day, every kindergartner was absolutely sure that they understand the number 100! Pictured are kindergartners from Melody Nieves class enjoying the day!
Northport K-8 students, parents, grandparents, administrators and kindergarten teachers Megan Castiglia, Chelse Goergen, Kara McNair, Melody Nieves, Staci Saunders and Nancy Yost recently celebrated Moving Up Day as students proudly accepted accolades for their many accomplishments as beginning Northport learners. Students each received a picture with principal Glenn Rustay and assistant principals Benigna Montenegro and Douglas Shook as a symbol of a successful completion of the school year. After the ceremony, students in Melody Nieves’ class and parents joined together for “Absolutely Incredible Kid Day!” Parents wrote letters to be shared in the class about why their child is so incredible and why they are proud of them. Pictured are parents Tiffany Blankenship and Joe Torres with their son Shane Blankenship Torres. Shane’s parents wrote him a letter commending him for his sweetness and for being good withhis brothers and sisters. They called him an incredible young man who is a gift and a blessing to their family.