South Orangetown Central School District

William O. Schaefer Elementary School first-graders reunited with their kindergarten teachers yesterday to share their progress as writers. This annual “Writers Celebration” began nine years ago as now Principal Sheila Beglin’s administrative internship project. “Our teachers do a great job pulling all of this together to recognize students’ achievements as writers and to help them reflect on their progress in a personally meaningful way,” explains Ms. Beglin. First Grade Teacher Andrea Schaefer coordinates the celebration with help from the other first grade teachers.

The event kicked off in the WOS cafeteria, with supporters from the district’s Business and Human Resources departments cheering the authors on, before students headed out to their former classrooms.

During their visits with their kindergarten teachers, first-graders shared personal narratives they had written and a new skill that they had learned. Many writers noted that they had “stretched words out” to make them easier to spell or brought their characters to life with speech and thought bubbles and by describing their emotions. A few stories had extra lines of paper attached–”revision strips”–where authors had added detail to their text.

“Such an overwhelming amount of growth,” exclaimed Kindergarten Teacher Christinamae Rispoli. “This is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s amazing to see how much they’ve learned in such a short time.” Congratulations WOS writers!

View more photos on the District Facebook page.

"Congratulations Writers" banner in cafeteria with students seated