South Orangetown Central School District

Second graders in William O. Schaefer Elementary School teachers Richard Lozada and Jennifer Caserma’s class hosted the first Character Education assembly of the school year last Friday!

As part of summer curriculum work done by WOS School Counselor Tennille Marino, WOS has redesigned the monthly assemblies. “This school year, WOS returned to specific words of the month rather than larger community themes to support the K-2 learners in our building. These monthly character education assemblies are a great way to develop a feeling of unity and positive school culture,” explained Marino. “Each month, I enjoy working with the presenting class as they practice learning and reciting their lines. It provides me with another opportunity to push into classes to build rapports with the students.”

For each assembly, the presenting class will set the tone for the month by introducing the theme word, the two feeling words, current events and the book of the month. For October, the theme word is Acceptance, the two feeling words are cooperative and lonely and classes will learn about Hispanic Heritage Month. As a way to tie in school and community events to the character education curriculum, the book “I Voted: Making a Choice Makes a Difference,” by Mark Shulman, was selected as the book of the month because students just participated in the student leader elections.

Lozada and Caserma’s class also sang the “Ruler Song” to reinforce the work students are doing in their “Big Book of Emotions” workbook. “The students leading the assembly enjoy presenting not only to their fellow students, but to past teachers as well. Assemblies are a great tool for students to build their self-confidence and self-esteem,” Marino noted. “Many of them are nervous, but by the end of the last assembly, they are extremely proud of their accomplishment and are asking to present again!”

Rich Lozada and Jen Caserma's second grade class