South Orangetown Central School District

Families of fourth-graders flocked to Cottage Lane Elementary School today for the Valentine’s Day-themed Fourth Grade Publishing party. Students were excited to share stories they’d written as part of a Teachers College Reading and Writing Project personal narrative unit. “The Valentine’s Day theme is perfect, because the work comes from their hearts,” noted Principal Karen Ramirez.

K-5 Instructional Literacy Coach Kristy Nadler said that the writers were courageous in the topics they chose. “Students shared essays about someone or something they feel passionately about,” said K-5 Instructional Literacy Coach Kristy Nadler. “There are many very powerful pieces. Some students wrote about a family member, and others covered topics like cancer and how it feels like when your parents fight.”

Each grade at CLE hosts its own themed Publishing Party. This year, the Third Grade opted for an outdoor campfire theme and Fifth Grade selected a movie awards theme for its event. As part of each celebration, guests and students gather in reading circles to share excerpts of student work and exchange encouraging feedback.

“Our Cottage Lane students are writing about topics that are really important to them and to our community,” said Assistant Principal Rob Schliessman.

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Family reading together