by Christine Corliss
Surrounded by their Washington Elementary School classmates are fifth grader Kaityln Hladik, physical education teacher Sheila Zeman, principal Barbara Adams, Director of Human Services at Borough of Caldwell Maria Burak, art teacher Krystyn Kaufman and fifth graders Scott Bivona and Morgan Vibyhal
CALDWELL, NJ - It started as a simple challenge; which class at Washington Elementary School could accumulate the most boxes of macaroni and cheese for four weeks in May and June for donation to the Caldwell Food Pantry. Coordinated by the school’s physical education teacher Sheila Zeman and art teacher Krystyn Kaufman, the Mac and Cheese Wars challenged students to do good by donating a box or two of a favorite childhood food: macaroni and cheese. Students brought in boxes, packages, even cartons of macaroni and cheese, keeping count of their donations on paper thermometers hung on the wall of the school’s gym. The thermometer tallies quickly rose as students continued to bring in boxes each week.
“The teachers were looking for a fun way to inspire students
And a huge success it was, as box after box arrived at the school. As the last week of the contest approached, the number of donations continued to rise as students reported to parents about the current tallies and which classroom was in the lead.
“The competition was not only a way to keep the food pantry
To make sure that everyone would see exactly how much macaroni and cheese was collected, 67 fifth grade students worked with Kaufman and Zeman to “bury” Burak in macaroni and cheese, and then create and Op Art sculpture, stacking the different colored boxes in an artistic formation.
“This really is fantastic,” said Maria Burak,
After counting the 3650 boxes, the class that donated the most number of boxes celebrated their generosity and competitive spirit by watching a movie and snacking on ice pops during one of the last days of the school year.
Added Adams, “This fun event had a very serious purpose:
So, where is all of the macaroni and cheese?
“We have a lot of it at the food bank,” said Burak.
Caldwell Food Pantry Donation
For more information on how to help or to make a local donation, contact:
1 Provost Square
Caldwell, NJ 07006
Principal: Barbara Adams
201 Central Avenue
West Caldwell, NJ 07006
Lincoln School Students in Caldwell Enjoy U.S.A. Day Celebration Along with Over 70 Visiting Veterans
by Christine Corliss
Christine Corliss is the Data Specialist and Communications Coordinator
for the Caldwell-West Caldwell School District.
CALDWELL, NJ - On Wednesday, May 21, Lincoln School, Caldwell, held its fourteenth annual U.S.A. Day celebration, welcoming veterans from throughout the Caldwells and beyond. Initially the result of a grant from the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University which was awarded to Lincoln School teachers Carol Macken and Christina Dunne, the school program is designed to encourage civic pride and teach students about our country and our flag.
The program, originally funded through the grant, was such a success that the celebration did not stop after that first year, but grew into a yearly celebration, culminating in a school-wide event at the school that includes veterans from as far away as Massachusetts and as nearby as Caldwell. Currently organized by fifth-grade teachers Christina Dunne and Abby Landau, all Lincoln School students in kindergarten through fifth grade participate in the event, performing songs, reciting poems and recounting history in honor of our country and the visiting veterans.
In the first year, students invited 25 to 30 veterans from the Caldwell-West Caldwell area, and more than 20 veterans attended. However, the number of invitees and attendees has grown over the years, and this year, a record–breaking nearly 80 veterans and almost 500 students, staff and guests attended the celebration. Many of the veterans have been attending the event for all fourteen years.
“We invite the local veterans through American Legion Post 185,
Students write letters and mail them to one or more veterans, inviting them to attend the school celebration. The children invite the veterans to be their honored guest at the school on U.S.A. Day.
Each year, the veterans comment on how glad that they are to receive the invitation and look forward to attending the event. First-time attendees appreciate that our schools are teaching the children about these important historical events, take pride in our history, and thanking the men and women who serve our country. This year, excited for the annual event, American Legion Post 185 donated t-shirts for the fifth-grade student to wear during the celebration.
“This was so wonderful,” said a veteran attending this year for the first time. “My wife and I can’t believe how much the children are learning
An active serviceman on leave who attended the event mentioned that he came to meet the child that wrote to him. He was flattered to receive the letter and was glad that the schools are teaching the children about our flag and country.
“The main purpose of the program is to instill within the students
And, the program is working – for both the students and their parents. More than 200 parents and siblings also attended the event that is held outdoors so that families can attend. This was Lincoln School Principal Geher’s third year hosting the much-anticipated event.
“We are always grateful when the weather cooperates,” said Geher.