Archive for June, 2009

A Model Student

Genesis Torres

CSF recently had the pleasure of meeting a most impressive CSF 5th grader, Genesis Torres.  Genesis is not only a model student in the classroom, but she is also actively involved in extracurricular activities, like her school’s music and story writing clubs.  In her most recent report card, which boasts an “A” average, her teacher Ms. Diaz, writes “Genesis is an excellent student. She always has great insight, which she is not afraid to share with the class. I appreciate that she really thinks about ideas. She is a good model for the other students.” Genesis certainly showed us her astuteness and generous nature. She talked about her work as President of Student Council, and how along with her fellow classmates, they are working to improve the school by raising money for new bathrooms and by starting an afterschool tutoring club.  She is also quite passionate about science and looks forward to being a scientist when she grows up.  Genesis’s face lit up at the mention of her recent science project, which posed the question: “Why is sand hot and ocean water cold during warm summer days?”  She very clearly walked us through her results, proud to articulate her discovery! (Scientific explanation: “land is a solid so the sand absorbs the heat” and “water is not a solid so the heat goes through it.”) Genesis has been a CSF scholarship recipient for three years now, and we are very, very proud to have her as part of the CSF family.

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In Gratitude

Student Letter

Pietro Lisanti 2nd Grade

Peter Lisanti, CSF 2nd Grader

Snapshot of O.A.R. Essay Contest

Snapshot of O.A.R. Essay Contest

We Have A Winner! (Three winners, actually)

054Our O.A.R. essay contest is over now, and the three winners were surprised Friday when two of the band members, Marc Roberge and Benj Gershman, dropped in for unannounced school visits.

First up was Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School in East Harlem, where Dianna Baez was sitting quietly in the front row of her 8th grade classroom. The whole class burst into cheers when Marc and Benj came in and told the kids that their teacher, Ms. Lillian Diaz, had been the subject of one of the winning Best Teacher Award essays. Ms. Diaz got a plaque and the school got a check for $5,000, but the winning student hadn’t been announced yet.

When Marc told the class that Dianna had written the winning essay, Dianna pointed to herself and said, “Me?” disbelievingly. Then Marc handed her a gift bag with her prize, an iPod, and she jumped up from her desk to thank Marc and Benj.

Next was St. Paul School, a few blocks away on E. 118th Street. This time, the whole school gathered in the auditorium for a “special assembly.” Once all the children were seated quietly, Principal Charles Celaro reminded them about the essay contest they had worked on a few weeks ago. Then Marc and Benj announced that Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Gracia Castro, was one of the winning teachers. The entire auditorium was filled with the sounds of shouting and clapping as Ms. Castro went up to receive her award and a $5,000 check for the school. And then another big cheer went up when Kindergarten student, Faeez Sharwah, was called up and presented with an iPod for his winning essay about Ms. Castro. Faeez was a little shy standing up in front of the whole school, but his face broke into a huge grin when he ran back to his classmates and showed off his prize.

Just a short trip over the Willis Avenue Bridge to the Bronx, and O.A.R. was at the final school, Immaculate Conception, on E. 151st Street. Then it was straight up to the 4th grade classroom, where the winning student, Saba Isidore, and her teacher, Ms. Nicole Roth, got their awards. After Saba read the class her essay, the students sang a song for their guests and then had tons of questions for Marc and Benj. They asked everything from “Do you get nervous before you go onstage?” to “What celebrity do you most want to meet?” and “Do you think we could be singers too?” To the final question, Marc answered that the children could be anything they wanted to be, provided they worked hard and kept a positive attitude.

Thank you to the hundreds of children who participated in the essay contest! There’s no question that there are some wonderful teachers out there, and their students really appreciate them.

Dianna Baez, 8th grade winner

Dianna Baez, 8th grade winner

Faeez Sharwah with Benj Gershman and Marc Roberge

Faeez Sharwah with Benj Gershman and Marc Roberge

Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Castro, with Benj and Marc

Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Castro, with Benj and Marc

Immaculate Conception Principal Sister Patrice Owens; Benj Gershman, Saba Isidore, Nicole Roth, and Marc Roberge

Immaculate Conception Principal Sister Patrice Owens; Benj Gershman, Saba Isidore, Nicole Roth, and Marc Roberge