Monday, June 13, 2016

Looking Ahead: Maintaining the Momentum of Year of the Book!

Central School staff members have just completed three days of in-service meetings, reflecting on the school year past and planning ahead for next year.  We all agreed that Year of the Book provided so many amazing opportunities and experiences for CES students, and we are fully committed to carrying the torch forward.  Here are some elements we fully intend to include in next year's plans: an all-school read early in the school year (to build community and focus on literacy), a full-day of cross-grade literacy activities in April, at least one book giveaway in connection with our circus residency in December, one or two visiting authors, and a Bingo Book Exchange like the one we held this June.  We are so grateful to the Children's Literacy Fund and our amazing sponsors: Merchants Bank, Louise Howlett, and an anonymous donor.  You have all made such a difference in the lives of our students and in the way we at Central School think about incorporating community and literacy together!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  May our paths cross again, and again, and again!

Thank You, CLiF!  Thank You, Louise!  Thank You, Merchants Bank!  Thank You, Anonymous Donor!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Our Grand Finale with Jason Chin!

What a wonderful day to wrap up our Year of the Book!  Jason Chin came to Central School today and shared his amazing writing and illustration process with us!  We LOVED hearing about his travels to research and prepare for creating his books, and we had more questions that he had time to answer!  Students were thrilled to watch him draw as well, taking Delaney up into space and Jacob to Japan!!  And then, as if we needed something more, we had our final CLiF Book Giveaway--TWO books this time!!  We are all ready to keep reading this summer!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Storykeepers Showcase!!

What a special night it was tonight at Central School when CES 3rd and 4th graders presented their family research to a large crowd of family and community members!  Natalie Kinsey-Warnock, our research guide and inspiration, and Duncan McDougall, executive director of the Children's Literacy Foundation, were both on hand for the event and were thrilled to share in the excitement of the event. Every student had chosen a family member to learn about, and everyone had used at least three types of research materials to tell the person's story.  It was a wonderful culmination to a fabulous research project!

Duncan McDougall and Natalie Kinsey-Warnock!

A true community event!

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Natalie Kinsey Warnock has spent the week at Central School, teaching the 3rd and 4th graders and their teachers all about using primary and secondary sources to find family stories!  Students have been using online resources like, Heritage Quest, and Find A Grave to search for their ancestors.  They have also learned about dating photographs by hair styles and dress fashions.  Natalie has told us amazing stories from her own family, and we've even listened to an old-time phonograph!  (It was a bit screechy!!)  Now students will focus in on one member of their family to learn their life story and to tell it through at least three sources.  Natalie will be back next week to help with our research, and then we will prepare for presentation to the school and community on April 27th.  Natalie's residency at Central School is part of our Year of the Book, a grant given to CES by the Children's Literacy Foundation!  Thank you, CLiF!!
The Canada Geese Quilt!

Two family stories that Natalie made into books!

Learning about the history of photography

Dating photographs based on men's fashion.

Dating photographs based on women's hair styles!

An artifact from a plane crash!

Examining the artifact!

Natalie's research on Amanda Colburn Farnham Felch!

Music from the '90's....the 1890's, that is!!

Winding up the victrola!

The tools of research we will be using to find our family stories!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Leap Into Literacy!!

In honor of Leap Day (February 29th, when students are not in school due to a teacher in-service), we celebrated Leap Into Literacy Day today!!  There were all sorts of hoppers and leapers around the school!  Students were divided up into eight mixed-grade groups with animal names such as Kangaroos, Red Eyed Tree Frogs, Hares, and Impala.  They all began the day with an introduction in the gym, then headed off to activities including bookmark making, book making, movement and music, and quesadilla making!  Everyone stopped in the library to choose two new "forever books" in a CLiF book giveaway, and we ended the day back in the gym where a group of 3rd and 4th graders presented a puppet show of "Who's In Rabbit's House?" to the rest of the school!  It was a super fun day!!  The fourth graders realized at lunchtime that only the kindergartners will be at Central School when the next Leap Day comes around!  We may have to plan another Leap Into Literacy Day sooner than that!!

Mr. Nemlich created a video about Leap Into Literacy Day!  You can view it here.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Book Giveaway!

Kindergarten, first, and second grade students participated in a CLiF book giveaway as part of our Ted Scheu residency!  Students visited the library on Thursday, January 14th, to choose a forever book.  Happy smiles were everywhere!!