Students at Lawrence Elementary School on Broadway in Lawrence gathered with their teachers at a Social Emotional Learning Assembly to celebrate character education goals and experience the video debut of their new school song on Dec. 23.
The third through fifth-grade children were reminded of what it means to be a Five-S.T.A.R. student — Showing kindness, Trustworthiness, Acting responsibly and Respecting self and others. To show kindness, some students conducted food drive. Trustworthiness was exhibited when they play and work together. Acting responsibly has been evident in how they have improved their bus behavior. Respecting themselves and others has been on display when they work as reading partners, school officials said.
Lisa Amabile's fourth-graders conducted a kindness food drive they called, "You Have A Friend in Me." The student council was key in organizing it, Amabile said. "The student council has worked so hard," she said. "Overall, we were able to donate 32 boxes of food. Now we are excited for our vacation and to spend time with our families."
Along with the food drive to help those in need, a new fundraising program throughout the school will begin when classes resume on Jan. 4, 2016. Known as the "Amazing Penny Race," the children will participate in four rounds of collecing coins starting with pennies, then nickels, then dimes and then quarters in bottles to help the charity organization "People for Guatemala."
As part of the assembly, the Peer Reinforcement of Intervention for Social Education ambassadors and students sang for their classmates.
Then the showcase event, the new school song, "I Believe in You," was presented. First the elementary students watched the video for the song they created, and then the whole school sang it together. Moe Gonzalez, the school's music teacher, has worked on it since September, writing the song and its accompanying music. "It addresses all the best character qualities: fairness, trustworthiness and caring," he said. "We started out with one class singing it, and then one by one, the other classes learned it and sang it."
Aileen Palencia, a third-grader from Cedarhurst, said she liked singing along to "I Believe in You." "My favorite part is also the video, where the kids are getting off the bus and saying hi," she said. "I love our new school because I get to learn a lot and have fun with my friends."