Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School fifth graders aren’t just spectacular in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math; they are wonderful writers, too.
Fifth graders in the class of teachers Susan Danzig and Jennifer Stucchio have been working for months with Newsday’s Kidsday editor Pat Mullooly. Their work will be published in the newspaper the week of March 23.
Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School Principal Donna Moro backed the initiative and credited her two teachers for arranging to bring it to their classroom. The fifth graders took delight in their writing assignments.
“It was absolutely amazing to witness the creativity that the students displayed during this whole process,” Mrs. Stucchio said. “Even those students who are hesitant to write and share ideas, found it motivating to share their individual experiences and travels with their classmates and all Kidsday readers. I am so proud of all the work the students put in and the support that was given to them through our school and classroom. What an extraordinary experience to be included in.”
Articles led class members to many places in Huntington village, such as Burgerology and Nitrospace. Students completed book reviews and multiple reviews of American Girl dolls and accessories. They developed puzzles, riddles and illustrations to accompany their articles.
The fifth graders traveled to state parks and wrote about vacations. “The timing was just right as four of our students were invited not only to a screening of Mary Poppins Returns in Manhattan, but we were invited back to meet and interview one of its stars, Lin-Manuel Miranda,” Mrs. Danzig said. “They spent time talking about all of his roles from Hamilton to Mary Poppins, but also about the current work he is doing in Puerto Rico.”
The initiative is inherently educational for the youngsters. Students work as real journalists meeting four times with Kidsday editor Patrick Mullooly. They begin by taking an oath as reporters for Kidsday. Students receive T-shirts, pens and ID badges to make them feel like real reporters. The first meeting is all about generating ideas together and deciding what is a good article or not. The second and third meetings revolve around editing and illustrating.
Mia Johnson, Jessica Bree, Jack Kamenstein and Spencer James traveled to Times Square in Manhattan to screen the newly released movie, “A Dog’s Way Home” and report on it.
“The students have worked very hard to complete their assignments and they are beyond excited to see them in the issue,” Mrs. Danzig said. “I think it shows students that writing can be fun and interesting. One of the things I like best is that once they are a Kidsday reporter they are always a Kidsday reporter. Many of the students have gone on and accepted assignments after they have left the class.”
Interviews conducted by the Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School fifth graders can be found on Kidsday.com. In all, the students completed over 30 articles in just over a month. “It was an amazing feat of dedication,” Mrs. Danzig said. “Every other year we have the opportunity to be Kidsday’s class of the week. This is my fourth class to complete an edition of Kidsday and Mrs. Stucchio’s first. It is always an exciting, yet busy, time of the school year.”
The two veteran faculty members were grateful to have the support of their principal for the endeavor. “We are so very lucky to have the support of Ms. Moro and all the parents who helped us along the way,” Mrs. Danzig said. “I have been doing these issues since 2013 and each time is as rewarding as the first.”