Clarkstown North High School PTSA President Rhea Vogel distributed $2100 in to six teachers on Friday. The six had submitted proposals describing programs or activities they want to offer to their students to enhance their learning.
Vogel said the number of grants and amount of money had increased from the first awards given out last year. One reason was membership had almost tripled over past years to 535. She said a key component of fundraising was membership and she hoped the trend would continue with a greater number of teachers joining as well as parents.
“By joining PTSA you are helping us help our school but more importantly you are signaling to all of us in the North School Community that we are united and working together toward common goals,” said Vogel.
One recipient, Akiko Uchiyama, received $400 for a Japanese Drum Taiko Workshop, which will take place on February 9. She explained the Taiko drum is a traditional Japanese drum used at festivals and special occasions. Uchiyama said between 20 and 30 students will participate in the three-hour after-school workshop that will begin with a performance and then instruction by Mark Rooney, a Taiko musician and teacher based in Washington, DC.
Students will learn how to hold the drum and drumsticks, how to play it and more.
“But we can learn so much about working together and how to make harmony together, how to listen to each other,” said Uchiyama.
Several days prior to the workshop, the students will create their own simple Taiko drums out of large paint cans covered with plastic tape. After the instructional program, Uchiyama said the students will perform in April at a World Language Honor Society event and in May at the International Night’s student performance program.
Other grant recipients included:
- Arleen Whittaker received $400 to take her SAIL students to the Museum of Natural History. Due to budget cuts, field trips are not funded.
- Jordan Turner also received $400 to take his ninth grade Global Studies students to a museum. They will tour the new Art of Arab Land Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- Sabrina Riccoboni will use her $400 for a “Voices of Bullying” Project. Students can participate in contests related to bullying and have their work included in a book for future freshmen.
- Heidi Bernasconi received $250 for a Marine Biology Collection Trip, which results in more than 200 organisms that students care for throughout the year.
- Allison Borrelli will spend her $250 grant to paint her Kinder North classroom with murals by her students and Art Honor Society students. The artwork will create an appropriate preschool environment according to Child Development curriculum.
Vogel said PTSA members were working on getting more paint and other products for Borrelli’s project, “So she can really realize what her vision is for that classroom.”