- Dec 12th - Early Dismissal at 1:30pm - Staff Development - Rockaway Campus
- Dec 23rd - Holiday Recess Begins - All Schools
- Jan 2nd - Return to School - Elmont Campus
- Jan 6th - Return to School - Rockaway Campus
Martin De Porres
As the cold weather descends and the days grow shorter, too many New Yorkers get lost in the winter doldrums. But not here at Martin De Porres!
With the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy behind us, we are stronger than ever and are filled with optimism for the future. All of our students, teachers and staff at the Elmont and Rockaway campuses and at Casa De La Salle – are hard at work and focused on academics, career training and community service.
Fall is a great time for learning at Martin De Porres. Motivated by great inventors in history, our elementary and junior high school students have been inspired to investigate everyday inventions. Thanks to the Dyson Vacuum Company, Class 6 was able to disassemble and rebuild state-of-the-art vacuum cleaners, learning exactly how these complicated machines work.
Science lab students created catapults and tested whether the size of an object would affect the distance it travels. (It turns out that small marshmallows will travel farther than big ones.) Still, other classes dissected pumpkins to learn how they grow and how they are used in cooking and crafts – quite appropriate for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
The importance of giving back to the community is a cornerstone of the education we provide at Martin De Porres. And a group of impressive young women at the high school have been making a significant contribution at the Park Nursing Home located at Beach 115th Street, bringing joy and companionship into the lives of our elderly neighbors. A few times each month, under the guidance of Cathy Dambrose and Cindy Varghese, they head across the street to do arts & crafts, plant flowers, or play games with the residents. Their inaugural “Salon,” where they did hair and make-up for the women, was a huge success. And their volunteer work at the home’s recent Halloween party was deeply appreciated.
Students from David Ortiz’s barbershop class have also been visiting local nursing homes to cut hair. In addition to providing an important service to the residents, it gives our students hands-on career training.
Another cornerstone of the education we provide helps our students to “be accepting” of everyone – despite their differences. I am very proud that, with the help of a private nonprofit group called Project Hope, we have started a Gay/Straight Alliance at the High School. Its purpose is to provide support for gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students in a safe and respectful space. Equally important, we have also begun an anti-bullying program at the Rockaway Campus.
Finally, at Casa De La Salle, our Regents classes are learning Spanish using the Rosetta Stone Program – or as they would say, “Finalmente en Casa de LaSalle, nuestras los estudiantes en nuestras clases de Regentes estan aprendiendo Espanol usando el programa de Rosseta Stone.” And a special DJ Music Class is now part of the curriculum. It teachers our young men the art of being a DJ and the skills they need to be successful at events like weddings, dinners and other celebrations.
So, on those cold dreary winter days ahead, think of all the great things happening at Martin De Porres, and it will warm your heart and soul.
Check back here in a couple of weeks for the next update.
Dr. Ed Dana
Click here for prior messages from the Executive Director