For Immediate Release
February 12, 2013
PR 07613 – Dot Interactive Book Club
Glassboro First-Graders Make Their Mark on the World
GLASSBORO – First-graders at Glassboro’s Dorothy L. Bullock School embarked on a great adventure recently, and they didn’t even leave the school to do it. The students enjoyed an interactive book club based on Peter Reynolds’ book, “The Dot,” in which the main character’s drawing of a dot uncovers her hidden art talent and inspires her to help others grow their talents.
The Glassboro first-graders arrived to a spotted wonderland on Monday, February 4. Parents and teachers had transformed the first grade wing into a beautiful hallway filled with multi-color dots of all sizes. The walls sported “dots of love” – round notes to each student from family members or teachers. The notes recognized each student’s special talent. The concept is that each student makes his or her own special mark (dot) in the world. Everyone has some type of talent, and teachers, classmates, parents and community members can help grow a student’s talent.
Each school-day that week brought new activities in regular and special area classrooms. In class first-graders practiced math with dominoes, created sentences by connecting the dots (circles with individual words inside them) and discovered what makes them special. In Art and World Cultures, students studied George Seurat and Aboriginal dot painting, respectively. Physical Education class brought a new game, “Dot Land.” This is similar to Candyland, but when students draw a card with a certain color dot, they perform a designated exercise (mountain climbers, push-ups, cup stackers) for that color. Librarian Karen DeFrank keyed into the card collection craze and helped her students develop their own dot trading cards. Music class incorporated dots with the study of musical notes, and Computer class encouraged creativity with Peter Reynolds’ Animation-ish software.
At a Friday finale, more than 300 students, parents, grandparents, teachers, and community members gathered in small circles to read “The Dot” and share their love of books. Students giggled as they perched on parents’ laps and pointed out their favorite illustrations. Glassboro Chief of Police Alex Fanfarillo, Glassboro librarian Helene Snowden, Glassboro Education Foundation members John LaPalomento and Mary Wurst, Barnes and Noble (Rowan location) manager John Styles and Glassboro resident Lee van Lammeren, a Perma-Bound representative were among those who joined in the celebration.
The finale included an assembly during which the first graders announced their special talents (musical accomplishments, reading, sports, kindness, artwork, dance, imagination) and held up a sign that read, “I make my mark just because I am me.” First-graders presented a bottled collection of dots to Principal Joseph DePalma as a gesture of thanks for his help in expanding their talents. DePalma returned the compliment telling students, “You make it all worthwhile. I can’t wait to come to work each day.”
Parents accompanied students back to their classrooms for a short visit after the finale and enjoyed seeing their children’s projects. Teachers in several classes invited parents to join in activities that were continuing in classrooms that day.
The interactive book club was made possible by a grant from the Glassboro Education Foundation for an idea submitted by First Grade Teacher Donna Romalino. Glassboro Education Foundation chairperson Tarence Smith said that the Foundation is pleased to support this and numerous initiatives throughout the Glassboro School District. "This year has been a great year for the Education Foundation. We have supported the largest number of grants as well as given away the largest amount in a single year that we have ever given. This was only possible due to the increase of support from the members of the Education Foundation, the support of the district and most importantly the Glassboro community," said Smith.
Romalino praised the Glassboro Education Foundation and her teaching colleagues and administrators for making the event a success. “The students had a blast all week. We met all curriculum standards, and we had great parent turnout,” said Romalino.
Romalino plans to follow this book club up with another event on May 28 at the Barnes and Noble at Rowan University. That event will be a treasure hunt tying in with Megan McDonald’s book, “The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt,” which is part of the Judy Moody and Stink Book Series.