1 Holyoke Public Schools A Community Working Together Holyoke Public Schools Volume 11, Issue 2 Winter 2013 An Open Letter to the Holyoke School Community Better Safe Than Sorry By David Dupont, Superintendent of Schools The title above is made up of some very critical words of wisdom. For some time now the school system s emergency planning and its response to security related matters have been appreciated and even praised by city and state emergency personnel. When it comes to safety and security in the schools there is never anything wrong with being over-reactive or over-protective. As you know, no one can guarantee 100% security. However, we can continue to be as vigilant as possible regarding our emergency plans, in how the individual schools identify security related needs, and in how they operate to attempt to ensure maximum protection for students and staff. One of the procedures that has worked very well in this endeavor is the immediate reporting by school personnel regarding anything that might be a potential emergency situation. It is impressive how much our own staff members have helped in protection and in apprehension of offenders. For example, staff report incidences of strangers hanging around or continually driving by a school, rumors of impending fights, a student talking (or writing) about self-harm, or threats made against staff, students, or school buildings in general. Nothing can be taken as a joke, and everything related to security and protection should be reported immediately. Building and central office administrators will investigate these reports as quickly and effectively as possible. This reporting of potential trouble could be greatly enhanced if more students could be encouraged to report threatening statements made by their classmates. During the week immediately following the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, Technology-Operations Director Lenny Gibbons and I met with Holyoke Police Chief James Neiswanger, Captain David Pratt and Lieutenant Manny Febo to discuss what we could possibly do to improve our school district s emergency preparedness in light of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The results of this meeting involved making plans to reactivate the District Crisis Team and conduct several Code White drills in the schools, to test each individual school s preparation and response to intruders by having the police use undercover personnel who will attempt to get access to the school. Security related needs assessments are being conducted again in the schools to enhance our facilities and existing plans. Both police and fire department personnel have been very supportive and responsive over the years in assisting the schools with crisis planning and, of course, in responding to actual emergency situations. In the end, city and school system preparedness and readiness, combined with an ongoing vigilance in our awareness of potential safety and security problems, should go a long way in keeping our school community as safe and sound as possible. Your continued assistance and support in this critical effort is very important and always appreciated. Artist: Isabella Sibley, McMahon School Inside this issue: Announcements 3 School News 2-10 After School 11 Athletics 12 Spanish Edition Highlights: Parent English Classes Holiday Celebrations High School Science Grant Health and Wellness
2 Page 2 Mission Statement Three Kings Come to Holyoke By Linda Amaral The mission of the Holyoke Public Schools is to provide educational opportunities for all students to reach their full potential in a safe, secure, healthy learning environment while valuing diversity and promoting responsible citizenship. Holyoke School Committee Mayor Alex Morse Dennis Birks Margaret Boulais William Collamore Joshua Garcia Yvonne Garcia Howard Greaney Cesar Lopez Michael Moriarty Devin Sheehan Deadline for article submissions for inclusion in the Spring edition of the Newsletter: March 12, 2013 The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has announced a major award to Dean Technical and Holyoke High Schools to bring new science equipment and opportunities to the city s students. The competitive grant of nearly $200,000 will help increase student achievement and engagement in science and technology. The Holyoke Public Schools are delighted to receive this competitive grant in collaboration with the Collaborative for Educational Services(CES). This grant provides the Holyoke Public Schools with funds to expand the science programs and courses we offer. The funds will allow our students to learn using the latest technology and equipment. Our students are our future. This grant provides us with many ways to spark students interest and excitement in many possible careers in life. The ninth annual Three Kings Day Celebration at Holyoke High School was a joyous, festive, cultural evening filled with music, dancing, books, presents and of course, the Three Kings. This year more than 800 Holyoke students and their families attended the event. Many local dignitaries attended as well, including the Mayor, members of City Council and members of School Committee. Each child received a book bag and book as they entered the High School foyer. They were greeted in the cafeteria by the Dean Vocational Technical High School Junior ROTC members. The music was lively and the food was delicious. The dancers from Kelly School performed two traditional dances that set the mood for moving, clapping and singing along. The Three Kings made their entrance, stopping to wave and shake hands, much to the delight of the children and adults as well. After dinner, children received gifts from the Three Kings and families were invited to take pictures. Everyone left with a smile on their face and music in their step. High Schools Team Up to Win $200,000 Science Grant By Helen Gibson This grant gives us a wonderful opportunity to create some exciting and engaging courses in Holyoke s two high schools that can spark a lifelong interest in the sciences, said Joan Schuman, Executive Director of CES. At Dean, the grant will fund the creation of a robotics strand as part of the school s engineering, biology, and technology classes. The station will be housed in the Computer Programming/ Web Development classroom. The project will be linked to robotics initiatives in place at Holyoke Community College and being developed by the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC). The grant will also fund two sets of laptops and laptop carts, one for Robotics and one for Biology. Schuman stated that since many students do not have access to computers at home, it is even more important that they learn how to use newer technologies in school. The Newsletter new laptops and hand-held devices we are able to purchase through this grant will motivate students, deepen their learning, and prepare them for careers in the 21st Century, she said. At Holyoke High School, the grant will fund a marine biology course that will require the building and maintenance of aquaria representing different marine environments. Through the aquaria, students will learn about the intricacies and sensitivities of organisms in marine conditions. The grant will also fund equipment and supplies for the Physics and Biology courses as well as a set of laptops and a laptop cart. Beyond the specific course material of robotics and marine biology, the new courses will allow students to gain a stronger background in the basic concepts such as the scientific method, experimental design, and data analysis. Edited by Judy Taylor Editors Emeritus: Kelly Doktor and Laura DuPont Translated by: Luz Aguillar, Lisa Monzon, and Jacqueline Escalera Enjoy the little things in life, for someday you will look back and realize they were the big things. Robert Brault
3 Volume 11, Issue 2 Page 3 Donahue New Compost Learning Lab By Travis Minnick Middle School Environmental Science students were busy this past fall planning and building a new compost learning lab for our school. The students noticed that our compost bin in the school garden was overflowing and unable to be turned. Natalie Figueroa, was quoted as saying, We re building these compost bins so the younger kids can mix the compost a lot easier. This need led the students to designing two 5 x 4 wooden bins with low fronts so students of all sizes can reach in and help out. My favorite part of this learning lab was coming in not knowing each other that much and becoming a team to build compost bins. wrote Selena Salas. Several students commented on how neat it was to use power tools and paint signs. This is just the beginning of growth in the Donahue School garden. Donahue School is planning to bring the school community into the school to promote healthy eating, community service, and science education. The ongoing Kindergarten Healthy Eating Initiative will also be able to make use of the new compost system in the spring when the Kindergarteners come outside to work in the garden. See page 4 for more information regarding the Kindergarten Initiave. Donahue the Director By Ricky Cates The videography class at Maurice A. Donahue student Chris Garcia is building the compost bin frame with help from Ms. Christine. Donahue is a huge success. As middle school students explore video production, there is a strong emphasis on the director s point of view. Students must think about the big picture: Individual and group organization, delegation, and teamwork. It is important to know how to use the equipment, but it is more important to understand the thought behind the equipment, Doing so promotes management skills necessary for the 21st Century workplace. The student s projects address Drugs and Promiscuity, two of society s troubling issues:. The groups were given carte blanche to organize and execute a production and they have done just that! The first group focused on the impact of drugs specific to teenagers, directed by Joel Ramos (14), and Assistant Director Yamilex Ortiz (14). The second group directed by Destinylee Arena (14) and Assistant Director Gisselle Sanchez (14) focused on the dangers of promiscuity. The projects will be used as a resource for group discussions in the building. Santa Visits Donahue School By Iwona Langlois Bake 800 cookies check! Make gallons of delicious hot cocoa. check! Practice singing for hours.... check! Very special guests invited. check! Lights, camera, action.magical evening! Maurice A. Donahue School was filled with holiday spirit on Tuesday, December 11th. Over 400 of our students and their families came to enjoy an evening of cookies, cocoa, and stories read by Mrs. Claus, pictures with Santa Claus, and holiday carols sung with glee by our K-6 students. Children came through the school doors with their eyes brightly shining in anticipation of having their pictures taken with Santa and whispering their wishes into his ears. Many teachers dressed as elves ushered families through the holiday wonderland. In the cafetorium, Mrs. Claus entertained families by reading holiday favorites in English and Spanish, while families warmed their tummies on freshly baked cookies and cocoa with mini marshmallows. Young and old happily colored away until the finale of the evening when all attention was focused on the holiday concert. Ms. Cassi Stewart, our Music Specialist, led our talented students in renditions of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Feliz Navidad, and Dreidel. Donahue news - continued on page 9 School Committee Meetings Visit the Holyoke Public Schools website to view meeting schedule: H Counsel Meetings March 6th May 1st Held in the Holyoke High School Cafeteria at 6:00 PM Special Education Advisory Council (SEPAC) Meetings Please join other parents at our upcoming meetings for the school year. Our combined efforts can influence the success of our children, as well as shape their futures. UPCOMING MEETINGS March 4th: Summer School Programs May 6th: Bullying Meetings are held at Donahue School at 6:00 PM Visit the district website for more information: Questions? - contact Kelly- or
4 Page 4 Sullivan Sullivan 8th Grade Fundraiser By Janet Kalicka Thanks to the effort and culinary talents of some special people, the eighth grade had a very successful fundraiser. On December 14th, $375 was raised by selling delicious lunches to the staff. There was chicken, pork, rice, salad and flan and everyone thought the meal was simply delectable and loved it! Thank you all for caring and supporting our eighth graders including Evelyn Acevedo, Carmen Cantres, Dimarie Cartagena, Duver Gomez-Vega, Rosa Galindrez, Olga Lopez, Carmen Hernandez, Teresa Oquendo, and Denise Romero. All Rise for Justice! By Patricia D. Keane Thanks to the organization and initiative of Assistant Clerk Fred Baran as well as the cooperation and leadership of Judge Walsh, Sullivan eighth graders had the eye-opening opportunity to visit the Holyoke District Court. They witnessed the judicial system in action and gained insight into the workings of the court system. Students were greeted by court officer, Johnson and Torres, who explained the importance of courtroom security and their responsibilities to the public. They had the unique opportunity to see the legal system in action as they witnessed cases pass through the busiest district court in Western Mass. The students heard testimony from two Holyoke detectives, Glasheen and Delgado, with respect to a drug arrest that had recently taken place in Holyoke neighborhoods that kids frequent and/ or live in themselves. They were also witness to several cases of shoplifting at the Holyoke Mall, as well as a domestic abuse case. Under the choreography of Judge Walsh, Sullivan students and staff were enrapt hearing about both sides of burden of proof as presented first by the Assistant District Attorney Weissman which was then countered by the attorneys that represent the accused, (defense attorneys Turcotte and Gilbert). Next, Judge Walsh used an example of stealing a bike as a relevant example to walk the students through the roles of legal system members. Assistant District Attorney Weinstein explained his responsibility in prosecuting cases, Chief Probation Officer McBride detailed how his office supports the court rulings, Translator Sam Martin explained the important role he plays as he upholds the oath he takes to provide a literal translation of all verbal proceedings in court. Judge Mary Hurley, who had previously visited the eighth graders at Sullivan, was excitedly received as she popped in to say, thank you for the students gift to her for sharing her time and talent. Students were then escorted from the courtroom by court officers, including Brian Manijak whose son had been a student at Sullivan. The tour culminated with a visit to the control room that monitors prisoners and a tour of lock-up which was not then occupied, but intimidating none-the- less. This was a truly informative and amazing experience. Kindergarten Initiative By Jennifer Consedine, Patricia Westcott, and Janice Fritsch Holyoke Food and Fitness is very pleased to have implemented the Holyoke Kindergarten Initiative at Kelly, Sullivan, and Donohue schools during the Fall. The Initiative is a comprehensive early childhood nutrition program that uses locally-grown foods to teach children about healthy eating and where food is grown here in Massachusetts. The Initiative contains six components that offer students and their families powerful, sensory-based exposures to delicious and nutritious foods. Students experience field trips to area farms, learn from a new nutrition-focused curriculum, enjoy healthy fruit and vegetable classroom snacks, and plant and harvest in their school garden. Kindergarten families are also included, receiving fresh produce packages with recipes and nutrition information, and attending family cooking events throughout the school year. We know that students learn better when they eat better, and the Kindergarten Initiative is an excellent tool to promote a lifetime of healthy, nutritious eating here in Holyoke. As part of this program HPS, Kindergarten Teachers and Mary Curro developed a health curriculum consisting of various lessons that teach children to try new healthy foods. Each month Holyoke Food and Fitness has sponsored an event to foster this curriculum. In September we visited Atkins Apple Orchards (see photo) where children were able to pick apples from the trees! In October students visited Randall s farm and picked a pumpkin! In November each family received a wonderful gift bag of locally grown foods for their Thanksgiving table and in December we had a cheese tasting of six different kinds of local cheese! This program has been a wonderful experience for the Kindergarten children of Holyoke Public Schools! We look forward to what is on the table for the rest of the year! Grade 4 Thanks Links to Libraries and Meyers Brothers Kalicka By Barbara Bernard Thanks to Links to Libraries, the fourth graders at Sullivan were lucky enough to have had a book read to them by some accountants from Meyers Brothers Kalicka. Each class was read a short story and when the reading was over, every child received their own copy of a new book. One class received Magic Tree House Ghost and the other class, A Tale of Despereaux. All students are enjoying reading their books independently! The New Year is a Great Time to Improve Your English By Jody Spitz Learn English to help your children with their homework. Learn English to go to college. Learn English to get a better job. Sullivan School has a wonderful English class for parents, guardians, and family members on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please join us from 12:30-3:00 in the Sullivan library as we get comfortable speaking, reading and writing in English. You'll make good friends in the class and get to know the principal, teachers and other school staff as you learn more about Sullivan school. And it s all FREE! Please call Aida at or Maria at for more information. It is a New Year and a perfect time to im-
5 Volume 11, Issue 2 Page 5 Kelly School Turkey Comes to Kelly School By Susan Cornell Thursday, November 8th, was a fun-filled night for students at Kelly School. The special guest reader for the Kelly School Family Literacy Night, which is held once a month, was none other than a TURKEY, a.k.a. Ms. Andrea Hickson, sixth grade teacher. Students and their families enjoyed cookies, brownies, donuts, apple cider Kelly School Parents are Learning English! By Katy Moonan Good luck mommy! said six year old Amaderis to her mom as they parted ways in the Kelly School hallway. Amaderis went into her kindergarten classroom while her mom, Adneris Rosario, walked into the Kelly Family Literacy Center to join her own class with other Kelly parents. Since October 2012, a new program run in partnership between Reader to Reader Inc. and the Holyoke Public Schools is being offered at Kelly School. Parents learn and practice English through activities that promote literacy as well as positive parent involvement in their child s education and school community. My daughter loves to see me studying at her school, Adneris says, And so do I because I feel at home here now, whereas before I would drop her off but never come in the building. Abimael Rosado, father of four children at Kelly, feels it s beneficial for both himself and his family that he is participating at the school. My children are more motivated to come to school when they see their dad studying here, he says. It also helps me be more connected and by learning English I can help them with their homework. Another Kelly mom, Jessica Vazquez, says I like the class because learning English allows me to communicate with my child s teachers and it s a great feeling not having to be afraid to go to new places. I can talk to people now and see new things. In the class parents prepared for parent teacher conferences, observed their child s classrooms, took home a children s book every week, and took part in an interactive literacy workshop facilitated by Enchanted Circle Theater. The parents have created a strong spirit of compañerismo through the class, bringing food to share and even creating their own Facebook group! Kelly School principal Jacqueline Glasheen says that the program has really brought the parents into the fold of the school community. The visits to classrooms, preparation for conferences, as well as learning in the same building as their children has made a positive impact on the parents. It has been beneficial to the school and the families! The program is ongoing and all Kelly School parents and caregivers are welcome to join! Classes are Tuesdays and Thursday 9:00-11:30. Contact Jeanette Alicea at (413) or Katy at (413) Students Rosa Peralta and Roberto Vazquez enjoy the Family Literacy class offered at Kelly School. Yosue Pacheco, poses with a TURKEY (Ms. Andrea Hickson). and the humorous Thanksgiving story Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving, by Dav Pilkey. In this wacky tale of eight children who meet eight turkeys while on a field trip to a turkey farm. The turkeys are in big trouble and only the kids can keep the turkeys from meeting their Thanksgiving fate. But how will the kids save the turkeys without ruining Thanksgiving? A fun time was had by all. Students, families and staff are anxiously waiting to see who will be the special guest readers for the upcoming Family Literacy Nights. The Museum of Science, Boston Traveling Exhibits By Jen Romano The Museum once again visited many fifth grade science classes in December. Ms. Romano's class at Kelly School welcomed Mr. Weinblatt from the Museum. He brought the following live animals: an American alligator, African Bullfrog, and an Eastern Screech Owl. Students placed the animals in their correct classes, and learned about specific adaptations each has developed. After observing the live animals, students engaged in a hands-on activity in which they became scientists and examined particular skulls to determine how the animals may have adapted. Engaged students (Front row - from left) Gisselle Vega, Aztiney Caudle, Moises Montecino, Natania Rodriguez (2nd row - from left) Feliz Cruz, Angela Osorio, Jose Pacheco (Back row) Osiris Sanabria. Fun Day Learning Science at Hazen Paper By Nora Burke Patton Sponsored by World Is Our Classroom, the Holyoke Manufacturing Education Initiative teams the Holyoke Public Schools with Hazen Paper s plant and personnel, and links the fifth grade science curriculum to technology and local industry. In its eighth year at Hazen Paper, the initiative is offered to all fifth-graders in the city and has involved more than 3,200 Holyoke Public Schools students to date. Our day at Hazen Paper provides a great opportunity for our students to be out of the classroom and experience a real-life workplace, said Kelly Science teacher Jen Romano. While on site, students take part in a program that reviews and reinforces the science concepts and standards taught in the classroom. Interactive lessons include touring the plant (engineering design and technology); performing a role in the life cycle of the oak tree (life science), observing simple machines at work (engineering design and technology); acting as a molecule changing its states of matter (physical science); playing the water cycle game (earth science) and making paper from scratch (engineering design and technology).
6 Page 6 Morgan Let s Move Holyoke/ A Moverse Holyoke at Morgan School!! By Vinny Biggs Let s Move Holyoke is a collaboration of many organizations in Holyoke, including the Holyoke Public Schools. This project is part of Collaborate for Healthy Weight, a national effort to reverse the epidemic of overweight and obesity through innovative local partnerships between primary care providers, public health professionals, and leaders of community-based organizations. Holyoke is one of 50 teams from across the country participating in the Collaborate for Healthy Weight initiative, learning from national experts, exchanging ideas, and creating plans for becoming a best practice model for other communities to follow. The effort has been supported by the National Initiative for Children s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ), in partnership with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). In Holyoke the project focuses on children and adults living in the four census tracts. The population in Holyoke experiences significant health disparities in the city, including overweight and obesity and their co-morbidities, such as heart disease and diabetes. Data demonstrates 63% of Holyoke residents are overweight or obese, approximately 40% of which are children (Sources: Massachusetts Department of Public Health, MassCHIP, Holyoke Health Center and HPS). The Holyoke Collaborate for Healthy Weight team includes representatives from Holyoke Health Center, Holyoke Board of Health, Holyoke Mayor s Office, Holyoke Public Schools, Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield Head Start, Greater Holyoke YMCA, Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council and community members. The goal is to promote an evidence based message that is consistent in all sectors of the Holyoke community and to link this message with ongoing efforts throughout the city that promote healthy eating and physical activity. The team has developed an Aim Statement and Action Plan and is poised to continue its work after the grant year has ended. Through this process the team has created a message-let s Move Holyoke with colorful yellow posters, flyers, banners and decals at each of the four target sites: Holyoke Health Center, Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield Head Start (Maple St), Morgan Elementary School and Greater Holyoke YMCA. The team is collecting monthly data to document how many individuals are receiving the message and tracking policy initiatives that support the effort. The team has also developed a Healthy Living Plan, which is a document that will be used at all of the sites. It is a form that collects nutrition and exercise information and then has a section for setting goals with a focus on Morgan Elementary school will be a pilot school with the Let s Move Holyoke materials incorporated into the Health curriculum and linked to the state mandated BMI screening. Further integration will be considered based on the interest of the school. The team hopes to expand the use of the materials including the Healthy Living Plan to all of the schools in the district. Please call (413) to contact Patty Alford or Helen Gibson if you are interested in participating in this exciting effort or if you are interested in learning more. Morgan Parent I ve Learned a lot, but I need to continue. By Joanne Gold The Family Literacy Parent Program at Morgan School, ESOL (English for Students of Other Languages), meets three days a week for two levels of classes. The twelve parent-students complete daily homework and practice speaking, reading, and writing in English. In December, they completed a project about the winter holidays of Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and Three Kings Day. They used computers and books for research, and then presented each holiday at a special event including their children. One parent, Aidaliez Rodriguez, said, I have learned a lot, but I need to continue so that I can help my kids in the future and find a good job.. ESOL Teacher Joanne Gold and two of her students display their Three Kings Day research.
7 Volume 11, Issue 2 Page 7 E.N. White The Nooks Have Arrived! By Hilary Russell A set of Nooks has been purchased by the E.N. White PTO for students and teachers to use in their classrooms. The PTO is also purchasing teacher-requested book titles and apps in Science, Social Studies, Math and Reading so that students can read stories and articles at their own levels. Mrs. Tierney s class recently started their persuasive essays and are using the Nooks to read and perform background research for their topics. The students are excited about being able to use ereaders in their classrooms. In fact, one student is writing a persuasive essay on having schools use ipads and other devices in all the classes. Enjoying their new Nooks (left to right): Devon Sheppard, Pedro Cruz, Esther Albino, Lizeida Reyes, Mrs. Mary Kay Tierney, Joshua Agron, and John Rodriguez. Another Successful Fall Book Fair! By Tammy Lawrence Many people worked together and created yet another truly successful Scholastic Book Fair! With Scholastic's winning tools, fantastic books at affordable prices, E.N. White's dedicated staff, students, families and Tiger Mascot, the success of the Fair was inevitable. Once again, the E.N. White Scholastic Book Fair accomplished its three major goals: promote literacy in a positive manner, bring families, students and staff together as well as earn money to support field trips, enhance the music, art and physical education programs within the school. Second Graders Explore Owls By Carole Gamache In the Fall, second grade students at E.N. White School investigated owls. They read fiction and non-fiction stories about owls and researched the different owls found in this area. During Math class they measured wingspans and body size, comparing different owls. In Science, they examined owl pellets, removing bones, fur and feathers to discover the eating habits of their owl. After removing all the bones, the children tried to recreate the skeleton of the animals eaten by the owl. The children enjoyed the many owl activities. Angeluis Colon Rivera and Davonte Westbrooks examine their owl pellet in Mrs. Gamache's second grade classroom. Parents are Learning English! By Katy Moonan Since October 2012, a new program run in partnership between Reader to Reader Inc. and Holyoke Public Schools is being offered at E.N. White School. Parents learn and practice English through activities that promote literacy as well as positive parent involvement in their child s education and school community. Parents are enthusiastic about the benefits the program offers them and their children. Christian Baez, father of four E.N. White students, stated, My children know that their father and mother are here at their school studying English and they are excited about it. Lisandra Lopez, mother of two E.N. White students, explained, I am so happy to be learning English because I can support my children more with schoolwork and I can also become more independent myself. My hope is to learn enough English to be able go to the University. In the class, parents prepared for parent teacher conferences, observed their child s classrooms, took home a children s book every week, and took part in the interactive literacy workshops facilitated by Enchanted Circle Theater. E.N. White School Principal Hilary Russell worked with parents on understanding their children s experiences with literacy and learning at the school,. Meanwhile parents have been enjoying more reading at home. Rose Marie Torres, who has four sons at E.N. White School, shared, Every night we read the books that I bring home with me from class,. We learn new words, act out the stories and laugh together. Another exciting outcome of the program is that the parents got together to create their own tradition of reading parties modeled after the Familias con Poder parents group in Northampton. For each reading party one family hosts the other families at their home, everyone brings their favorite books, and parents and children take turns reading out loud to the rest of the group in both English and Spanish. The parents have created a strong spirit of compañerismo in the class, even ending last term with a deluxe Boricua potluck party at the school. The program is ongoing and all E.N. White School parents and caregivers are welcome to join! Classes are Mondays and Wednesday from 9:00-11:30. Contact: Oneida at or Katy at Stepping Into the Kitchen! By Hilary Russell The E.N. White Parent Literacy Class enjoyed a healthy cooking class with Chef Bill Collins, who has worked as a private chef at many well-known hotels around the country. They learned to make chicken soup from scratch, wrote, and shared favorite family recipes. Chef Bill Collins, Katy Moonan (the ESL teacher), Oneida Montanez (family liaison) and members of the Parent Literacy Group. Honoring our Veterans By Laurie Maspo Students showed their support and appreciation to honor the men and women in uniform during a Veterans Ceremony at the War Memorial Building on November 11th. Many awards were presented that morning including The Veteran of the Year, Kenneth E. Tennant. Explained in great detail was the Valor Act; an Act Relative to Veterans' Access, Livelihood, Opportunity, and Resources". The students also enjoyed the sounds of the Holyoke Caledonian Pipe and Drum Band. At the conclusion of the Ceremony, Mayor Alex B. Morse and State Representative-Elect Aaron Vega thanked students for showing veterans their support.