Blue, cloudless skies made an impressive canopy over Liberty on Oct. 31 as students who are enrolled in the Physics of Toys took turns launching homemade water rockets.
Along with big smiles and high-fives from the participants, there was a lot of applause coming from those observing the blast-off process.
The rocket project promotes the study of engineering concepts including inertia, gravity, air resistance, acceleration, momentum, free fall calculations, ballistics and more.
By William Fleck
Liberty High School English Teacher
Halloween is not the only time the spirits may walk among us…at least, not at Liberty Middle School, where students in Cielo Canola-Murphy’s Spanish classes learn about El Dia de los Muertos by creating artistic displays.
According to Kristina Puga of NBC News, the origins of El Dia de los Muertos—or “Day of the Dead”—date back to the Aztecs, 3000 years ago. More recent celebratory customs come from central Mexico.
“It’s not meant to be a spooky holiday and it’s not Halloween,” Puga writes. “Those who celebrate it believe that at midnight on October 31, the souls of all deceased children come down from heaven and reunite with their families on November 1, and the souls of deceased adults come visit on November 2.”1
For Canola, a 9-year LMS veteran, teaching about the holiday addresses both academic and personal standards.
“As a Spanish teacher with Latino heritage I feel that it is important to share with my students the meaning of this holiday, which falls at the same time as Halloween, but is different since it does not include the same imagery, customs, or pumpkins,” she says. “El Dia de los Muertos is more of a memorial type of holiday. It’s a time to remember and honor ancestors, and celebrate their lives. This holiday is a very loving way to demonstrate how important they were—and still are—in the family and community.”
To that end, 8th graders at LMS make sugar skulls. They also create what Canola says are “amazing displays to understand and respect the different beliefs and traditions of the Latin-America culture.”
To do so, Canola reaches out to the community…in this case, sugar artist Kim Simons. Simons, a Liberty graduate who has appeared on The Food Network nearly a dozen times—and is a painter and sculptor in addition to being a Master Cake Artist—has taught art classes at BOCES and a slew of other venues, including Busch Gardens in Virginia.
“Kim is a friend of the family who is a cake artist, and she was excited to assist me in this amazing classroom project,” Canola notes. “Kim got involved a few years ago, and now—year after year—I can’t wait to work along with her and my 8th grade students.”
On October 29, Canola’s 8th graders worked on their displays in class. Simons brought in a specially designed 20-inch cookie of her own to inspire them, and the students followed suit by decorating cookies provided by Canola.
“I was able to demo for the class the way we do in the professional cookie world,” Simons explains. “The kids were able to follow, and they did some awesome creative work! I really enjoy doing this.”
The students were excited, as were the teachers.
“I want to thank Kim for helping with this amazing lesson,” Canola beams.
1 Puga, Kristina. “What’s El Dia de los Muertos? It’s Not Scary and It’s Not Halloween.” NBC News.com. November 1, 2017. Web.
Motivational messages of hope, kindness and unity are now artfully splashed across the fifth- and sixth-grade girls’ stalls.
While students were catching up on their homework, teachers and staff from Liberty Middle School were hard at work in the school bathroom.
Educators recently stayed late after work to transform an ordinary bathroom into a positive, uplifting space. Drawing inspiration from social media, the teachers painted positive message on each bathroom stall on the fifth- and sixth-grade floor.
The stall project was the brainchild of the Liberty Middle School Student Council. The project will continue and art will soon make its way to all of the stalls in the school.
On Friday, Nov. 9, at 8:30 a.m. Liberty Elementary School students will don their red, white and blue and honor our Veterans with an assembly featuring patriotic songs.
If you are a Veteran – or know a Veteran – that would like to attend and participate, please call 845-292-5400 ext. 6325 to let us know his/her name, branch of service and contact information.
In addition to the assembly, the Liberty Elementary School will be taking a collection of the following items and donating them to Veterans in need at the Veterans Hospital at Castle Point. Students may bring these items in and place them in the box outside the main office:
• body wash
• body lotion
chocolate and/or hard candy
• large print word find and/ or crossword puzzle books
We greatly appreciate your help in honoring and supporting our Veterans.
The decision to delay the opening of school, dismiss early or close school for the day due to weather conditions is never an easy one. Our priority is always the safety of the children.
When school is closed or delayed because of weather or other emergencies, early morning announcements will be made over the following local radio and TV stations:
WDNB (Thunder 102.1)
WZAD (97.3 The WOLF)
WPKF (96.1 KISS FM)
WCBS (channel 2)
WNBC (channel 4)
WNYW Fox (channel 5)
TWCN (cable 6)
WABC (channel 7)
WBNG (channel 12)
WRNN (channel 22)
School closings, delayed openings and early dismissals also will be:
- posted on the district website (www.libertyk12.org); and
- announced via SchoolMessenger’s automated phone messaging system.
- You may also call (845) 292-5400 to hear a taped message to update you on school delays and closings (closing announcements will follow the initial greeting).
- If you need to make changes to your contact information, please notify your child’s teacher.
- With a two-hour delay, morning Pre-K is cancelled.
- With an early dismissal, all after school activities are cancelled including the Liberty Boys and Girls Club at the elementary school.
Each winter storm brings its own unique set of challenges, which district officials take into account when deciding whether to open school on time. Behind each decision is a delicate balance of educational and safety priorities, first-hand observations and weather forecasts.
The decision to delay or close will be no later than 5:15 a.m. If there is a delayed opening but weather conditions continue to be a problem, the district will determine whether to close by 8 a.m.
We are sensitive to the inconvenience to parents and/or guardians who must make arrangements for their children if school is delayed, dismissed early or closed but safety must take precedence over all other considerations. Parents who deem roads unsafe for travel due to weather should use their own judgment and bring their child to school later.
October is National Farm to School Month. For four weeks, millions of school communities around the country celebrate the movement that connects children to fresh, healthy food and supports local agriculture and Liberty is no exception.
Chef Michael Bel, Director of the Culinary Arts Program at SUNY Sullivan recently donated his time to teach Liberty Elementary School students how to create quick and healthy meals that feature locally grown fruits and vegetables as the main ingredient.
The Catskill Edible Garden Project (CEGP) hosts after-school “Chef in the Classroom” events in Sullivan County schools as part of National Farm to School Month.
Chef in the Classroom is a hands-on way to get children excited about eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Studies show that children who actively engage in cooking are more likely to try new foods.
CEGP is a partnership between Catskill Mountainkeeper, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County, and Sullivan Renaissance. The project works with schools and community organizations to design edible gardens as living, outdoor educational and gathering spaces.
On Tuesday, Oct. 23, the Lady Indians Girls Soccer Team defeated Ellenville 2-0. Liberty’s goals were scored by Jerikah Fleischman assisted by Ana Barragan and by Ana Barragan unassisted. Keeper Gabby Magie had 10 saves.
The Lady Indians travel to Highland Falls on Friday to take on the #1 seeded O’Neill Lady Raiders in a Section 9 Class B semifinal game. The game will be played at O’Neill High School at 2:00 p.m. For directions to the school go to http://ociaa.ouboces.org/O’NEILL.html. Come out and support the team. Liberty Pride!
On Friday, Oct. 19, the staff and students in the Liberty Central School district participated in the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation fundraiser. Students and staff in Liberty’s three school were asked to wear pink and to donate $1 to Miles of Hope.
The official “final” counts are in:
For more information about Miles of Hope click on http://milesofhope.org/
The students and staff of the Liberty Central School District participate in several fundraisers each year supporting cancer research.
Congratulations to Seniors Anthony Cuellar and Vincent Henry, captains of the Boys Varsity Soccer team, on their selection to the Section 9 Class B All-Star team. Coaches from all 13 teams in the Section, including OCIAA and MHAL schools, vote for the best players in Class B. Anthony and Vincent received this honor for their exceptional play this year.
Both boys will also represent Liberty in the Section 9 Senior Game to be held at Newburgh Free Academy on Sunday, November 4. Liberty Pride!