Friday, May 29, 2015

Get Ready For Summer Reading!

     Continuing a great school-community partnership, librarians from the Lakewood Public Library visited Horace Mann on May 28th with an important mission:  Get kids excited about summer reading! Julie Strunk and Eric Knapp made grade level presentations from preschool to 5th grade, sharing details about the summer reading challenge.  This year, it has a superhero theme:  Unmasked!

     By logging the hours they spend reading, students can win prizes such as coupons for places like Books-A-Million and Menchie's.  I talked to a few 4th and 5th graders afterward, and they liked the sound of that!  To help get students on the road to checking out books (and e-books), each students in grades K-5 has been pre-registered at the library.

     There are other great programs for children and their families this summer, including a Lego robotics camp, and free movies like The Incredibles.  Here is a link to the Lakewood Public Library website for lots more information:

     Thank you, Lakewood Public Library, for visiting us this week.  We look forward to reading for fun all summer long!  Here are a few pictures of Ms. Strunk presenting (wearing her own superhero cape) to the 5th graders:

 Here is the summer reading club brochure received by all K-5 students:

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Fantastic Field Day and Brilliant Book Fair!

After a few morning showers, bright sun and blue skies prevailed to make the 2015 Horace Mann Field Day & Book Fair a terrific success!  Mr. Brad Karabaic, Physical Education Teacher, planned and organized the event, which many adults and students deemed the best one ever.  Mrs. Wendy Hoppel chaired the Book Fair, and it did a brisk business with students getting Buy-one-get-one free.

The ever-present Horace Mann PTA was involved, too, using VolunteerSpot to help recruit volunteers and providing coffee for parents who came to school to help with the activities or just to watch the fun and connect with one another.  Thanks to Bruegger's Bagels for providing bagels and schmear for the parents!

Field Day events include such favorites as:  Kangaroo Relay Race, Scooter Relay Race, Tag with a Ring, Javelin Throw, We Did IT, PVC Marble Relay, Boogie Board Race and Steamroller Race.
Which one is your child's favorite?

Check out some pictures of the fun below:

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Spring Concert

The Horace Mann Spring Concert, presented by Mr. Aaron Waryk and Ms. MaryJo Mallchok, had something for everyone.  It looked like just about "everyone" was in the gym on Friday afternoon, as parents, grandparents, siblings and other loved ones packed the house to see the students perform.

There were cute songs (like Going on a Picnic by the kindergartners and Take Me Out to the Ball Game by the first graders), patriotic songs (like Fifty Nifty United States sung by the fourth graders), standards (such as Danny Boy), and modern classics (Don't Stop Believin' on guitar by the 5th grade general music students and Let It Be by the combined choirs).  The audience was also treated to songs by the Horace Mann Orchestra and the fourth graders on their recorders.   Raise your hand if you played a recorder in fourth grade.  I know I did :-)

Many of the songs included props and/or choreography that got big laughs from the crowd.  One great example of the use of props was the adapted music class' use of colored scarves.  They waved them as the LHS Four Season Quartet played Vivaldi's Four Seasons.  Beautiful!

It was wonderful to see and hear all of the Horace Mann musicians.  Thank you to all of the staff members who helped make the show run so smoothly and to the families for joining us.  We hope you enjoyed it.  Here are a few pictures of the show:

Saturday, May 9, 2015


     Under the guidance of Lakewood Police Officer Dave Acklin, Horace Mann graduated 47 fifth grade students from the D.A.R.E. Program this week. Congratulations, graduates!

     D.A.R.E stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education; however, Officer Acklin shared in his remarks that the program is really about making good choices in life.  In addition to Officer Acklin, Horace Mann was honored to have Mayor Summers, Judge Carroll and Police Chief Malley present at the event.

     All students write an essay as part of the program, and four winners were chosen.  The winners--Charles Ditchman, Isabella Fallon, Grace Hoppel, and Claudia Irwin-- did a beautiful job reading their personal narrative essays for the crowd of family members and staff.

     All students received a certificate of completion as well as the traditional D.A.R.E. t-shirt.  To close the ceremony, Mr. Waryk led the 5th graders in singing the D.A.R.E. song.  Afterwards, cupcakes and juiceboxes (thank you to PTA for the juiceboxes and to Officer Acklin for the cupcakes) were enjoyed as celebratory refreshment.

     We hope our fifth graders remember the conversations they have had about making good choices as they head into summer and on to middle school in August!  Thank you to the fifth grade teachers and the city officials who support this valuable program for our students.
Student watch Mayor Summers
The rest of the class listening to the Mayor's remarks

HMES 5th Graders sing The DARE Song

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Community Helpers Visit Horace Mann

Last week, several visitors gave presentations at Horace Mann.  These visitors had one thing in common:  They are Community Helpers.  Professionals such as doctors, police and fire officers gave interactive presentations with many students who have moderate to intensive special needs.

The purpose of the presentations was to familiarize students so they feel more comfortable with people in the community who may need to help them.  Often, children and adults with disabilities have a difficult time in these situations, due to fears based in lack of understanding.

An example of this was reported by Intervention Specialist Mrs. Cristina Smith.  She shared that the community helpers came dressed in "regular" clothes to start, and then put on their work gear, such as the turnout suit firemen wear.  This allowed students to see that there are friendly people underneath the sometimes intimidating uniforms.

Big thank yous to Mrs. Smith for arranging the presentations and to the guests who visited.  We are grateful to have your assistance as we prepare students to be happy and successful in our Lakewood community and beyond!