Foundation grants, donations benefit Marlboro youngsters


MARLBORO – Forty-five programs that will go beyond students’ textbooks will occur throughout the Marlboro K-8 School District with the help of a $44,087 donation from the Marlboro Educational Foundation.

The foundation’s grants will benefit children throughout the district’s schools and fund programs such as a first-grade class going green at the Frank Defino Central Elementary School, world pen pals at the Marlboro Elementary School and an Elizabethan Theme Day at the Marlboro Memorial Middle School.

Board of Education President Terry Spilken noted at a Nov. 20 board meeting how outstanding these types of programs are for students. More grants can be expected in the spring, according to Marlboro Educational Foundation President Lisa Naboulsi.

Donations were also accepted from the Marlboro Middle School PTA and from Nathan Handlin.

The Marlboro Middle School PTA donated $6,114 for the purchase of Promethian equipment to be used in classes. The equipment includes two sets of Activotes, three Activslates and two document cameras.

Youngsters from the Frank J. Dugan Elementary School displayed how the new technology in their school helps them learn about odd and even numbers.

Second-graders Brittany Fersht, Sarah Gottdenker, Elijah Klein, Tova Petto, Andrew Rimland and Harsheen Singh demonstrated with their teachers, Linda Morrill and Joanne Van Dagna, how the Activboard helps in lessons.

The Activboard is a computer system where students are engaged with the technology by using a pointer to write, draw or move objects around. This system is helpful in various classroom studies.

In an activity displaying two shapes and various number objects, the children would interact with the technology when asked to place even numbers in a star and the odd numbers in a cylinder.

Upon placing the item in its correct spot sound effects of clapping and cheering come from the Activboard to let the child know his or her accomplishment. If an answer was wrong the item would fly back to its place outside the shape.

“Learning is exciting with the Activboard,” the children told the audience members.

Handlin donated 140 copies of his book “32259205 – The Story of One Soldier’s Journey Through World War II” to the Marlboro Memorial Middle School. The value of the books is $2,800.

Board member Murray Hoffman called the book a “wonderful anthology of his (Handlin’s) time in service.”

Spilken said the book is valuable for children to learn about World War II.

Members of the Marlboro Historic Preservation Advisory Commission gave a brief presentation to the board to display a historic coloring book of Marlboro.

The book, “A Children’s Sketchbook of Marlboro Township,” will be distributed to third-graders as a companion to their studies about Marlboro history.

Commission Chairwoman Rita Scalzo, Dorothy McCue and Nancy Williams were on hand to present the book using a disk copy to be brought up on a computer. Third grade teachers will receive a disk copy for their classrooms.

McCue said the goal of the book is to give children an idea about what life was like for the farming families who lived in Marlboro. She laughed as she pointed out that the town’s schools were built on what were once potato fields.

Pictures in the coloring book explain the daily chores a child may have had in the past, including churning butter. The book even explains that there was no indoor plumbing and people had to use an outhouse.

Tears were shed following the announcement of teacher Gloria Furey’s retirement. Completing 33 years as a teacher, the current language arts instructor at the Marlboro Memorial Middle School will start her retirement effective Dec. 31.

Furey shed a few tears when she thanked the board for its support throughout her years of teaching.

Assistant Superintendent Marc Gaswirth said Furey has “projected professionalism” and he spoke about the impact she has had on her students throughout the years.

Spilken told Furey, “It’s going to be hard to replace someone with your dedication and skills.”

Also that evening a parent spoke about her desire to have a milk-free classroom in her child’s school. In September Cecilia Ditaranto brought the issue of her child’s severe allergy to milk to the board’s attention.

At the Nov. 20 meeting she said she knew the district’s legal team was investigating the situation but said she needed immediate help.

Spilken said the board is waiting because it cannot act without the advice of its legal and medical representatives. He said as soon as the findings of those professionals are reported the board would contact her about the matter.

Currently when snack time nears, the child is removed from the classroom and allowed back in once the room has been cleared of any milk.

In other board business a lease agreement for Ricoh copiers was approved in an amount not to exceed $150,000 per year.

The board will hold a workshop meeting on Dec. 11 and its regular meeting on Dec. 18.