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Treasure Hunters

Treasure Hunters photo

Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students from Cherokee Street Elementary School recently got in touch with their inner “Indiana Jones” by participating in “The History Mystery” Library Adventure, right from the comfort of the school’s library.

With assistance from library media specialist Kathy Lopergalo and PTA Cultural Arts Representative Stephanie Clarelli, the students worked as a team with the ultimate goal in mind of finding the missing “historical artifact” hidden within the room. 

During their time spent in the library, the treasure hunters discovered concealed clues, solved riddles and followed trails shrouded in mystery. Additionally, the students built upon their observational and research skills, as they worked as a team to solve the multitude of riddles presented before them in the form of decoder cards, code charts and clue cards.

The Benefits of Place-Based Learning


Fourth-and fifth-grade students from Cherokee Street Elementary School were recently visited by student teachers from Adelphi University in an effort to engage in and reinforce place-based education lessons.

“The heart of place-based education is to extend students’ learning experiences beyond the classroom setting, expanding into the schoolyard and surrounding community,” said fourth-grade teacher Sandra Fantauzzi.

Students who have participated in these place-based lessons have worked closely with Mrs. Fantauzzi to plant and care for a native-plant garden, monitor the migration patterns of the school courtyard’s monarch butterfly population, and report the migration patterns and behaviors of bird populations through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Project FeedWatch citizen-science project. 

Mrs. Fantauzzi, along with the Adelphi University student-teachers, are currently preparing to present the benefits of a place-based education at an upcoming education conference, “Northern Lights: Illuminating Norwegian Culture, Environment and School Connections” in Tromso, Norway. During this time, they will be visiting schools in Norway to see how the place-based education philosophy is being applied at the elementary and secondary levels. Mrs. Fantauzzi plans to share her experience in Norway when she returns from her adventure. 


A Visit from A Furry Friend

A Visit from A Furry Friend photo

Students enrolled in Cindy Campanella’s and Courtney Skahill’s second-grade class at Cherokee Street Elementary School recently had a “doggone” good time in their classrooms when they were visited by Moby, a three-year-old therapy dog, along with his owner Lance Motkin.

After being introduced to Moby and Mr. Motkin, the students engaged in a series of dog-themed activity stations throughout the classroom, including bingo, board games and reading comprehension. Additionally, they were afforded the opportunity to approach Moby and pet him, compliment his temperament and ask Mr. Motkin questions about his training. 

Mr. Motkin is the owner and founder of plauDogs, Inc., which has him and Moby visiting various schools and organizations. According to Mr. Motkin, Moby brings instant smiles to everyone, no matter where his four paws lead him.