Deerfield students learned the value of persistence from best-selling author, Wendy Mass on Author’s Day

On March 20th, 3rd through 6th grade Deerfield School students celebrated Author’s Day with a visit from best-selling author, Wendy Mass. Students had the opportunity to learn about what it means to be an author and about the writing process.

The students were engaged during Ms. Mass’s presentation and asked really good questions at the end of each session. Deerfield teachers thought she did a great job explaining the writing process and gave them tips they can use with their students. “One huge take away was the short video she shared of the 49 rejection letters she received for her first book in 2003, Mango-Shaped Space. These letters made her even more determined to succeed at her dream. She told the students to not give up on their dream, regardless of what it is, even if people are telling you that you can’t do it.” said Miss Sharon Bradley, School Media Specialist and sponsor of the grant funded by the Mountainside Education Foundation (MEF).

MEF Now Accepting 8th Grade Outstanding Character Award Nominations

The Mountainside Education Foundation is once again proud to offer the MEF Outstanding Character Award to a graduating 8th grade Deerfield student.  The purpose of this award is to recognize students who have demonstrated a continuing commitment to character and self-development, and to emphasize the importance that these attributes play in a child’s growth to adulthood.  The core principles of the MEF Outstanding Character Award Program are:

  • Courage: Taking risks and following your conscience.
  • Integrity: Being truthful and trustworthy to oneself and others.
  • Responsibility: Conveying an attitude of commitment and conviction.
  • Concern: Demonstrating compassion and a caring attitude toward others. 

Nominations for the award may come from teachers, school staff, coaches, scout leaders or any member of the Mountainside Community, who is not related to the nominee. The award and $250 will be presented to the recipient at the Deerfield Graduation ceremony on June 19, 2019. Click here for the nomination form: Outstanding Character Award Nomination Form-2019

Deerfield 5th graders enjoy the art of poetry with Professor BJ Ward

Over the course of three visits, 5th Grade students worked with Professor BJ Ward to learn about the function and importance of words! Through engaging, hands-on activities, students explored the art of poetry and worked to craft two of their own original poems.  Finally, students were guided through the act of revision, making sure their word choices were purposeful and had an impact on the reader. Completed poems will be compiled into a grade-wide Poetry Anthology, to be distributed later in the year.  Deerfield 5th grade teacher Ms. Lori Topel said, “A HUGE thanks to the MEF for generously funding this incredible experience for us!  It will surely be one of the highlights of the year that will stay with us for a lifetime.”

Wine Tasting Fun at Masker’s Barn!

Over 110 people came out to support the Mountainside Education Foundation’s Winterfest Wine Tasting fundraiser on February 9, 2019. The event was held in Mountainside’s own backyard – Masker’s Barn in the Deserted Village of Watchung Reservation, where the ambiance was a wonderful feeling of rustic elegance. Attendees enjoyed tasting 6 different wines and participated in a fundraising wine pull, tricky tray, and 50/50 raffle. The numbers haven’t been tallied yet, but we’re sure that a lot of money was raised to support education in Mountainside schools! Check out the slideshow below.

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MEF grant allows 8th graders to sew blankets for hospitalized babies

The Mountainside Education Foundation provided a $1,000 grant towards supplies for Ms. Bentey’s 8th grade life skills class.  The students sew blankets that are sent to Project Linus, which provides blankets to a tiny infant in the ICU, a child who just lost their parent, or a child who arrives in the emergency room injured and frightened.  Bonnie Hahn, Chapter Coordinator of Project Linus stated, “To the Mountainside Education Foundation, we extend our sincere gratitude for making the blankets possible through a generous grant to to help offset the cost of material.” 

blanketsforbabies

BINGO! MEF hosts a fantastic Bingo Night fundraiser

MEF changed things up a bit and hosted a Bingo Night fundraiser for the first time on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Over 80 people “table-gated” with their BYO wine, beer, and snacks in Pollard Hall at Our Lady of Lourdes church. Check out the slide show below to see the fun that everyone had!

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Mountainside Girl Scout raises awareness of wearing helmets at 2018 MEF Glow Ride

Mountainside resident, Jill Zimmermann, attended the 2018 MEF Glow Ride in June to raise awareness about wearing helmets while riding bikes. This effort was part of Jill’s Girl Scout gold award project entitled, “Helmets on the Brain: Preventing TBIs,” (traumatic brain injuries.) Jill stated, “The MEF Glow Ride was one of the best events and I am so glad I was able to participate. It was very rewarding.” Jill had the opportunity to interact with many kids, as well as some parents, and she felt everyone was very positive about helmet safety. Based on her research, she confirmed that students who ride their bikes to Deerfield shows a 35% increase of kids wearing their helmets since her program began. With the increase, 59% of bikers are wearing a helmet. Jill created the attached pamphlet for awareness. Even though the number of Deerfield bike riders wearing helmets increased, it is still just 59%. Jill hopes having her pamphlet and bookmark online will serve as a reminder to kids and adults to wear their helmets while riding their bikes.

MEF Funds STEAM Education Program for 4th and 5th Graders

STEAM robotOn April 12, 2018, the Deerfield APR room was turned into a state-of-the-art, hands-on children’s museum focused on STEAM education.  Mrs. Kinney brought this popular program back for the 3rd year for the 4th and 5th graders to inspire critical thinking, increase science literacy and enable the next generation of innovators.

Here are some examples of what the children explored:

Science  – The Bike Generator turned student’s energy into a dazzling light show, as the children pedaled the bike, they converted their kinetic energy into electricity. They illuminated low-power LEDs until finally creating enough power to light halogen lamps at the top of the tower.

Technology – NAO, a truly cutting-edge humanoid robot, showed off his human-like skills and left kids amazed and imaginations sparked.  Programmable robots were available to turn their imagination into action.  .

Engineering – Kids built a parabolic arch and learned how strong this structure functions, how force is dispersed, and how a keystone works.

Art – Design was showcased to realize the connection between art and science.  The students saw how design choices turned complex machines into friendly companions.

Mathematics – The Pythagorean Theorem Wheel allowed everybody to see the beauty in geometry.   Programming the various robots showcased logical thinking and problem solving abilities.

Here are two examples of thank-you notes written by the children who participated: