WEST ORANGE, NJ — In conjunction with Dr. Seuss’s birthday, the national Read Across America campaign and other schoolwide activities, Gregory and Kelly elementary school students were treated to visits from students from the state-approved Career and Technical Education Early Childhood program at West Orange High School on March 1.
Students from Early Childhood and Family Studies II classes read children’s books, such as “The Lorax,” by Dr. Seuss, and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” by Eric Carle; and led fun activities ranging from planting seeds and creating interactive beetles to decorating colorful fish and masks.
WOHS teachers Cyndee Critelli and Beverly Tindall accompanied the WOHS students. Critelli prepared the high school students for weeks before their elementary school visits, giving suggestions about reading levels, activities and classroom management techniques, and helping them gather and organize supplies. The host teachers were duly impressed. Kelly third-grade teacher Jennifer Imperial said: “After hearing the story ‘It’s Okay to be Different’ and completing a group puzzle, my third-graders aren’t ‘puzzled’ about being different. They know they are all accepted for their similarities and tolerant of their differences!”
The WOHS students were pleasantly surprised as well. Senior Michelle Montesleoca said: “The experience really opened my eyes to being a teacher, and that is the career path I want to pursue.” Junior Anu Adegbite said: “Experiencing first hand the perks of teaching such wonderful and disciplined students was such a rewarding experience — beneficial for them as well as us!”