By DAN TOMASELLO
NORTH READING — There are a lot of exciting things happening at the Little School.
The School Committee continued their annual tour of the town’s five schools on Monday, when the school board made its fourth stop on the road show at the Little School.
Principal Christine Molle served as the master of ceremonies during the presentation, where students gave the School Committee an up close and personal overview of what they are learning in school.
Before the presentation began, School Committee Chairman Jerry Venezia joked about a photo on the front page of last week’s Transcript showing Molle kissing a pig. She agreed to kiss the pig if Little School students read for a total of 75,000 minutes by the end of March. The students actually read for more than 114,000 minutes, which inspired Molle to kiss the pig twice.
“I found it a little disturbing,” Venezia joked.
“As (Hood School Principal) Glen McKay said, I was above the fold,” said Molle.
Molle said the Little School’s presentation was designed to serve as a “variety show” because it covered science, an interactive story and drama.
Molle said fifth graders participate in the highly anticipated science fair each year. She said the science fair allows students to showcase what they are learning in class by undertaking creative projects.
Fifth grader Shivani Srikanth gave an overview of her project called “How Well Do Disinfectants Work.” She said she conducted tests of different types of disinfectants in order to determine which product is the best for removing different types of bacteria.
As part of the experiment, Srikanth tested products such as antibacterial soap, alcohol and Lysol. She tested the disinfectants by cleaning a particular area, and compared the disinfectants to one another. She also grew a bacteria colony in an agar, and used a microscope to magnify the bacteria image by 400 times to illustrate the bacteria’s shape and characteristics.
Srikanth said she enjoyed undertaking the project because it gave her a better understanding of how disinfectants work.
Fifth grader Zac Heintz discussed his science fair project, “Spread the Soap, Not the Germs.”
Heintz said the purpose of his project was to demonstrate the proper way to avoid spreading germs. He said simply washing your hands with soap for 20 seconds is not an effective way to stop germs from spreading. He said people need to thoroughly wash their hands, including the fingers, fingernails and the top of hands to stop germs from spreading.
According to Heintz, he used ultraviolet light as part of his project, which showed germs, resembling tiny specs, because a person’s hands were not properly washed.
The School Committee gave Srikanth and Heintz a round of applause after the two students concluded their portion of the Little School presentation.
Progressive story project
Media center paraprofessional Diane Maguire showed the School Committee the student-created video “The Adventures of Scout, Floaty and Georgie.” The story was created as part of the Little School’s progressive story project.
The video, created by students in preschool through fifth grade, was created with iPads and a book creator app. “The Adventures of Scout, Floaty and Georgie” was written by Andrea Michaud’s p.m. preK class, Deborah Aldrich’s kindergarten class, Jane Dee’s fourth grade class, Rosanne Brennan’s second grade class and Nancy Badavas fifth grade class.
“The students did all of the work,” said Magiure.
The interactive story’s title page was narrated by fourth grader Noelle Murphy, who said in the beginning of the video, “Each student in the class had a voice and an illustration in the story.”
Jack O’Connell-Coyne and Aldrich’s full-day kindergarten class narrated a portion of the story. Fourth graders Kiera Osterlind and Richard Hunter III narrated a scene. Fifth graders Leah Damphousse, Gina Mulik, Jared MacDonald and Annie MacLellan also narrated a portion of the story. The final narrators were second graders Isabelle Lazure, Nina Pagliuca, Julia Scammon and Joseph McNeil.
“The Adventures of Scout, Floaty and Georgie” is a story about a chicken named Scout, who lives on a farm with horses, chickens, pigs, sheep, cows and humans.
School officials and attendees gave the students a round of applause after watching the interactive story.
Beauty and the Beast
Music teacher Chris Tatro and fifth graders Lindsay Keller, Steven Fleury, Annie MacLellan, Erica Pepper and Jack Foley gave the School Committee a sneak preview of the upcoming Little School production of Walt Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”
“Beauty and the Beast” is scheduled to be performed in the new Daniel Shay Performing Arts Center on June 19 and 20. Keller is portraying Belle. Fleury is playing Beast. MacLellan is portraying Lumiere the candlestick. Pepper is Cogsworth the clock. Foley is Belle’s father, Maurice.
According to the students, the Little School Drama Club has 250 alumni members and has performed five different plays. The students also said Little School alumni have gone on to perform in future plays in middle school, high school and college.
The students performed scene five of the play, where Belle is searching for her lost father at a castle. Lumiere and Cogsworth recognize Belle could potentially break a spell and they could become human again if she falls in love with the Beast.
The School Committee, school officials, parents and teachers were absolutely blown away by the students’ performance and gave them a round of applause.
Venezia said the performing arts center is a great place to watch a show, and said he is looking forward to seeing the Little School’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” in June. He also thanked Molle, teachers, students and parents for making the school board feel right at home at the Little School.
“We always enjoy coming to the Little School,” said Venezia.