An Independent Weekly Newspaper
Pelham~Windham News Volume 9 Number 31 February 17, 2012 12 Pages
Random Acts of Kindness Week
“No act of Kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” Aesop, “Pass it On” by Doug Robinson “Sharing is caring.” “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” stated Mark Twain. Random Acts of Kindness Week
was founded the principal that “A random act of kindness is a selfless act performed by a person or people wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual person or people” states the Random Acts of Kindness organization. “Share can be a very simple act of kindness. It will really make the person you share with feel valued.” Since 1995, Random Acts of Kindness has brought people together to share kinds act, sharing kindness, as well encouraging people to practice more kindness. “There are plenty of opportunities for us to be nice to one another in everyday life.” History has demonstrated that most acts of Random Acts of Kindness have occurred during the publicized events of a national disaster. Television infomercials combined with promotional events to raise funds for needy organizations generate millions of dollars yearly. The Random Acts of Kindness organization believes that “You don’t have to wait until a natural disaster. The Random Acts of Kindness foundation inspires people to practice kindness and pass it on to others.” The act of giving connects us to others, and not only “creates a stronger community, (the act of) giving helps build a stronger community for everyone” writes www. actionforhappiness.org
. Research according to actioforhappiness.org
, has shown that “positive learning environments lead to better learning outcomes. Kindness is a means to creating a positive learning environment.”
Historians, Laureates, Politicians,
World leaders, and even Winnie the Pooh are universal with their beliefs regarding the benefits of kindness: “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson “Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair but manifestations of strength and resolution.” Kahlil Gibran “A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” Winnie the Pooh “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” Lao Tzu “What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” Jean-Jacques Rousseau “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” William Shakespeare “Kindness is ever the begetter of kindness.” Sophocles “That best portion of a good man’s life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” William Words
Random Acts of Kindness week takes place in February as a fun way to cheer people up and give back to society. Sometimes the best acts of kindness are ones that are a surprise, such as pulling up to a toll booth and discovering that someone else has paid. Other s ideas include:
Hold the door for someone carrying Offer to help your neighbor with a
task. Praise an employee to his or her manager. Buy flowers for a friend for no
reason. Or, just say thank you to all
you meet. Value, recognize, and acknowledge all those with whom you meet. Thank you. Thank you. I value
you. You are important. Thank you for helping me. No matter who, just say, thank you. Hold the door open for those in front and those behind.
Cub Scout, Collins Dentistry Gives PHS a $500 Check
by Kristen Hoffman Pelham Cub Scout Packs 610 and 25 are hoping to team up together in an effort to raise money for new science tables at Pelham High School. The effort was already underway by Friday,
February 10, when Kenny Pawlowicz, along with Dr. Collins from Collins Dentistry presented Dr. Holden and Principal Dorothy Mohr with a $500 check. At a recent dentist appointment, Pawlowicz, who recently turned 9, asked Dr. Collins if she was interested in donating money to PHS to help the school purchase some new tables for their science labs. To his surprise, they were interested, “They donated $500!” He said excitedly. Kenny also contacted people at MIT, and while they were not able to make a donation, they mentioned that they had a few graduate students who
tewould be interested in helping the scouts write grants for the project. For Dr. Collins, the service was just one of the many projects Collins Dentistry does for the community, “We are always trying to reach out to the community, we’re used to donating to different causes,” Collins said. Each of the tables is valued at $262. PHS is looking to get 40. Right now, many tables in the science labs are deteriorating at an alarming rate. Many of the remaining tables are original to the school. Plastic banquet tables have since replaced tables that have been retired. The existing tables are unable to withstand the demand of a typical science class, as many are in poor condition. The plastic tables do not have a necessary, protective chemical sealant.
continued to page 8- Donation
Kenny Pawlowicz meets one of the critters that calls the PHS science department home
Voters Add Half Million to Proposed Budget for Teacher Step Increases
by Barbara O’Brien Windham School Board members did not support the move, but voters ignored their comments and passed more than a half-million dollar increase to the proposed operating budget for the 2012-2013 school year. Although voters cannot dictate what that money can be spent on, the intent was made clear that the funds are to be used to fund step increases for teachers affected by the lack of a new contract. Teachers have been without a contract
now for the past two years. As the result of negotiations last year and earlier this year, a proposed contract was offered to teachers’ late last month, but was ultimately rejected by the union. The operating budget did not come up for discussion until near the end of the school deliberative session, held February 10 at Windham High School. A significant number of residents had already left the auditorium by the time the issue was raised. Among
those remaining, however, was a contingency of local teachers and various supporters. The amendment was approved by those still in attendance by a vote of 55 to 42. Approximately 130 people were there earlier in the evening, but as the clock approached 11 p.m., people began gradually leaving. Shortly after the discussion on the operating budget was initiated, a proposed amendment was brought forth asking those in attendance to continued to page 5- Step Increases
PES Fourth Graders Learn About Ecosystems With Hands-on Project
by Karen Plumley Teams of fourth graders from both Mrs. George’s and Mrs. Cummings’ fourth grade classrooms learned how ecosystems work during a hands-on lesson by creating their very own bio- domes recently at Pelham Elementary School. The youngsters learned about how parts of our environment interact with one another during a science lesson, and they were given the opportunity to create their very own contained ecosystems. During their hands-on lab experiment, children were split into groups of four or five students each, and were required to draw out a plan for a bio-dome after given materials such as paper towel wicks, plastic bottles, water, grass seeds, soil, rocks, and live creatures such as fish, snails, and crickets. According to George, the students had to decide on their own just how many grass seeds would be ideal, how much water and rocks to use, and how long their paper wicks should be, in order to create the perfect enclosed environment for their plants and animals to survive
and thrive in. Their plans were based on their recent lessons and readings about ecosystems. Each group came up with their
own group names and plans for their ecosystems. After creating their bio-domes, the children have been observing and recording what is happening in their bio-domes in their scientific notebooks. In nature, the unexpected sometimes happens. And because this experiment parallels what is happening in nature, a couple of the groups in George’s class have observed a shocking occurrence - their snails have eaten their fish. The children have done the appropriate research and answered this baffling mystery. Apparently, snails will eat dead fish -so the kids have been busy trying to determine just what might have killed the fish in the first place. The fourth graders are thoroughly
enjoying this live experiment and their scientific curiosity has been peaked with the results of the bio- dome experiment.
Fourth grader James Downs observes the biodome he created with his teammates during an ecosystems lesson in Mrs. Rebecca George’s fourth grade science class.
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Te “Nerds” ecosystems group watch the progress of their biodome. From left: Ryan Leuteritz, Jade Atkins, Matt Jozokos.
Te “Ravens” observe their biodome. From left: Eddie Shlimon, Ben Plumley, James Downs and Austin Bomil.
Fourth grade teacher Mrs. Rebecca George examines a biodome with the Smiley Monkeys - Ryan Hartz, Ethan Patten and Hannah Seldinger.
School Board Chairman Speaks Out After Additions to Operating Budget
by Barbara O’Brien As the result of actions taken at the Windham
School District deliberative session on February 10, School Board Chairman Ed Gallagher says he can no longer support the warrant article pertaining to the proposed 2012-2013 school- operating budget.
Although the proposed school budget for next
year was previously supported unanimously by school board members, Gallagher’s opinion
changed after the bottom line was amended by residents to include more than $500,000 to pay for step increases for teachers. The amendment was, subsequently, approved by the majority of voters attending the late night session, despite the fact that there’s no valid contract currently in place. “It’s a bad precedent for the school and
the town,” Gallagher said. “I consider it a bullying tactic.” Gallagher said that school
board representatives had bargained in good faith and were willing to continue doing so in hopes of reaching a new contract with the teachers’ union. “The time to negotiate is at the bargaining table, not at the deliberative session,” he added.
Gallagher said he is especially disappointed that Lead Union Negotiator Cathy Pappalardo
continued to page 5- Chairman Speaks Out
Staff photos by Karen Plumley
Staff photos by Len Lathrop
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