A character education program was introduced to students at the Charles A. Reinhard Early Childhood Center in Bellmore theatrically at the school’s annual Rising Star Pep Rally last week.
Before the Oct. 3 program, each student designed and colored his or her own yellow star. The children were then seated with their teachers in five areas of the school’s auditorium, where Principal Clifford Molinelli said they sang and cheered for the specific Bellmore core value their section represented ––integrity, respect, dedication, trust or teamwork.
Dr. Joseph Famularo, the district superintendent, said staff and students at all three Bellmore schools work to promote the five core values –– each representing points on a star –– because they are important to the district’s mission.
“One thing we do well in Bellmore is work as a team,” he said. “Our vision statement is that we are a community of learners.”
The staff at the Reinhard Center, which is home to students in pre-kindergarten through second grade, also tried to promote district values creatively at the pep rally.
Molinelli said faculty and staff members dressed as characters from “Beauty and the Beast” for the event, where they performed a short skit written by school psychologist Elise Cahill. The play was set at Reinhard and featured Belle teaching the Beast and the rest of the cast how to live their lives using the district’s values.
The play was designed to reinforce elements of the character education program, as well procedures and etiquette associated with the “peaceful bus” program, Molinelli said. The principal explained that this was the first time that a skit was performed at the Rising Star Pep Rally.
Students recited the Rising Star Pledge at the conclusion of the pep rally, promising to “be a Reinhard Rising Star by doing what is right and true.”
Molinelli said the event, which students told their teachers they enjoyed, is only the beginning of character education at Reinhard this year.
“It’s one way we proactively encourage respectful behavior in school,” he said. “All year long, we’ll be talking about these core values.”