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Webster Museum will host two new young Webster authors

28 Feb
Kathyrn

Kathryn Rider and Emerson Ormond

Two young authors will be at the Webster Library on March 9 to talk about their new book, Our Wendy.

Kathryn Rider, a seventh grader at Willink Middle School, and Emerson Ormond, a ninth grader at Webster Schroeder High School, released their first collaborative novel in December. Best friends for pretty much their entire lives, both young ladies have been writing stories since their childhood.

Based loosely on the famous adventures of Peter Pan, Our Wendy tells the story of a runaway boy named Peter, who’s created a new life in the woods with several other “lost boys.” When pretty, bright-eyed Ever Kingsley stumbles into their camp, Peter is determined to keep her by any means possible, and make her their Wendy Darling.

In their talk, scheduled on March 9 from 1 to 2 p.m., Kathryn and Emerson will discuss our wendythe challenges they had to overcome while writing the book, and the secrets they used to get it published. They’ll have several copies of the books there for sale (and signing), and all proceeds will be donated to the fight against children’s cancer.

The Webster Library is located in the Webster Plaza, 980 Ridge Road.

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Webster community mailbag

23 Feb

mailbag iconOur new friends over at Lala of Webster have let me know about a few fun events coming up, the first one happening this afternoon (Saturday), actually.

It’s a make-your-own Essential Oil Lava Bead Bracelet event, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Cost is $15 per person and Lisa asks interested participants to call ahead at 585-236-1604 so they now how many people to expect.

On Wednesday, March 6, from noon to 3 p.m., Robyn Miller from Green Gorilla CBD Oil & New Chapter Supplements will be on hand for a “Snacks and Mocktails” visit (just pop in anytime), and on Saturday, March 9, Lala will hold a Peace and Pear Journaling Class from 2 to 3 pm. Registration for this is also $15, and you’ll want to register ahead of time because space is limited.

Lala of Webster is located at 38 East Main Street in the village.

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There’s nothing much better than free pancakes.

Get some for yourself and your kids on Tuesday March 5 when St. Martin Lutheran Church holds their free Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. The meal includes sausage and applesauce, and unlimited pancakes of course, served from 5 to 7 p.m. at the church, 813 Bay Road. In honor of Mardis Gras, beads will be provided, and you can even make your own masks. Guests are also invited to wear their best Mardis Gras attire.

While the pancakes are free, guests are asked to bring a free will offering for the Little Free Food Pantry at the church. Call the church at 671-1899 with questions or to reserve seats .

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bowlingDust off those bowling balls and shoes and save the date for an enjoyable afternoon of bowling, all for a great cause!

On Sunday, April 28, Webster’s Special Education Parent-Teacher Association (SEPTA) will hold its annual bowling fundraiser to raise scholarship funds for graduating Webster Schroeder and Webster Thomas High School seniors who are part of the district’s special education family.

Join Webster’s special education faculty and staff, students, parents, and Webster families from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at AMF Empire Lanes in Webster. Your donation of $30 includes two hours of bowling, shoe and equipment rental, a t-shirt, pizza, soft drinks, and even free raffle tickets for prizes.

At this point, organizers are looking for teams to sign up, and businesses who would like to sponsor the event and/or provide raffle prizes. For more information, click here to download a flyer.

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Don’t forget about the Webster United Church of Christ’ Pet Food Pantry’s open house!

The awesome UCC Rebel Beat youth group there took it upon themselves to create a pet food pantry from the ground up, coordinating with Meals on Wheels to deliver pet food to their clients who have dogs and  cats at home.

Since the pantry began last summer, it has continued to support Meals on Wheels with a large monthly delivery so that the family pets of home-bound individuals can get much needed pet food and supplies. In the beginning they served more than 50 clients each month. Since then, that number has increased by about 30%. They hope to eventually cover all Meals on Wheels clients in Monroe County.

The Pantry is holding an open house on Saturday March 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. It’s a great opportunity to meet these incredible young people and take a tour of the pantry. And if you stop by, please bring along a bag or box of dry cat food to add to the collection; they’re trying to collect 2,400 pounds of cat food, which will meet the needs of the Meals on Wheels for Pets program for the rest of 2019.

The United Church of Christ Pet Food Pantry is located at 570 Klem Road.

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News from the schools

21 Feb
gyus and dolls

The Guys and Dolls, Jr. cast features Aidan Jacobs as Sky Masterson, Madeleine Tischner as Sarah Brown, Sam Nagar as Nathan Detroit, and Analiesse Brown as Miss Adelaide.

The Webster schools’ musical season continues in early March when the students of Spry Middle School present the Broadway classic Guys and Dolls, Jr. 

Three shows are scheduled, Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 9 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the Spry Middle School auditorium, 119 South Ave.

Spry productions usually sell out, so if you really want to attend, make sure to get your tickets early. They’re available online here beginning Feb. 25 for $7.

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Parents of incoming kindergarteners in the 2019-20 school year are reminded that the Webster CSD Kindergarten Parent Orientation and Registration Night is Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at your student’s school. Please note that this night is for parents only.

After Parent Orientation and Registration Night, kindergarten walk-in registration is available Wednesday-Friday, February 27-March 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., also at your student’s school.

For more information, go to Central Registration’s 2019-20 Kindergarten Registration webpage.

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And here’s another reminder about the upcoming information nights for the school district’s new Wondercare before and after-school childcare program. It’s being introduced next year at each of the district’s seven elementary schools in conjunction with the new start times.

Several information nights have been scheduled, and parents are asked to attend the one associated with their school if at all possible:

• Monday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. for Plank Road North and Plank Road South at Plank North
• Wednesday, February 27 at 7:00 p.m. at Dewitt Road
• Thursday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Klem Road South
• Monday, March 4 at 7:00 p.m. at Schlegel Road
• Tuesday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m. at Klem Road North
• Wednesday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m. at State Road

These evenings will be geared for parents only. (Family meet and greet nights will take place in August.) If you cannot attend your home school date, you may attend at another location.

For more information about the program, including pricing, visit the WonderCare webpage at websterschools.org, email wondercare@webstercsd.org or call 216-0017.

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Finally, thank you to Heather Dale for sending along this news and photos from St. Rita:

Throughout Catholic Schools Week St. Rita School participated in the Great Kindness Challenge, a national movement that empowered students to create a culture of kindness. The students did teamwork and cooperative activities with their buddy classes, reading and building structures out of all sort of creative materials.

On the final afternoon, classes came to the gymnasium for a Kindness Pep Rally and partake in a cooperative activity called Powerball, using small balls to move a large ball across the other teams line. Then to show our school love, we made a kindness tunnel leaving the gymnasium where each class got to go through and receive high fives from all the other classes.

In addition, families of St. Rita Schools also donated many cans of soup on soup-er bowl weekend, and there were other “spirit” days that included wearing ties that reminded them they are “tied up in teamwork” every day.

SRS School Great Kindness Challenge 2

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Congratulations to nine St. Rita School alumni, class of 2013, who received the Hands of Christ Award this year.

These seniors are active members of St. Rita, Holy Trinity and St. Stanislaus Kostka Parishes, and have consistently demonstrated a Christian attitude by word and example.

This Hand of Christ Award is a recognition program to assist parishes in affirming their high school seniors who have been the “Hands of Christ” in their church, home, school and community.

SRS Alumni Class of 2013

Standing with Bishop Matano are Julia Spagnola, Lauren Quatela, Hannah Tette and TJ Tytler. Other St. Rita alumni who received the award are Brandon Connor, Taylor Loiacono, Meghan McAliney, Esther Moore and Jacob Russo.

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Webster pre-K students celebrate 100 days by giving back

19 Feb
IMG_20190214_141436829

Chris McNamara (left) and Ann Meers help their Schlegel Elementary School UPK kids show off the cans they collected and their can chain.

Celebrating the first 100 days of school is an elementary school tradition. It’s not only a fun way to recognize the fact that the school year is more than half over, but it’s also a good excuse to practice counting to 100 in different ways and with a variety of items.

Two Webster pre-K teachers — Joanna Sero at Klem Rd. North and Chris McNamara at Schlegel Rd. — came up with a unique way to help their young students mark the occasion, while helping the Webster community at the same time.

On Feb. 4 they began a two-week long can drive, encouraging their students in each of their classes to donate 100 cans of dog food, which they would then donate to Joyful Rescues.

In a letter she sent home to parents, Sero explained the project and how it would be incorporated into the curriculum:

In the past few months we have learned about friendship, kindness and generosity, as well as wants and needs. As we prepare to celebrate love and friendship on Valentine’s Day, we are inviting our Pre-K friends to show kindness to pets in need. … Our goal is to collect 100 cans (so we can work on sorting/counting them in groups of ten)! We will also connect this project to our study of environmental print.

As you can imagine, the students enthusiastically embraced the project. At Schlegel, the students made a canned-food chain, marking each new donation with a new link on the chain. At Klem North, Sero’s class created a pet shelter/vet clinic dramatic play center, and read books about rescued animals.

By the end of the two-week donation period, both classes had reached their goal (although I suspect the teachers might have had a hand in that). Last Saturday, Sero and McNamara — accompanied by many of their pre-K friends — took them all to PetSmart in Webster and handed them over to some very grateful representatives from Joyful Rescues.

This was a great project in so many ways. It was a fun way for the kids to practice counting to 100, and it was a terrific lesson in community involvement. But it touched on so many other skills as well.

Case in point: When Sero told her class that the Schlegel students had collected 96 cans to their 81, several of them said “they’re beating us!” But then one little guy noted, “It’s okay because we are collaborating with them, and the dogs get all of the cans!”

Here are some photos from the can delivery:

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Webster students head to national ninja competition

13 Feb

20190112_122216

Two Dewitt Elementary School students will be headed to Hartford, CT this weekend to compete in the 2019 World Championships of the National Ninja League (NNL).

Grayson Schoeffler and Megan Stupplebeen, classmates in Mrs. Krieger’s second grade class, will be competing against kids from all around the world in the 6 to 8-year old division.

Grayson and Megan both train at the Warrior Factory in Henrietta, where they qualified for the national NNL competition with top-three finishes in local competitions.

Both Grayson and Megan have been ninja warriors pretty much their whole lives. Grayson’s mom, Alison, says her son

started his ninja career when he was 10 months and climbing out of his crib. From there he basically has been swinging and climbing off anything in his way….All great ninjas have a ninja name and Grayson is known as the Hardway Ninja, (because he usually does everything the Hard Way).

Megan’s mother Cathy describes her daughter (AKA “MEGatron”) as an “8-year old dynamo.”

She enjoys training with several friends and her brother, Peter (age 11) during open gym at The Warrior Factory…. We have converted the majority of the basement to be ninja central where Megan works on ring toss, cliffhanger, climbing walls, balance obstacles and whatever the newest challenge is. Megan works with her dad and brother on building new obstacles.

The four-day long competition, held Feb. 15-18, is divided into several age categories from the youngest (6-8) through masters (40 and over). Competitors typically tackle up to ten obstacles on every course. If you want to check out the kinds of challenges these kids might face, click here to see a video of a past (very young) first-place competitor. If you ever watch these ninja competitions on TV, I think you’ll recognize some of the elements.

From reading their emails, it’s clear to me how proud both families are of their young ninja warriors. But both moms also emphasized how positive and supportive the young ninja community is.

“One of our favorite aspects of ninja is how all ninjas cheer each other on, it’s such a positive community,” Cathy said. Alison added, “It has been such a positive sport for (Grayson) as everyone is so encouraging of each other.”

Check back here after the weekend for an update on how MEGatron and the Hardway Ninja did!

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Webster teachers take the plunge

11 Feb

We got some of the greatest teachers in the world here in Webster.

Sunday at noon, I joined about a dozen of my Webster school district teaching colleagues to participate in the 2019 Polar Plunge at Ontario Beach Park to benefit Special Olympics.

If you consider how bad the weather could have been (think back to our recent cold snap and high winds), it actually was a pretty nice day to go take a dip in a frozen lake. I mean, we had bright sunshine, the temperature was in the mid-20s, and there was barely any wind to speak of.

But let me be clear. It was cold. Teeth-chattering cold. Especially when all you’re wearing is a t-shirt and shorts. And that was before you actually went into the lake. The nice Rochester City Parks folks were kind enough to carve a swimming area out of the ice for all the plungers, but it was still like wading through a Slushie.

This was my first Polar Plunge, as it was for most of my colleagues. I believe I speak for many of us when I say I probably would not have done it alone. But having a supportive group of friends shivering right along with me made the whole experience a lot more bearable — and dare I say it? — enjoyable.

But here’s the best part: thanks to the generosity of our friends and Webster colleagues, our WTA team raised $5,000 for Special Olympics, placing us on the top-10 honor roll for team donations. 

These are your kids’ teachers, folks. We are lucky to live and work in the Webster Central School District.

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Community readers are needed!

9 Feb

booksThe Webster school district is looking for some book-loving adults who’d like to participate in a pilot reading program being led by Webster Schroeder English teacher Eileen Connelly.

The program is called Webster Community Reading. Connelly describes how it will look:

The program pairs adult readers with high school students. Each pair reads and responds to a novel over a period of about four weeks. The kids read the book in class and answer four questions in a notebook; the book and notebook are then delivered to the adult reader who completes the same task and returns it. A district courier drops off books and notebooks at central locations around the district and we have a luncheon at the end where readers get a chance to meet each other.

Readers only have to commit to four weeks of reading. Books will be provided and delivered to a location of your choosing.

Connelly said that the program has been very successful at Brighton High School.  She has chosen to pilot the program here in Webster with one of her sophomore English classes.

But to be successful, Webster Community Reading has to have readers. So far only six people have signed up for 26 open slots. If you’re interested in taking part, click here to fill out the very short registration form. If you have any questions about the program, drop Eileen Connelly an email at eileen_connelly@webstercsd.org.

What a great way to encourage literacy! I’ve already signed up.

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“Anything Goes” opens this Thursday

6 Feb

wizard of oz

Congratulations to the students of Willink Middle School for an outstanding performance of The Wizard of Oz last weekend! It was a fitting kick-off to the spring musical season, which continues this coming weekend when Webster Schroeder High School presents Anything Goes. 

The scene is a cruise ship in the late 1930s. Carefree broker Billy Crocker finds out that the woman he’s in love with is engaged to someone else and about to set sail on the luxury liner S.S. American, he sets in motion a madcap plan to stow away on the ship, win socialite Hope Harcourt’s hand, impress his boss, and evade law enforcement who anythinggoes_home400think he’s Snake Eyes Johnson, Public Enemy #1.

It’s a funny musical adventure, packed with Cole Porter songs you already love (like “Friendship” and “I Get a Kick Out of You”).  Showtimes are Feb. 7, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance on Feb. 9 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10-$15, available online at www.Showtix4u.com or at any Wegmans.

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Teachers “Plunging” for a cause

5 Feb

polar plungeI work with some pretty crazy colleagues. Crazy dedicated to students, that is.

Several of my colleagues at Schlegel Road Elementary School — and at least two others from Schroeder and Plank North — are teaming up to participate in the Polar Plunge this coming Sunday, which takes place annually at Ontario Beach Park.

In this very, very cold event, participants raise money for Special Olympics by “plunging” into Lake Ontario. There’s no swimming skills involved; even dipping a toe in counts as a plunge.

The Rochester Polar Plunge is the largest Polar Plunge in New York and one of the largest in the entire U.S. It’s part of the Special Olympics New York Polar Plunge series. There are over 15 Polar Plunges statewide and the event serves as the signature fundraising initiative to benefit the athletes and programs of Special Olympics New York.

The first Plunge in Rochester was held in 2001 and had 75 plungers with $15,000 being raised. It has since grown tremendously, drawing 2,300 plungers in 2016, who raised more than $300,000.

Here are the current team members (maybe one of them has taught your kids):

From Schlegel: Meg Dugan, Bill Ambler, Dan DeStephano, Jill Mancini, Janet Gibson and Becky Plouffe. Joining them are Dan Crowley from Plank North and Linda Law from Schroeder.

The team members are still looking for donations to encourage their efforts. You can click this link to support one specific team member or the entire team. And if you’re not doing anything this Sunday at noon, come on down to the lake and watch your WCSD teachers take the Plunge!

(Believe it or not, I’m seriously considering joining them……)

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Spring musical season is upon us

26 Jan

We’re about to face some of the coldest weather we’ve had all winter. But perhaps this news will warm your heart:

IT’S SPRING MUSICAL TIME! 

Both Willink and Spry middle schools and Thomas and Schroeder high schools will be staging their spring musical productions in the next two months.

Willink kicks off the schedule next weekend with Off to See the Wizard, presented in three shows on Friday Feb. 1 and Saturday Feb. 2.

Daniella Gibson leads a cast and crew of more than 100 sixth, seventh and eighth graders as they present the well-known story of a Kansas farm girl, her dog Toto and their adventures in Oz. Joining her as the main characters are Trevor Heaphy as the Scarecrow, Marcello Servanti as the Tinman, Ryley Norton as the Cowardly Lion, and Martina Nicolay as the Wizard of Oz.

This musical classic will be performed at Willink Middle School, 900 Publishers Parkway,  on Friday, February 1 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, February 2 at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $9.00 per adult and $6 for students and senior citizens and can be purchased the week of January 28 through the Drama Club website .

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anythinggoes_home400

Next up is Anything Goes at Webster Schroeder the following weekend, Feb. 7 through 9.

The scene is a cruise ship in the late 1930s. Carefree broker Billy Crocker finds out that the woman he’s in love with is engaged to someone else and about to set sail on the luxury liner S.S. American, he sets in motion a madcap plan to stow away on the ship, win socialite Hope Harcourt’s hand, impress his boss, and evade law enforcement who think he’s Snake Eyes Johnson, Public Enemy #1.

It’s a funny musical adventure, packed with Cole Porter songs you already love (like “Friendship” and “I Get a Kick Out of You”).  Showtimes are Feb. 7, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance on Feb. 9 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10-$15, available online at www.Showtix4u.com or at any Wegmans.

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guys and dolls

The Spry Middle School Drama Club will present Guys and Dolls, Jr. on March 8 and 9.

In case you’re not familiar with this show, here’s a quick description from imdb.com:

All the hot gamblers are in town, and they’re all depending on Nathan Detroit to set up this week’s incarnation of “The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York”; the only problem is, he needs $1000 to get the place. Throw in Sarah Brown, who’s short on sinners at the mission she runs; Sky Masterson, who accepts Nathan’s $1000 bet that he can’t get Sarah Brown to go with him to Havana; Miss Adelaide, who wants Nathan to marry her; Police Lieutenant Brannigan, who always seems to appear at the wrong time; and the music/lyrics of Frank Loesser, and you’ve got quite a musical.

The original 1955 movie starred Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando. When it was made into a Broadway play, it was just as entertaining, and many of the songs have become embedded in our theater culture (including “Luck Be a Lady”).

I don’t have a whole lot of details yet, but it appears that Guys and Dolls will take the stage on Friday March 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday March 9 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. More details to come as I find out about them, but you can also keeps tabs on the show at the Spry Drama Club website.

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Concluding the spring musical schedule this year is Webster Thomas’ production of Cinderella from March 28-30.

This will the Rodgers & Hammerstein, Broadway version of the play, so it should be spectacular. I’m still getting details about this as well, but I do know that the shows will be March 28, 29 and 30 at 7 p.m., with a matinee on March 30. Tickets will be $12.

The cast will also be hosting a breakfast with Cinderella on Saturday, March 23 at 9 a.m., which will be a great way for your kids to get excited about the show. More details will follow about that as well.

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