Anton Community Newspapers  •  132 East 2nd Street  •  Mineola, NY 11501  •  Phone: 516-747-8282  •  FAX: 516-742-5867
Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot - Schools

First-Graders Focus On Saving Endangered Animals

The year-long study of the Animal Kingdom in the first grade at East Woods School allowed the students to learn and accomplish more than most would think a class of 6- and 7-year-olds could do. Learn the difference between vertebrates and invertebrates? They did. (Learn how to spell vertebrates and invertebrates? They did.) Dissect various underwater creatures in the East Woods Lower School Science lab? They did. Select an endangered animal, research that animal, write a report in PowerPoint and present their findings in front of the entire school? They did, and they did it with confidence.

On a Friday morning this spring, the hard – and fun – work of this class was in evidence as the first grade took to the stage. Singing songs they learned in music class and wearing headpieces they created in the likeness of their endangered animal, the first grade impressed the audience of students, faculty and parents with their knowledge and poise. The students stood comfortably and confidently on stage, reading their reports and class-created acrostic poems aloud, proud of what they had learned and proud to be sharing it.

A wonderful example of the interdisciplinary approach to education at East Woods, the study of the Animal Kingdom, with a focus on endangered animals, exposed these children to science, reading, writing, research, art, music and even community service. The class raised money for the Nature Conservancy’s Adopt-A-Reef and Adopt-An-Acre programs through recycling plastic and cans. They presented their $1,366.78 check to Joseph Jannsen, from the Nature Conservancy, during another special assembly. This is enough money to save 27 acres of rainforest and coral reefs.  The students also raised money through selling raffle tickets to win one of two collaborative art pieces they created.

These students will not soon forget the Bactrian Camel, the Green Peafowl, the Okapi, or any of the animals they and their fellow classmates studied.  In addition, there is sure to be a long-lasting effect on how these students think about and care for our planet. Special thanks is given to the enthusiastic dedication of first grade teachers Christina Maass and Kate Aquilino.

East Woods School is an independent, co-educational pre-nursery through eighth grade school, including a full-day kindergarten program. East Woods School is located on 46-acres in Oyster Bay,.

For additional information, please contact Amanda Laserson at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.eastwoods.org.