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Education NS | July 2012 | Hersam Acorn

Education NS | July 2012 | Hersam Acorn

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Published by: Hersam Acorn on Jul 25, 2012
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Special Section to:
Greenwich Post
The Darien Times
New Canaan Advertiser
The Ridgefield Press
The Wilton Bulletin
The Redding Pilot
The Weston Forum
The Lewisboro Ledger
“Educationally transformational” is how for-mer New Canaan Superintendent of SchoolsDavid Abbey described the use of computersfor homework, research and tests. “There’s nota part of what we do that isn’t supported bytechnology. It’s helped first grade reading andchanged middle school science for the better.”In Wilton, Tim Canty, assistant superinten-dent of schools and Matt Hepfer, director of technology, agree.“Technology is a pervasive part of every-thing we do,” said Hepfer. “Instruction usingSMARTBoards starts in pre-K. Physical educa-tion teachers use Fitnessgram. Art teachersuse SMARTBoards as students can view allthe great museums of the world and see thebrush strokes of paintings. Veteran teachersnow using SMARTBoards say they see studentslighting up!”But what about the comments of some par-ents that research is so available that writing apaper is almost too easy.“It’s like automatic learning, some say,” saidCanty. “We’ve had many discussions aboutthis. It’s important to know that computersand technology don’t replace the work of ourteachers. Technology changes teaching becauseit provides so many opportunities for interac-tive learning. ”
 An even larger question is how can studentscan know if the sources of information they’reusing are valid? It’s common knowledge thatmuch of the information we may be gettingon the Internet isn’t totally reliable. This is achallenge and schools have developed data-
continued on page 10
Technologythe classroom
Technology is of great benefit for all students of any ability level.
For betteror worse?
by Lois Alcosser
 Hersam Acorn Newspapers  
 July 26, 2012
 Academy of InformationTechnology &Engineering
 An Interdistrict Magnet PublicCollegePreparatoryHigh School  Serving Lower Fairfield County
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 AITE @ Rippowam Campus
411 High Ridge RoadStamford, CT 06905(203) 977-4336(203) 977-6638 (fax)
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Empowering students to shape the future!
 July 26, 2012
 Hersam Acorn Newspapers  
 Arts Enrichment: Why and Where
By Melissa Ezarik
 Arts education may not always fare sowell in school budgets, but study afterstudy has shown benefits for childrenwho are exposed to music, dance, dramaand art. From fine and gross motor skillsto problem solving, focus and imagina-tion, arts experiences tend to bring onmore than just a good time. A studyreleased this March from the NationalEndowment for the Arts even found aconnection between the arts and greateracademic success, higher career goals andmore civic engagement. While it focusedon at-risk youth from low socioeconomicbackgrounds, some of the findings —particularly in the area of civic-mindedbehaviors such as high levels of volun-teering, voting and engagement with poli-tics — applied to those from advantagedbackgrounds as well.“Sometimes we are amazed at howmuch the children develop in many dif-ferent aspects over their time with us,”says Hannah Perry, owner of The GigglingPig in Shelton, which offers art and craftsclasses and drop-in sessions for childrenof all ages (a pet teapcup piglet even visitswith kids and helps inspire art explora-tion). “Not just artistically, but also withconfidence and kindness towards other.” With older and younger childrenworking together in groups, Perry andher staff “encourage confidence and teachthe children to be complimentary of eachother’s work,” she says, adding that “it’simportant to expose our children to dif-ferent forms of art and show them thereis no wrong or right way to be creative.Everyone sees the world differently.”The creativity component, pointsout Jean Griffin Walter, who teachesart at Middle Gate Elementary Schoolin Newtown, is crucial to 21st Centuryteaching.“That’s going to be the standout in anyoccupation, the creativity,” says Walter,whose former career was as a graphicdesigner. For example, when somethinggoes wrong with a project, kids learn it’snot about starting over, but about work-ing with the mistake. “Art gives them thethinking skills they really need — theability to problem solve. Isn’t that whatlife is?” Yet, arts enrichment is mainly a matterof expressing yourself creatively in a wayeverybody, with any language, can under-stand, she says.“It makes us different from the ani-mals, that we can be creative.”The arts are also for any child, not justfor those with standout skills who wantto make a living at it. They don’t have tobe master artists whose work is museum-worthy. “It’s the fact that they do it, theywant to share it. That is the benefit to it,” Walter says.Inspired to nurture your child’s interestin visual arts, music, dance, or theater?Here’s where to go.
Connecticut Dance School
; 42Halley Court, Fairfield, 203-384-2492,ctdanceschool.com.
D’Valda & Sirico Dance Centre
;1580 Post Road, Fairfield, 203-255-9440,dsdanceandmusic.com.
Flash Point Dance Station
; 1981Post Road, Fairfield, 203-259-1600,flashpointdance.com.
Music Together of Fairfield County
;76 Walbin Ct., Fairfield, 203-256-1656,ctmusictogether.com.
(art studio); 1252 PostRoad East, Westport, 203-349-5508,splatterboxart.com.
 Westport Dance Center,
15 KetchumStreet, Westport, 203-293-4355, west-portdancecenter.com.
Darien Cotillion
, 203-831-9382;cotillionclasses.com.
Darien Arts Center
, 2 RenshawRoad, Darien, 203-655-8683, artsdarien.org.
Giuliano’s Music Center
, 351 PostRoad, Darien, 203-656-2155, gmusiccen-ter.com.
Mary Ann Hall’s Music forChildren
, 49 Old Kings HighwayNorth, Darien (with classes in Darien,Greenwich, Norwalk, Southport), 203-854-9797, musicforchildren.net.
Talent Education Suzuki School
,112 Main Street, Norwalk, 203-956-5708musicattess.com.
Best Time Ever
(art studio), 633Hope Street, Stamford, 203-614-8511,thebesttimeever.com.
Curtain Call Performing Arts Workshops
, 1349 Newfield Ave.,Stamford, 203-329-8207, curtaincallinc.com.
Giuliano’s Music Center
, 123 HighRidge Road, Stamford, 203-359-2559,gmusiccenter.com.
Greenwich Suzuki Academy
, 15East Putnam Avenue #176, Greenwich,203-561-6176, greenwichsuzukiacademy.org.
 Just Wee Two
(Greenwich, Stamfordand Westchester County locations), 800-404-2204, justweettwo.com.
Lakeside Pottery, Ceramic School& Studio
, 543 Newfield Avenue,Stamford, 203-323-2222, lakesidepottery.com.
Pender Keady Academy
(Irishdance), 76 Viaduct Road, #3, Stamford,203-316-8337, pender-keady.com.
Pictured are students of the Pender Keady Academy of Irish Dance in Stamford.
 Arts enrichment
continued on page 4
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Support and independence, respect and informality,Personal attention and academic challenge.
Laying the Groundwork for Success
Soundview Preparatory School
370 Underhill Avenue, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598(914) 962-2780 • www.soundviewprep.org admissions@soundviewprep.org
Call or email for a brochure
Still accepting applications for Middle School and 9th Grade
 Recent college acceptances include Brown, Muhlenberg, Oberlin, Duke, Bard, Hobart, Hartwick, Roger Williams, Dickinson, Sarah Lawrence, Ursinus and Williams.
An independent college preparatory school for grades 6 - 12 offering rigorous academicsin a uniquely personalized environment with classes averaging seven students

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