Members of FUN (Families United in Newtown) met at Dickinson Memorial Park on Sunday, June 8, for the group’s final meeting of the 2013-14 academic year. FUN was formed in the memory of Tyler Jones, the son of the program’s founders. Sunday’s event highlighted graduating Newtown High School seniors and offered a day of activities, including a picnic, a hula hoop contest, a sack race, live music by the saxophone quartet Sax Fifth Avenue, “dress up fun” with leather items crafted by Newtown resident Andrew Mangold, and a water balloon toss.
Superintendent of Schools Joseph Erardi, Jr, announced during the Board of Education’s meeting on Tuesday, June 3, that Marlene Bucci, a paraprofessional at Middle Gate Elementary School, has been chosen as the district’s 2014-15 Paraprofessional of the Year. Mrs Bucci is now a nominee for the 2015 State of Connecticut Paraprofessional of the Year with the Connecticut State Department of Education and the School Paraprofessional Advisory Council.
Students in eight classes at Hawley Elementary School were introduced to The Willow Reindeer Project last month, thanks to a two-day visit by the project’s founder. After the two-day visit, the students had created eight small-scale reindeer sculptures under the guidance of Willow Bill, who told each class that it was up to them to decide what to do with their reindeer. “Many teachers have their students sign their sculpture,” Willow Bill told Hawley School first grade teacher Jennifer Pirone on May 20. “Some teachers decide to put their reindeer outside their school, others keep them in their classrooms. It’s up to you,” he told Ms Pirone, “and your students."
The bus pulls up, and driver A.J. Collier hops out and sets a plank in place on the steps. Inside, the passengers stir, anxious to get out and start work. One by one, they disembark, sniffing the fresh air and solidly planting all four feet on the ground. The Rowanwood Farm“Llama Limo” has arrived. This, said Ms Collier, the owner of Rowanwood Farm, is how most expeditions with her llamas begin. The Sandy Hook farm, located just off of Route 34, is home to 17 rare breed miniature llamas, and a herd of Pygora and Nigerian Dwarf goats that fluctuates between 5 and 15 in number. Seven of the miniature llamas, which measure only up to 38 inches at the withers, are trained to visit off grounds, usually with Ms Collier or her “right arm,” Leslie Alexander, providing the educational aspect of the visit. The llamas have visited schools, birthday parties, senior citizen centers, and dementia wards. They are also the llamas that travel to take part in Rowanwood Farm Llama Hiking Adventures.
While car enthusiasts of all ages will have a chance to check out and admire myriad vehicles during a special car show being planned for June 14, FAITH Food Pantry will ultimately benefit from the event. The car show will be presented in the parking lot of Stop & Shop in Sand Hill Plaza. Store Manager Rich Marcuccio is organizing the event, which will run from 9 am until 4 pm, to raise funds and food for the food pantry. Rain date is Saturday, June 21. Proceeds from vehicle fees and food sales, as well as non-perishable donations collected during the event, will all be donated to the food pantry that has been serving Newtown residents from the undercroft of St John's Episcopal Church in Sandy Hook for more than 30 years.
Like many in his vocation, comedian Andrew Kennedy has a very serious side. “Sometimes,” Mr Kennedy said last week, “you just don’t know why things happen in life. “When your back is to the wall, when bad things happen,” he continued, “ just hold on.” After losing his dream home in the recession and uprooting his family from the East to the West Coast two years ago, Mr Kennedy has found himself in a sunnier place, physically and emotionally. The timing of his family’s move to The Golden State also makes him believe that “sometimes we don’t have the answers, and we won’t always get them. Just try to be patient with the universe.” The former Sandy Hook resident will be returning to Connecticut this month. Since moving in 2012 to the West Coast — and allowing his wife to realize her dream of living on the central coast of California — work has again become “excellent, never better,” he said.
Sunday, June 15, is almost here, and that means it is time to start thinking about what to buy dad for Father’s Day. There are a number of businesses and stores in Newtown that have something to suit the interests of any father, and some businesses responded to queries by The Bee to share gift ideas. Some offered traditional ideas while others had some very specialized thoughts on what to offer to the man celebrated each year on the third Sunday in June.