May 29, 2013
Dear Side by Side Families:
As the end of the year approaches, please allow me to highlight the many great events that have recently taken place:
The Side by Side participation in the Norwalk Memorial Day parade was an all-time BEST! Congratulations, and thanks to Ms. Nida and all of the music ensembles for their dedication and hard work. I have received so many compliments from members of our community that noticed how AMAZING and integral Side by Side was to this year’s parade.
Earlier this year the CT State General Assembly, Commission on Children, invited students from school districts across Connecticut to express their feelings about the tragedy in Newtown in an essay, a poem or a piece of visual art. Hundreds of schools and their students responded. I am thrilled to announce that TEN Side by Side students were notified that their work had been selected! These children will attend the student tribute entitled “Honoring Community Safety and Bravery: A Student Tribute to Newtown & Connecticut” on June 5 at the State Capitol in Hartford, where they will hear their compositions read publicly and also see them on display in the corridor of the Legislative Office Building. Please join me in congratulating Laura Weiss, KiKi Merentie, Aleeza Mir, Xenia Britton, Isha Cheema, Hugues Jean, Alfred Diaz, Eduardo Chavez, Kemberly Denerville and Isabella Cuartas.
Congratulations to 4th grader Daniella Martinez, whose artwork was selected for display at the Maritime Aquarium in the International Children’s Art Exhibit. Daniella chose to depict a July 4th celebration with her family using fireworks as her light source for the theme: Bringing My Culture to Light: Illuminate. The ArtLink project, facilitated by Creative Connections of Norwalk, matched SBS students with a classroom in India and created similar classroom collaborations around the globe.
Congratulations, and thank you to ALL of the Side by Side band, choir and ensemble students for their performance in the SBS Spring Concert on May 16. Those of us fortunate enough to see this performance were blown away with what we saw and heard. A special thanks to Ms. Angie Nida for pulling this together.
Thank you to all of the Side by Side 7th and 8th graders who had the opportunity to recite their original works of poetry at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Westport on Saturday, May 18. It was a truly amazing experience to hear these children express their feelings and personal stories through poetic verse. Congratulations to all of our students on a job well done. I would also like to extend a special thanks to Side by Side staff Carole Oddie, John Hansen and Angie Nida for preparing the children for this event.
In conclusion, thank you to all of the staff, families and friends of Side by Side for attending our Gala at Lockwood Mathews Mansion on May 18. We raised nearly $19K – the most EVER for a Side by Side fundraiser! I’d like to offer a special thanks to the Gala Committee for all of their hard work and dedication—Kim Hayes-Grimm, Evelyn Quigley and Stephen Stone.
I hope you all enjoyed a safe and a happy Memorial Day weekend. Summer is almost here……stay cool!