Make A Toast To Montclair Teachers and Support Montclair Schools

BY  |  Monday, May 29, 2017 2:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Now through June 22, the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence (MFEE) will hold its 21st season of the Toast to the Teachers event series. You can be part of it — choose a special teacher, principal, coach or other person from Montclair Public Schools and host a party (toast!) in their honor. You cover the (tax-deductible) costs of your party and proceeds benefit MFEE programs in Montclair Public Schools. Can’t host this year? Choose one or more Toasts to attend and honor educators while supporting Montclair Schools.

To host, visit to complete registration process or by calling 973-509-4021 at least two weeks before your party. MFEE will create your online Toast Registration page!

Weekend Family Highlights: Festival, Dinosaurs, Storytime, Irises and Memorial Day Paddle

BY  |  Friday, May 26, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! It’s a long weekend so there’s extra time for fun! Check out some of the family-friendly events happening in our area this weekend.

The Annual African American Heritage Festival & Parade will be held this weekend in Weequahic Park (450 Elizabeth Avenue, Newark). The festival will have 28 rides, carnival food, and games. Admission to the festival is free. Hours of operation are 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM Friday, and 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The Heritage Parade begins at 12:00 PM Sunday on Broad Street in Newark.

On Saturday and Sunday, celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens with live jazz music, lemonade, and cookies. Duke Lukic Trio will perform from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. This event is free.

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Buzz Aldrin Middle School and Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Collaborate on STEM Skills

BY  |  Sunday, May 21, 2017 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

On May 11 and 12, Buzz Aldrin Middle School and Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center (formerly called Mountainside Hospital) collaborated for an in-school STEM SKILLS program for 6th, 7th & 8th graders.

Daniel Taylor, the STEM Coordinator for Buzz Aldrin, designed the program with the hospitals’ community health and services team, including Grettel Muscato and Florey Cruz-Cerpa. Their goal was to introduce students to the variety of career options available in a hospital environment, and enhance understanding of the educational paths taken to achieve those professions.

Students heard from Dr. Luigi Baretto (family medicine), Nicole Gengaro (radiology technician), Andrea Cohen (registered nurse and diabetes counselor), Margo Murray (occupational therapist), Dr. Marianne Ramos (pharmacologist), Dr. Marybeth Friel (family medicine), Elena Mills (dietician), Dr. Priya Mehta (internal medicine), and Michele Langfield (clinical social worker). Continue Reading

School of Rock Montclair Summer Camps to feature Tributes to The Beatles, Punk, Soul, and More

BY  |  Saturday, May 20, 2017 3:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

School of Rock Montclair will offer eight weeks of music camps during June, July, and August. The camps will present a variety of themes, including tributes to The Beatles, punk rock, the British Invasion, Pink and Adele, and soul.

“This is the first year that we’ll be offering two separate camps for each theme – one camp for younger kids and another for teens – to better accommodate their different learning styles,” says Kevin March, General Manager at School of Rock Montclair. “The weekly goals for the two groups will be exactly the same: fun, energy, and fist-pumping loudness!” Continue Reading

Weekend Family Highlights: Chalk Walk 2017, Nishuane Mayfair, Family Garden Party

BY  |  Friday, May 19, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The weekend is here! We’ve rounded up lots of fun and family-friendly activities in and around the area. Check ‘em out!

Barnes & Noble at Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host a Little Ree Storytime on Saturday at 11:00 AM. New York Times bestselling author and Food Network star Ree Drummond’s new picture book based on life on the ranch. Activities will follow.

The Montclair Center BID invites kids to draw on Church Street at Chalk Walk 2017 (Montclair) on Saturday from 2-7 p.m. Volunteers from Montclair State University and the Montclair Art Museum art truck will be there to assist the young artists. The street will be closed to traffic. Young artists will be given a red artist’s neckerchief. Kids can create their own designs or color the Matisse-inspired designs that will be outlined. There will be live music beginning at 5:30 PM.

Dirt & Noise is hosting an artsy, get downright creative KIDS ART EVENT on Saturday, May 20 from 2pm-4pm on Church Street in conjunction with the Matisse Week Chalk Walk 2017. Activities will include DIY CHALK from Yin from L3 Academy, Creative Sidewalk Chalk Drawing from the The Creativity Caravan with their Craft Cycle, glitter tattoos from Just Kidding Around Montclair and more.

Nishuane School (32 Cedar Avenue, Montclair) will host its annual Mayfair on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This carnival is open to the community and will over activities for kids age 2+ including arts and crafts, bouncy houses, inflatable slides and obstacle course. There will also be an international food court. Montclair Animal Shelter will host an adoption station, raffle baskets, and a silent auction. MHS’ vocal group Passing Notes and local musicians Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam will perform. Admission is $10 per child age 2+ and includes all activities except food, raffle, and auction. Cash and credit cards will be accepted. This event is rain or shine. Continue Reading

Students, Parents Voice Opposition to Staff Reductions at Montclair BOE Meeting

BY  |  Thursday, May 18, 2017 2:11pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

Parents and student athletes flexed their muscle at the May 15 School Board Meeting to protest the termination of Jeff Gannon, Montclair High School’s athletic director and Evan Kozak, an assistant principal at Nishuane school. The Board also elected Laura Herzog President and Franklin Turner vice president during the tumultuous meeting.

Many students carried signs and made passionate pleas supporting Gannon during the public comment part of the meeting. Parents, who only heard about the termination the day of the meeting, expressed concern over the Board’s lack of transparency.

“When I first met him, his passion toward our athletic team stood out for me,” said Ken Coplan, a senior and member of the MHS crew team. “Thanks to him I was able to set two rowing world records. I do not understand why you’re firing a man this qualified and passionate.”

Many of the students cited Gannon as the reason MHS was ranked as the fifth best public high school sports program in the state. Gannon has been the athletic director at MHS for 18 years.

“He is the reason why MHS is so successful,” said Dean Chancer, a junior and member of the cheerleading and bowling teams. “We have great athletics all due to Mr. Gannon. Without him, there is no chance to prosper.”

“Mr. Gannon’s work here helps us out,” said Kathleen King, a sophomore and member of the crew team. “He’s completely irreplaceable. As a whole this system will not work well without him.” Continue Reading

Hillside Art Installation “We Go Higher, Dot Dot Dot” Inspired by Influential Women Artists

BY  |  Thursday, May 18, 2017 11:49am  |  COMMENTS (0)

This spring, Holly Korus has been teaching a seven-week after-school art class with eight Hillside students. The course, called “Nevertheless She Created,” explores the styles and stories of some of the most influential women in art. In addition to creating self portraits inspired by Cindy Sherman and silhouette art in the style of Kara Walker, Ms. Korus and her students set their sights outdoors in order to design and construct an installation inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees.’ Their version of the installation is called “We Go Higher, Dot Dot Dot.”

What inspired you to do an outdoor installation using the polka dot motif?

With all of the hype and excitement around Yayoi Kusama’s Washington D.C. Infinity Mirror show, I wanted to bring some of that excitement back to Montclair. After seeing the exhibit with my daughter, we felt the need to create some sort of outdoor installation. Kusama’s Ascension of Polkadots on the Trees project circa 2006 in Singapore called out to me with both its simple beauty and boldness. Women and girls face the same issues today as they did when I was a girl. Do you see me? Do you hear me? Do I count as much as you? Every girl in my class knows they are helping to make something special. When I asked them why we are doing this they replied, “Because we can.”

What materials did you use for the outdoor installation?

We have about 15 red fabric tablecloths and 20 red beach balls that we painted with regular white latex paint. The girls used corks, round sponge brushes, potatoes halved with a circle cut out of the middle, Pencil erasers, paint brushes and one fancy handy, dandy coffee can with two layers of felt glued to the lid (the most popular item). The beach balls are rigged with taped-on monofilament with a white duct tape circle.

Take us through the lesson plan for this project.

On our first day of class I showed the girls pictures of Yayoi Kusama’s work. We talked about her background and how many hoops an artist has to jump through to create a project such as Ascension. When I told the girls we were going to create this at Hillside, they went crazy as if I told them they had each won the lottery! I will never forget that moment; it was life changing. We then ventured outside.

The girls started by painting photos of Hillside’s trees with polkadots for a mock up plan, then we headed outside armed with measuring tape and yarn. Three of the trees were so large that the measuring tape would not fit around the trunks, so we wrapped yarn around the tree, laid the it on the ground and then measured the yarn.

After that we painted the table clothes and beach balls. While the girls and I work, we discuss elements of the project, such as: why we are creating the display, what we will do with the materials after the project is over and what we should call our version of this installation. We settled on “We Go Higher, Dot, Dot, Dot”

How long will the installation be in place?

We installed on Wednesday, May 16th and it will be in place for two weeks.

What do you hope people will appreciate most about this installation?

I hope people look at the school with a different perspective and not to take things at face value. We have a grand oak that is 15′ in diameter. That very tree watched Hillside being built over 100 years ago. It has watched thousands of children start their first day of school, thousands of children graduate wearing everything from knickers to bell bottoms. The tree has always worn a coat of brown until today when it and its other tree friends get to wear bright red and white polkadot coats. As Shel Silverstein once said, “Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”

Holly Korus has a BFA from Pratt Institute and has worked as an art director in advertising, and as an illustrator, muralist, lifestyle editor, writer and has been teaching art for the last 5 years. Explorers is an tuition-based enrichment program offered after school at Hillside Elementary in Montclair, NJ.

Photo: Chanda Hall

Come to Glenfield Art Festival 2017, Friday, May 19

BY  |  Wednesday, May 17, 2017 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Glenfield Art Festival this Friday, (May 19, 7:00 to 8:30 pm, also as part of Art Walk) will feature artwork by Glenfield’s wonderful community of student artists. More than 400 works of art by Glenfield’s budding artists will be on display throughout the first floor of Glenfield Middle School, Montclair’s Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School.

The annual celebration of the visual arts will also include visiting artists, craft stations, games, face painting, refreshments, raffle baskets, a silent auction, and live music.

“Blue Dog” inspired by Matisse and created by a Glenfield 6th grader – Miranda McLannahan – is also featured in Montclair BID materials to promote Art Walk which Glenfield Art Festival is participating.

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Strong Swimmers = Confident Kids Thanks to YMCA of Montclair Swim Lessons

BY  |  Tuesday, May 16, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

May is National Water Safety Month, and the perfect time to get children involved in swim lessons. As America’s Swim Instructor, the Y is the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming—teaching more than one million kids a year swimming and water safety skills.

This year, the YMCA of Montclair has updated its lessons to increase the accessibility and enjoyment of swimming to all ages and skill levels. The latest evolution of Y Swim Lessons accommodates varying abilities to help foster a sense of achievement as swimmers’ progress between levels. Through this approach, advanced swimmers flow more easily to higher levels while swimmers who need more instruction can learn at their own pace. These results in more confident swimmers who stick with lessons and develop a love for swimming that can last a lifetime. Continue Reading

Nishuane Mayfair Celebrates 30+ Years This Saturday, May 20!

BY  |  Monday, May 15, 2017 1:56pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Nishuane School will host its annual Mayfair on Saturday May 20 from 11 – 4pm. The fun-packed carnival event is open to the entire community and has been one of Montclair’s favorite family events for over 30 years.

Spreading across the Nishuane playing field, playground and parking lot, the day offers a range of activities for kids age 2+ including arts and crafts, bouncy houses and slides, an inflatable obstacle course, an international food court, baskets and a silent auction.

With new sponsor Papasikos Orthodontics, this year’s event is set to be even bigger and more fun-filled than previous years. Live performances will feature Nishuane students, MHS’ vocal group Passing Notes and local musicians, Jason Didner And The Jungle Gym Jam. Continue Reading

Featured Comment

Another "ground-level basement" (to get around the building height rules)?!

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