Athol Royalston Middle School students, Magdalena Surlej, Jose Rios, Alyvia Santiago and Tyler Gowey, recently visited their old classroom and teacher, Mrs. Tandy, at Riverbend School to teach reading strategies.
Using the book, “Cocoa Ice” by Diana Applebaum, Mrs. Tandy’s 3rd graders students were led to compare and contrast the fictional lives of two girls in the mid 1800s, one who lived in the Dominican Republic, whose family grew and processed cocoa as a cash crop; the other who lived in Maine whose family harvested, stored and shipped ice to the tropics as a cash crop. Both girls dream of visiting the other’s homeland.
The students brought several items to make the book come alive, including a balsam pillow they had sewn themselves, a shell, a giant chunk of ice they had packed in saw dust and stored inside at the middle school for several weeks without it melting, and of course, chocolate!
Additionally, Athol High School students Daniel Pablo Maldonado and Yanibel Perez have been teaching a Spanish class for the 2nd graders at Sanders Street School.
The pictured elementary students, who are in Ms. Myra Calvi’s class, have gotten pretty fluent at greetings, the alphabet, colors, numbers, body parts and describing crazy monsters.
The high school students have gotten experience planning and presenting lessons as well as community service credits toward their graduation requirements.