Hoosick Falls Central School news and happenings

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Christmas Wish Program

The HFCS National Honor Society is in charge of the Christmas Wish program again this year. Our Christmas Wish program provides new clothing for needy children within the Hoosick Falls school district. Money will be collected in high school homerooms until Dec. 11

Once again, this worthwhile program needs your help in two ways.

1. We need to identify those students and any of their preschool siblings in need of clothing items. We need to know items and sizes needed as well as the names and ages of the students so we can avoid duplication. Names will be kept strictly confidential.

2. Any monetary donations you would like to make to this year's Christmas Wish fund would be greatly appreciated. Checks can be made payable to: HFCS Christmas Wish and send care of NHS Christmas Wish- HFCS, 21187 Route 22, P.O. Box 192 Hoosick Falls, NY 12090.

Thank you for your help in this most worthwhile event.

Members of HFCS MasterMinds team on upcoming episode of television competition

Six members of the varsity MasterMinds Team traveled to Schenectady, New York to tape a competition for an upcoming television broadcast.

The taping was at Proctors Theater and the show will air in early 2016.

The varsity MasterMinds team has 15 members, and for the taping any member that is interested can go, although teams for the television taping are limited to eight members.

The television program is a 30-minute show that features 27 schools from around the region, pitting them against one another to see which will win the title of MasterMinds.

Technology and Science teacher Tony Malikowski has been coaching the team for six years and explains MasterMinds as "like team Jeopardy, but answering questions instead of giving questions as answers."

Mr. Malikowski explains the importance of having such a team. "This is the one of the few things which is an academic competition and therefore it serves a very under served group of students who may not be interested in sports, and that are usually good students."

The experience itself is also challenging. Malikowski explains, "The other big benefit is that everything you learn in these walls (at HFCS) is fair game for questions; it's not just science or art - you can have pop culture and current events. It also gives you two other things – one, you're rewarded for good listening skills. Two, there is something about holding a buzzard, getting ready to answer questions, and then getting one right - that is an experience onto itself."

MasterMinds is part of a seven team league and has six matches a year. The league that Hoosick Falls High School is part of is Albany League #5, which is a mix of public and parochial schools.

Junior Emma Ganger Spivak was one of the students who competed and she was impressed with the experience. "Attending the TV Masterminds match at Proctors was a really interesting experience. Not only did we get a chance to compete in a more professional atmosphere with mics, game-show style lights and all, but we also were able to witness firsthand the process of making a television show."

Senior Bernie DeVito was another student who competed and she said, "I joined Masterminds exclusively as a literature buff – and while I still feel that I am most knowledgeable in that subject area, I would now consider myself to be well acquainted with a plethora of topics. Masterminds not only challenges me to recall what I have already learned – but continues to introduce me to new subject matter that excites me."

In addition to Spivak and Devito, other students who competed were Matthew Bulson, Bernard Davock, Katie Shultz, and Daniel Suite.

The team they played against for the television taping was from Burnt-Hills Ballston Lake High School. So far this year the HFCS team has 1 win, 1 loss with a total of 240 points, placing them in 3rd for the league.

National History Bowl is something the team tries to qualify for each year. They have been to the national championships in Washington, D.C. twice in the last five years.

Public Access Broadcaster 'Open Stage Media' will air Masterminds on public TV channels 16 and 1301 on Time Warner Cable, and the program will also stream on openstagemedia.org. Broadcast dates TBA.

Friends with Character Club begins winter food drive at Hoosick Falls Elementary

The 'Friends With Character Club' at Hoosick Falls Elementary School has kicked off their winter holiday food drive and are asking fellow students to bring food to help support local families this holiday season.

The drive will be happening from November 30th through December 4th, and each grade level is collecting different food items. The club is asking each student to bring in one item to help out.

Three 6th graders, Amber, Marley, and Michael, all came in to school at 7 a.m. so they could help get boxes ready and delivered to each classroom. Michael said, "It's fun to help" and Marley added, "Sharing is caring."

Amber also added, "Helping others makes me feel good. It's nice to give others things when they may not have much as you do."

Elementary School Psychologist and club advisor Jessica Etien said, "The Friends With Character Club has supported the Holiday Food Drive for years and it's one of my favorite things that we do. It's amazing to see how much food our school community donates and it feels really good to help local families in need."

The food will be distributed as part of the Christmas Basket Program at the Immaculate Conception Church in Hoosick Falls, N.Y.

The list of what each grade level is collecting is as follows:

UPK — Brown gravy mixes OR boxed instant potatoes

Kindergarten — Boxed instant potatoes OR Jello mixes

First — Stuffing mixes OR bread mixes

Second — Jello Mixes OR stuffing mixes

Third — Brown gravy mixes OR boxed instant potatoes

Fourth — Cranberry sauce OR bread mixes

Fifth — Canned veggies (green beans, carrots, corn, peas) OR stuffing mixes

Sixth — Canned veggies (green beans, carrots, corn, peas) OR cranberry sauce

HFCS students connect with local history

Hoosick Falls Central School students had a busy day, full of hands-on history, with three grades participating in field trips to learn about local history.

Students in fourth grade, seventh grade, and eleventh grade all participated in programs at the Bennington Battlefield Historic Site, where an archeological dig is being conducted. Several of the archeologists took time from their work to teach the students about how they are searching for artifacts from the Battle of Bennington, and what those artifacts tell us about the battle.

David Pitlyk, Historic Site Assistant for Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site in Walloomsac, shared the history of the battle, including the circumstances that led to the battle, as well as the impact the conflict had on the Battle of Saratoga. He also shared maps and other literature with the students.

Peter Schaaphok, a Battle of Bennington reenactor, dressed in period clothing, explained to the students about the provisions a solider would have carried during the battle. He also demonstrated how a period musket worked, and shot a blank for the students.

Seventh grade students also traveled to the Louis Miller Museum in the Village of Hoosick Falls. The museum is operated by the Hoosick Township Historical Society, and has displays featuring vintage clothing, Grandma Moses, Walter A. Wood, famous people from Hoosick, and more.

The museum also has a "war room" commemorating the sacrifices and contributions Hoosick residents have made to every conflict from the Revolutionary War through the most recent conflicts in the Middle East.

Hoosick Town Historian Phil Leonard personally gave tours to the students, as did several other volunteers from the Louis Miller Museum.

"One of the best ways to introduce kids to history is to connect them to it in person", said Jr.- Sr. principal Stacy Vadney. "The Hoosick area has a wealth of history and resources, right here in our backyard." Vadney sees this is as a strength."Due to the proximity, students are interested in what had happen in the area they live in."

Elementary School Principal Amy Netti explains, "Textbooks frequently omit local history, so for our students to be able to experience those connections in person is very powerful." She adds, "Our teachers utilize many multi-media tools for digital storytelling, but hands-on opportunities such as this truly inspire learning."

Ms. Vadney adds, "We start the discussion in our classrooms, then we take our students to the field to see what they just learned about. After the trip we have a follow-up discussion to help solidify what they've just experienced."

Patrick Dailey, director of curriculum, instruction & assessment, who joined the students at the Bennington Battlefield site was happy with how the day turned out.

"We strive to give our students the most well-rounded education possible and our local history plays such an important role in the history of the United States." He adds, "The more our students know about their community, the more they will appreciate being a part of it."

Mr. Dailey also notes the significance of HFCSD students learning about career paths they may not have thought of.

"Many of the students were excited about the archeologists and historians line of work.

The students were introduced to jobs and professions they did not know existed. It is important to expose students in the elementary, junior high and senior high to as many career opportunities as possible."

Overall the students had a positive day, and many expressed a desire to explore and research more aspects of our local history. The district is working on digitizing local history, to make it more accessible, as well as other initiatives which can help our students learn more local history. Details on these plans will be forthcoming.


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