Middle School Students Shine

  • At Le Petit Fleur

    Making a Great

    Middle School Tradition Greater!


    Sayville Middle School reading students in Mrs. Rafferty’s class have kept a heartwarming tradition of reading in public for a very special audience—the residents of Le Petite Fleur Nursing Home. Every year, the students visit the nursing home with a collection of stories and poems they have been practicing in class. One by one, each student stands before the assembly and recites a personal favorite, which is not only a demonstration of courage, but also of the various reading skills and strategies learned throughout the semester.  


    This year, Mrs. Rafferty along with Mrs. Galima livened up the reading tradition in several ways. In addition to the presentation of a variety of poems written by Shel Silverstein (see full list below), musical selections by three students were added to the program, and Mrs. Galima brought eighteen handmade blankets, crafted by the students in her Knitting and Crochet lunch “club.”


    “Prior to our visit,” Mrs. Rafferty explained, “our students asked many questions about what to expect. I prepared them by telling them that many of the residents will be in wheelchairs, and some will be in hospital beds. Some might appear to be sleeping, and many of them will be dependent upon their caregivers. Their reluctance was assuaged when they arrived in the recreation room and were welcomed by the warm smiles of forty residents who anxiously awaited their arrival.”


    Despite the large reception, the reading students stood their ground and read their selections with fluency and eloquence. “Their pacing was superb!” Mrs. Rafferty beamed with pride, “and their voices carried throughout the large room. This was a pleasant experience for everyone and our students were poised and unaffected by the unfamiliar surroundings.”


    All eyes were opened wide and everyone leaned a little closer when the talented Kayla Stockert performed a beautiful rendition of Side by Side, which had some residents singing or tapping along from their wheel chairs. “When Kayla sang,” Mrs. Rafferty added, “the residents were smiling brightly. Her song brought them back to good times.”


    On keyboard, student Dalen Ferreira played Mozart’s Sonata in C Major that was impressive to hear while Christine Guinessey showcased her NYSSMA song selection.


    After the readings and musical performances, the students presented the residents with the knitted and crocheted blankets. Mrs. Galima explained that her Crafted With Love Knit and Crochet Club  worked during lunch and at home on the blankets,—made “with love in each stitch”—especially for them. As many of the residents knew how to knit and crochet, they agreed that it was a life-long craft and were amazed at the abilities of the students. “It was nice to see,” Mrs. Galima said, “how it opened up the conversations. The students enjoyed chatting with the residents.” Among such an appreciative audience, it was hard to choose who would get a blanket. To make it fair, it was decided that the blankets would be raffled off at Bingo. “The residents will work hard in their next Bingo game,” Mrs. Rafferty commented, “to win those beautiful blankets, crafted with love by our talented students.”


    Recognizing the value of such an encounter, Mrs. Galima thanked the residents and the caregivers “for allowing us to visit and help our children learn how important it is to always care about others.” Seeing the response of the students who showed empathy and understanding for the elderly during the visit, she declared, “our visit was a true success!”.  


    Congratulations to the following Middle School students who shared their reading and musical talents at Le Petit Fleur Nursing Home:


    Destiny Carter, “Sick” by Shel Silverstein

    Susie Fleming, “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein

    Amanda Gries, “Hug of War” by Shel Silverstein

    Olivia Minogue, “Snowman” by Shel Silverstein

    Kara Intermesoli “That Explains It” by Ken Wesbit

    Rachel Zarett, “Dancing Pants” by Shel Silverstein

    Sean Kelly, “Spaghetti” by Shel Silverstein 

    Sierra Graygor, “If the World Was Crazy” by Shel Silverstein

    Allie Petillo, “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout” by Shel Silverstein



    Kayla Stockert, “Side by Side by Kay Starr

    Dalen Ferreira, piano “Sonata in C Major” by Mozart

    Christine Guinessey, piano NYSSMA Song Selction 1