What a Week!

  • What a Week!

    Foreign Language Week is celebrated

    at Sayville Middle School

    Foreign Language Week, celebrated in the Empire State with a proclamation issued from the Executive Chamber of New York State, was designated for the Week of March 3-9. In Sayville Middle School, it was celebrated with a series of cultural events that included ESL (English as a Second Language) students visiting from Central Islip High School, Food Fiestas, and guest speaker Derric Rossy, (“the Pride of Patchogue,” former Professional Football player turned Boxer who earned four Heavyweight Boxing Champion titles, ranks nine in the world by WBO, and is currently number one in New York State.)


    As customary during the Foreign Language Week, Middle School Announcements were made in French and Spanish and the Library showcased books on cultural diversity along with dolls and other cultural items from around the world. The students watched familiar movies dubbed in Spanish or French, and expected to savor the Food Fiestas which would close the week. This year, however, two new events were a change of pace.


    Wowed by the gentle giant of a boxer, Derric Rossy (whose reputation as a professional football player as well as his boxing record of 18:1 preceded him for many of the boys), the students were fascinated with Mr. Rossy.


    Of Puerto Rican ancestry, but raised in Patchogue, Derric Rossy shared with the students and their teachers Mrs. Jennifer Cox, Mrs. Annamaria Martin, Mrs. Deborah Reith, Mrs. Kara Galarreta, and Mrs. Adrienne DeSiano, his professional and personal experiences with cultural diversity. Fielding questions on all topics, Rossy acknowledged that his family sought to Americanize him and his three brothers. At Patchogue Medford schools, Rossy was an outstanding linebacker for the High School Varsity Football team and defensive end at Boston College. After he graduated in 2002, Rossy played for both the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers until his talent for boxing during training sessions segued into his true vocation and career. (Not-so-coincidentally, his father, Carlos, was a former professional boxer.)


    A world traveler due to his boxing career, Rossy emphasized the importance of language education and the challenges of communicating in other countries—especially China—where the slightest intonations could affect the meaning of words. The students were delighted when, during his chat, Rossy passed around his boxing gloves and four Championship belts for them to examine more closely.


    Another exciting opportunity for a cultural exchange occurred when Mrs. Klopp (a Sayville parent who teaches ESL in Central Islip High School) and over 30 of her students from at least eleven different countries visited Sayville Middle School’s French and Spanish students during fourth and fifth periods. The Sayville students thoroughly enjoyed learning about the cultures, customs, foods, and educational systems of the Central Islip students’ native countries. Sayville students were awed by the CI students’ proficiency of the English language and their obvious pride when speaking about their heritage. The foreign language teachers thought that it was the “highlight of Foreign Language Week.”


    Following their visit, Mrs. Klopp’s students made personalized posters for each of the Sayville language teachers’ rooms. The posters, which Mrs. Klopp delivered personally, included a large, group photo taken during their Sayville visit and handwritten observations of their visiting day.


    At the end of Foreign Language Week, the Sayville Middle School students brought to the food festivals an array of ethnically diverse dishes that satisfied nearly every taste bud!