Scholars “Fall Back” to Shalom Park Freedom School

Date: January 27, 2014 Author: Categories: News

Shalom Park Freedom School Scholars returned to Shalom Park on Saturday November 16 for a fun fall dayShalom Park Freedom School Scholars returned to Shalom Park on Saturday November 16 for a fun fall day that included chess, storytelling with Levine-Sklut Librarian Debby Block, a program featuring skulls of predators and prey presented by educator and Master Naturalist Christopher Baldwin, and track and field events led by members of the Myers Park High School Track and Field team and Coach Geoff Emerson.

After munching on pizza, orange slices, carrots and brownies at Camp Mindy, scholars were mesmerized by Debby Block’s puppet storytelling of the tale of Three Fishes on a Magic Fish that teaches a lesson about greed when the fish grants three wishes to a fisherman who threw the fish back into the sea.   With large puppets, Debby Block humorously presented the greedy wife of the fisherman, the troubled fisherman, and the fish who grants all but the last wish!  The moral of the story was clear:  be thankful for what you have (greed is not a good trait!)

With his extensive display of animal skulls, Master Naturalist Christopher Baldwin taught the scholars an easy way to distinguish between the skulls of a predator like a mountain lion and prey like a deer:  “Eyes in front meant to hunt” (predator) vs. “Eyes on side made to hide” (prey).    Baldwin explained how most of the features of an animal are designed to ensure survival.    Comparing the skulls of an alligator (which lives in fresh water) and crocodile (which lives in brackish or salty water), Baldwin explained how their jaws are designed to allow them to crush and eat their favorite food:  turtles.

Shalom Park Freedom School Scholars returned to Shalom Park on Saturday November 16 for a fun fall dayCoach Geoff Emerson and the Myers Park High School Track and Field Team members explained to the scholars what it means to participate on a track team and what happens during meets.  After the scholars learned the importance of warm up stretching, they were led through the following activities: long jump, turbo javelin (small rubber javelins), individual, and relay races. Patches were awarded to the best all-around girl and boy based on best effort and sportsmanship.

Thanks go out to SPFS Year Round Chair Donna Emerson, Julie Rizzo of LJCC Cares, Photographer Ralph Besnoy, Shalom Park Freedom School Teen Board Members (Alana Stillitano, Oscar Louis Suris, Marissa Uri, Annie Brown, Jordan Rosenfeld, Elyse Bodenheimer, and Niki Plaus), Lisa Garfinkle, Amy Lefkof, Iris Cheng, and Liz Morgan.   Additional thanks go out to FSP Staff and interns who were there to lead Harambee and help with transportation.