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Brad's Beat

May 16-23, 2007
By The Hartford News

A ribbon cutting celebration will be held on Friday May 18th from 9:00 to 11:00 am at the Noah Webster Micro-Society Magnet School.

Noah Webster School has a long tradition of educational excellence in the West End. Long-time leaders of Hartford, including former school board member Lewis Fox and former speaker of the House Thomas Ritter and his siblings, attended the school.

The Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony celebrates completion of the physical transformation of the school. The original historic building on the corner of Cone and Whitney Street has been upgraded and preserved while a modern addition has been added. The signature entrance on Whitney St., created with the assistance of Donald Boudreaux and Faith Lynn Johnson, features striking murals stressing world-wide diversity. The two-story village square lobby, now named Ritter Square in honor of the Ritter family, provides a gathering place and showcase for student work.

In Ritter Square and throughout the building are hanging quilts fashioned by the students under the skillful direction of area artist Ed Johnetta Miller. In the primary school areas, these quilts are playful images that appeal to young children. In the Square, one of the quilts features photographs of earlier Webster graduates.

In the Square and throughout the building are “Data Walls” – graphs visually demonstrating the academic progress in math, reading and writing of students. On a recent visit to the school, students proudly shared their own progress with visitors.

Parents are an important part of the school community. Family Resource Aide Domingo Delgado, a Webster parent himself, is proud to show off the parent resource center, complete with new comfortable furniture and a play area for toddlers who can begin to feel comfortable in their siblings’ school, even before they are ready for pre-school.

On Discovery Day, the Micro-Society Theme comes to life. Each grade level has its own “Venture,” which is closely tied to the academic curriculum. The sixth grade focus is Planets and Pyramids – tying in the study of astronomy with the study of ancient Egypt. The students created “planispheres” to demonstrate the changing positions of the stars in the night sky. This was an opportunity for the class to share their knowledge with others – strengthening their knowledge by being teachers.

Science, and butterflies in particular, were the third grade venture. Students were readily volunteering their knowledge of butterflies and their habits.

Sixth grade students, under the direction of Darren Schwartz, publish the Noah Webster Courant, a newspaper written by students with news of interest to the school community. One of the articles in the recent edition explains the OPMAD (Organized Parents Make a Difference) after-school program. One of the most popular programs is the Stepping Tigers, a drill and dance team.

The fourth grade class has prepared a Jeopardy game on such topics as Mark Twain and Connecticut state symbols. Visitors were encouraged to go to the school website – noah-webster.org - - to learn more about the school.

Webster is fortunate to have extensive volunteer support from area churches including Immanuel Congregational, United Methodist and Church of the Living God. This includes tutoring as well as financial support.

Brad’s Beat, with the assistance of photographer Art Querido, visited the new building and the programs at Noah Webster School. Readers are encouraged to visit the school on May 18th and to watch the show on Hartford Public Access TV Channel 19 on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 8:00 P.M. Cox Cable will also broadcast Brad’s Beat in June on their public access stations in Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Newington, Manchester, Glastonbury and South Windsor. Call 432-5016 for dates and times.

Reprinted with permission of the The Hartford News.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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