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Lincoln school in Newark filled with joy of holiday season

The Lincoln School gymnasium was filled with the warmth and joy of the holiday season December 10th for the 28th annual Second Grade Penpal breakfast.

Festively arrayed for the event, the room was transformed into a welcoming dining room where second graders served their senior citizen pen pals and a few other guests cheesy vegetable frittata, sausage links, hashed brown potatoes, fruit cups, quick breads, juices and coffee or tea.

Principal John Ginter graciously welcomed everyone to the event, a tradition so many each year have come to look forward to and enjoy. He thanked the senior citizen pen pals for taking the time to reach out to the second graders and said it meant so much to them.

As a token of appreciation for not only being penpals, but coming to the event, the children, working with their teachers, made colorful placemats for guests and stocking ornaments.

After second graders met their penpals they sang and danced in a musical performance called “Deck The Halls.”

Erin Lynch’s class danced to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and sang, “Snowman, Where’d You Go?” Keara Foley’s class danced to “Let It Snow” and sang “Turn Off That Nose!” And Danielle Beck’s class danced to “If I Were a Reindeer,” and sang “There’s Someone in the Chimney.” 

The musical performance was co-directed by Mary Lou Bonnell, Lincoln music teacher and district music therapist and Lincoln School and Perkins School physical education teacher Michele Beachner who assisted with the production in various ways including by helping to teach the children their dances.

Before the performance began, Ginter told the audience that Bonnell would soon be retiring after 20 years in the district. He commended her for her many outstanding years of service, not the least of which included helping to produce the second grader’s holiday concert for 17 years. She received a heartfelt, standing ovation from the audience.

Bonnell also appreciatively thanked:

  • Reading teacher assistant Kim Cooper for creating decorations and the backdrop for the performance. Library Media Center teacher assistant Mary Lasecki and Gina VerMeersch, another Lincoln teacher assistant,  for helping with decorations.
  • Second grade teachers who give extra time and energy helping children prepare for the performance.
  • Carole Jablonski, head of Lincoln School cafeteria and other cafeteria staffers for preparing the delicious breakfasts for the guests.
  • Head custodian Robert Mosteiro and the other Lincoln custodians for their effort they put into preparing for the event.
  • The Lincoln PTA for purchasing poinsettias for the event.
  • School Secretary Rebecca Briggs for all her help.


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