Community Schools Carnival and Literacy Fair 2018

Community Schools Carnival and Literacy Fair
Posted on 06/05/2018
community carnival

On Saturday, June 2, the Community Schools Carnival and Literacy Fair was held at Bellamy Elementary. The event was to celebrate the end of the first official year of the Community Schools Initiative in Rome City School District. Bellamy Elementary was the pilot school for this project, which has been many years in the making. President of the Rome Alliance for Education Joseph Eurto and Vice President of the Rome Alliance for Education Jessica Lattimore spearheaded this project working tirelessly to get it off the ground, and their hard work has paid off. Executive Director of the Rome Alliance for Education Melissa Roys joined forces this year to make this event possible. After a successful year at Bellamy, Community Schools will now be moving into Staley Elementary in the upcoming school year. The hope is to make every school within the Rome City School District a Community School.

Community Schools is a concept that is utilized nationally, but this is the first for our area. The idea is to bring community partners together to provide essential services to parents and students above and beyond what they are offered during the regular school day. Using the school as a hub, Community Schools works together with local agencies to give access to things like mental health services, nutrition, homework diners, healthcare and much more.

"The Rome City School District has been working closely with the Rome Alliance for Education on identifying the needs of our students and families, and then working together to put in place programs that address and support those needs. This celebration today represents our commitment to continuing our collaboration efforts throughout the school district and the community." said Director of Counseling Services Amanda Jones.

Many dignitaries attended and spoke at the event, showing their support for the Community Schools Initiative including; Mayor Jackie Izzo, Superintendent Peter Blake, Senator Joe Griffo, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, County Executive Anthony Picente, and RTA president Rob Wood. They joined together along with RAE Executive Director Melissa Roys, Bellamy Principal Nancy Opperman, RAE President Joseph Eurto, RAE Vice President Jessica Lattimore, and Bellamy Assistant Principal Molly Mytych to cut the giant ribbon and pronounce Bellamy an official Community School.

This will be Nancy Opperman’s final year as Bellamy’s Principal as she is retiring. A scholarship was set up in her name and announced at the event. The scholarship states “As a reflection of Nancy Opperman’s dedication and service to the families and students of the Rome City School District and the community, The Nancy Opperman Rome Community Schools Scholarship will be given to a graduating individual of the Rome City School District that is pursuing a career, in hope to make a positive difference in their community of Rome NY.”

Saturday events included: Bouncy Houses, DJ, Dunking Booth, Fire Truck, Police Car, Cotton Candy, Popcorn, Hot Dogs, Snow Cones, Family Yoga in the Garden with Full Lotus Yoga, Free Book Giveaways, Putt-Putt provided by Rome Lions Club , Face Painting, Narcan Training and kits provided by Rome Memorial Hospital, Rock Painting, Edible Slime Demonstration, Obstacle Course, Games and more.

Among event participants: Party Time Bounce Houses, Bellamy’s STEAM TEAM, MVCC, ISERVE, Rome Lions Club, The Neighborhood Center, Kids of Oneida, UCP, Center for Family Life and Recovery, BOCES, Full Lotus Yoga, Positively Rome, Jervis Library, CNY Health Homes, Rome Memorial Hospital, MVP Healthcare, Design by Jane, United Way, Cornell University, Oneida County Office of Mental Health, Rome Teachers Association, Rome Teacher Center, Working Solutions, Food Bank CNY, RFA Camp CEAL, Rome Police Department, Rome Fire Department, and Redeemer Church.

When asked about the event, RAE Executive Director Melissa Roys stated "We couldn't have asked for a better day for all that attended. Our goal was to provide a day that the entire community could come together and have a few hours of old-fashioned outdoor fun and that is exactly what happened. Each child was able to walk away with several free books, bounce in the bouncy houses, snack on popcorn and ice cones, have their face painted, play putt putt golf, paint some rocks and even attend a Story Time Yoga class and so much more, too many activities to mention. Like I had said that day, The Community Schools Initiative has taken some time, but we are here now and we will continue to meet the needs of our teachers, families, students, and community in collaboration with all of our Community Partners who have stepped up to help us! Special thanks to Superintendent Peter Blake, Mayor Izzo, County Exec Anthony Picente, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, Senator Joe Griffo, Principal Nancy Opperman, Assistant Principal Molly Mytych, Principal Julie Gorman, Director of Counseling Amanda Jones, Public Relations Assistant Shannon Eddy, custodial staff at Bellamy Elementary, Rome Chamber of Commerce, Amanda Lindsay and the Board of Rome Alliance for Education for helping to make this day such a success!"

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