Stony Brook Highlights

News you Can Use -- Spring Edition

History of April Fool's Day

by Zöe K.


When’s the day you can get away with tricking people? That would be April 1. April Fool’s day started longer ago than you may think. There’s many traditions that people do in different countries around the globe. And there’s been many incidents where TV networks and radio stations have had hundreds fooled. Get ready to learn what’s really behind this silly day.


In 1582, the Julian calendar changed to the Gregorian calendar. Many people didn’t realize that the beginning of the year was now January 1; they were still celebrating the new year during the last week of March to April 1. This then became the joke. It spread through Britain in the 18th century. People placed a “Poisson D’avril”, or “April Fish”, on people’s back. This symbolizes a young, easily caught fish or a gullible person. April Fool’s may also have originated from the ancient Roman festival of Hilaria. Celebrated in late March, at the festival people dressed in disguises. One last thing it could be related to is the Vernal Equinox because Mother Nature fooled people by changing the weather. There are many different theories but it all comes down to what it is today.


Today, because of the first April Fool’s days, there are many traditions worldwide. France still places “Poisson D’Avril” on people’s backs. In England, anyone who plays a trick after noon is considered the fool. In Iran, people enjoy some food and games. They throw away any green vegetables because they represent bad luck. In Portugal, they get some fun out of throwing flour at each other, how wonderful. And in India, they throw lots of colorful powder; making the town a rainbow. After hundreds of years, many countries around the world have found their own traditions.


On April Fool’s Day, even TV stations and radio stations like to have a little fun. In 1957, the news station, BBC, decided to trick people into thinking you could grow noodles. They had a report about Swiss farmers harvesting spaghetti from trees. Many people were fooled. Since then, BBC has made a sort of tradition, fooling people every year. In 1985, Sports Illustrated made up an article about someone named Sidd Finch, a beginner pitcher. They said that he could throw a fastball at 168 miles per hour. This also fooled many people. Finally in 1996, chain restaurant Taco Bell, told people they had bought the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia. They were going to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. This year, a British newspaper had an article about a new crossbreed between a Devon and Cornwall Longwool sheep and a Tamworth pig. They called this new breed a “Shig” (picture, above right) attempting to fool many people.


April Fool’s Day has been around for hundreds of years. Countries around the world have their own traditions. Even TV and radio stations have some fun on April 1. It’s got more to it than throwing flour at people and taping fish to each other’s back. Whether you’re pranking or the one being pranked, April Fool’s day is a day to have some fun!

Stony Brook Science Expo 2016

by Jessica Y. and Anna K.


The Science Expo is a fun way for kids to release their imagination and creativity. This year more students registered for the Expo than in the previous years. About 190 projects were created. There were many interesting topics like Radiation, Vitamin C in Fruits and making Oobleck.


Some teachers participated in the Science Expo by interviewing students. They also presented some information about NJ nature, including bats. There was a stand run by the fourth grade parents. It sold food and drinks, which is always popular! Thanks to the PTO for sponsoring this successful event because everyone had a wonderful time.


It’s amazing that the kids who made the projects took time from their daily lives to work on them. The Science Expo is a perfect time to share your science ideas with others. “The Science Fair was creative, and there were a great deal of extra activities,” Julia Y. said. So, if you didn’t participate this year, know that there is always next time.

Fourth Grade Wegman's Trip

by Arya S., Manvi T. and Lucas Q.


Have you ever been to a supermarket as a field trip? Recently, the 4th graders had a field trip to Wegman's supermarket in Princeton, New Jersey. Mrs. Conlan’s class went on February 23rd, and Ms. Lindbloom's and Mrs. Danieluk’s class went on February 24th. There are lots of things to learn about at a supermarket. Employees took the students to stations that taught about fruits and vegetables, meat and seafood, breads and grains and cheese. Students learned that all of the food groups are important, and how much of each food group they should eat to stay healthy.


One of the stations was about the “Rainbows Of Fruits and Vegetables." One fact we learned about “Rainbows Of Fruits” is that carrots can come in yellow, purple and orange. Did you also know that some potatoes are purple? We also learned that the Midwest region grows a lot of grain and wheat so it has an area called "The Bread Basket of America."


Some of the groups finished the stations earlier than others so they did a scavenger hunt. On a piece of paper there were clues that led you to a certain food in the store. Students had to guess what it was and where it was. It was a lot of fun! It was a great field trip because our tour guide told us about the food and how that food was good for our body. Another way it was a good field trip is because we got to see all the types of fruits and vegetables, and even a live lobster.


At the end of the visit, everyone got a reusable bag with 2 yogurts, 1 apple, 1 loaf of bread, a box of raisins and 2 pamphlets. What a great way to end a fun and informative trip!

This Month in History -- April

by Ishan G., Sahil G., Carina E., and Alana D.


April is the fourth month of the year, and it is believed that the name April came from the latin word aperire. The goddess for the month of April is Aphrodite (love goddess) in Greek. It is known to have celebrations like April Fools Day, Easter, and Earth Day. Did you know that April’s flowers are the daisy and the sweet pea? Read about some of the history for the month of April.


In Massachusetts the Boston Marathon is held in this month. In addition to that, there is American Basketball Playoffs and MLB season starts. There are many events and holidays in April. A few are April Fools Day, Walk To Work Day, and Take Your Child to Work Day. International Guitar Day is also celebrated during this month. In April, nature blooms, and people actually feel the spring weather. People must pay their taxes by the 15th of this month each year (this may not seem like a good thing, but it helps maintain a lot of things). April is a month of happiness and love, with beautiful weather and fun.

Stony Brook March Madness

by Stefan H., Jon C. and Abhijay S.


March Madness is an event that many students and parents from Stony Brook look forward to every year. It is a basketball tournament that allows grades 1-5 to participate. They play 3 v. 3 games that last about 20 minutes each. If you are wanting to watch the games but not play, you can be a score keeper, announcer or cheerleader. This allows you to still participate in March Madness. We talked with some people who experienced March Madness and received some feedback on how the games went. The head refs of March Madness this year were Mr. Eng, Mr. Corino, Mr. Close, Mr. Morrison, Mr. Leibowitz and many parent volunteers. We even had former Stony Brook students come to referee as well. With its excitement, competitiveness and thrill March Madness is a slam dunk. Below you can find the final standings for each of the divisions. This year, our fifth grade boys and girls champions went on to compete in the district-wide March Madness tournament. Congratulations to the 5th grade girls UNC Tarheels for bringing home the Championship trophy. We are looking forward to another excellent March Madness next year!


4th Grade Boys' Division

1. Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish

2. UConn Huskies


4th Grade Girls' Division

1. Villanova Wildcats

2. Princeton Tigers


5th Grade Boys' Division

1. Iowa State Cyclones

2. Florida Gators


5th Grade Girls' Division

1. UNC Tar Heels

2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Author Lisa Funari-Willever Visits Stony Brook Elementary

by Austin G. & Richie K.


On April 15, 2016, Stony Brook Elementary hosted children's book author Lisa Funari-Willever. We interviewed her, and she shared about her life. In this interview, you will see what she likes, learn about her career and more. Please enjoy!


Q. What is your favorite place in New Jersey?

A. Trenton.


Q. What inspired you to write books?

A. My family.


Q. What do you do besides writing books?

A. Hangout with my family and read.


Q. Do you visit some of the places in your books?

A. All of them. I have to go there before I put it in my book.


Q. What College did you go to?

A. Trenton state.


Q. What is your daily schedule?

A. Bring children to school then I write.


Q. Do you have an inspirational moment and/or person, and if so who/what is it?

A. Yes, my parents.


Q. How do you feel about coming to this school?

A. Excited.


Q. Do you like visiting schools and do you do it often?

A. Yes, 60-100 times a year


Q. How long does it take to write a book?

A. It took me about a month to write my Nicky Fifth books.


We also had an assembly when Lisa Funari-Willever came. She showed us how a book gets edited, published and sold. She also showed us her books. Fourth grader Ishan G. said, “It was amazing!” and Lucas Z.S. said, “I think it was nice that she explained the program that they used to donate books to the kids in Trenton.” Teachers enjoyed the assembly as well. Mrs. Danieluk said, "She kept us laughing through the whole assembly by sharing about her funny everyday experiences that she writes about in her books." Overall, Lisa Funari-Willever's visit was a real success.

The Reading Challenge

by Olivia C., Aziza H. and Gillian M.


The Principal's Reading Challenge is when Stony Brook sets a goal to read a certain amount of minutes during one month. If we read that amount of minutes, we get to pick something funny to do to Mr.Wilfing like duct taping him to the wall, or sliming him and making him do the chicken dance. During election season in November, our school fills out a ballot and votes for Mr. Wilfing's fate.


This year, the school vote was to duct tape him to the wall. Closer to the year's end, Mr.Wilfing will stand on the risers and the two winning classes will duct tape him to the wall. We will leave him up for a couple hours and eventually take him down.


To be in the reading challenge you had to join the “Whooo's Reading” website. Students were able to log their reading on the website, and get an avatar that you dress up when you read. Students earn coins that are used for “accessories” and you get an egg each week you logged on. It was fun to make comments and read about the books that others were reviewing. It helped students to keep on reading.


Recently, we interviewed Mr.Wilfing and asked him some questions and here are the answers. The first question we asked him was “Did you think we were going to reach our goal of 200,000 minutes?" He said, “YES!”. Then we asked him, “How do you feel about getting duct taped to the wall?” He responded, “It's the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.” Last but not least we asked him “Were you the first one to find out you were going to be duct taped to the wall?” He said, “No." That is all there is to know about the reading challenge.

Box Tops for Education

by Lucas Z-S.


How much money can my school earn with Box Tops for Education? Each eligible school may earn up to $20,000 cash per year beginning on March 2 of every year from the Clip program. There are no maximum annual earning limits for schools earning eBoxTops or Bonus Box Tops”. -FAQs Box Tops For Education


Boxtops for Education is an easy way to fundraise for our school. We just need to find the box tops in different products in our house, clip them collected and bring them to school. We receive $0.10 per box tops, but much more for bonus Box Tops. So far, Box Tops in Stony Brook Elementary School has taken place in the months of October, February, and May. For the past few years, the Box Tops awards for the classroom with the most Box Tops has been: Pizza party, Hot Chocolate party, Leading the Halloween parade, Popcorn party, Extra Gym Class, Ice cream sundaes, Popsicles, and $5 gift cards for books. All the classrooms have to collect as many Box Tops as they can. By the end of the week, the student council representatives bring the bags of Box Tops to the office, and then the PTO volunteers count them and submit them.


Recently, ShopRite Supermarket teamed up with Box Tops 4 Education. They created the ShopRite for Education program. In this program you need to register your Price Plus card and you link it to your school’s code. Every time that you purchase participating Box Tops products you earn points for your school and sometimes you can even earn bonus Box Tops.


So go check your house for Box Tops because the next contest is just around the corner. Your class could be the winner of the party. The most Box Tops we collect as a school community the better the parties will be!

The Sterling Hill Mine

by Lillian C., Roshini S., and Emilia G.



The Sterling Mine must’ve been really cool! We will explain a little about some opinions, different things you used to be able to mine there, if the Sterling Mine was always a museum, and the life as a miner. Hope you enjoy!

Was the Sterling Mine always a mine? The answer is obviously no. The life as a miner was very hard work. Picking away at every stone and zinc ore. These men would have to sometimes go down a wooden elevator to get down to the bottom of the mine to pick more rocks. What if you have to go to the bathroom, you ask? Well, you would have to sit on almost a pot like container, and go! Then, after that day, a man would be hired to clean it out… no flushing!

The Sterling Mine has many, many rich ores. One of the ores that this mine holds is zinc ore. The rocks and minerals that this mine has to share are from all around the world. So there are a lot of types of rocks and minerals to find there. Some gems that are found in the Sterling Mine are rubies, gems, and sapphires. Some of these precious rocks are fluorescent. Which means they are shiny.


We asked Franklin in 3rd grade some questions. “My favorite part of the Sterling Mine was when we visited the water table,” He says. “I learned that it was very dangerous to be working there but I liked it!” He says.


We asked a third grader named Chloe what she liked about it. “I really liked everything. I learned how people worked at a mine and it was fun.” She says.


In conclusion, from what we researched, and when we went, it seemed and is very fun. In this article we told about these things; that it use to be a dangerous mine, that it turned into a museum, opinions of third graders, and the life of a miner. We hope you enjoyed this article!

The Franklin Institute

by Sanaa W. and Sakari W.



On Monday, March 28, the fourth grade students at Stony Brook took a field trip to the Franklin Institute.The Franklin Institute is a museum located at 222 N 20th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103. At the Franklin Institute people can make paper, take a walk through the big heart, play in the brain playhouse nets, and have fun in the sideways room. There are also some fun rides for a small cost, and there’s a big black train you can enter. In the train section it shows you how a train works and how to drive one.


When you enter the museum, there is a big statue of Ben Franklin, and outside of the museum there are cool Native American statues in the fountain. The fountain is in a city park, and the statues stand for the three rivers.


There are many sections to the museum. One section is the brain section. The brain section has multiple stairs and nets representing all the cells and organs that are stored in your brain. Also in the heart section there is a big heart with organs stored in the side of the walk in heart. The heart is fake but has sounds that you can listen to as you explore. There is a cart in the corner of the heart section with many types of animal hearts to see: goats, horses and so much more.


As you can see, there are so many cool and interesting activities to enjoy at The Franklin Institute. If you’ve learned about it in Science class, you can probably find an activity for it there!

Spotlight: Ms. Choma, Stony Brook Counselor

by Austin G. and Richie K.



A spotlight is an interview with a staff member, often someone new at this school or someone you may not know much about. In this Spotlight we will interview Ms. Choma. Ms. Choma is our new school guidance counselor. She grew up around the corner in West Windsor, NJ. She attended Villanova University for her undergraduate degree. She then went to The College of New Jersey for her master's degree in order to become a school counselor. Ms. Choma has an older sister who is expecting a baby this summer, so Ms. Choma is excited to be an aunt. Read on to learn more interesting things about our school counselor!


Q. What’s your favorite food?

A. Spaghetti with Garlic Bread on the side.


Q. What’s your favorite Hobby?

A. To Hike.


Q. What’s Your Favorite Sport?

A. Football


Q. What’s your favorite movie?

A. The Inside Man


Q. What’s your favorite show?

A. The Bachelor


Q. What’s your Favorite game?

A. Card Games


Q. What’s your favorite state besides New Jersey?

A. Pennsylvania


Q. What’s your favorite country besides USA?

A. Spain


Q. What’s your favorite candy?

A. Chocolate


Q. What do you do besides counseling?

A. Hang out with friends and family.


As you can see, Ms. Choma has many different interests. When asked what she likes about Stony Brook, Ms. Choma responded, "My favorite thing about SB is all the kind and welcoming students and staff members I have been able to get to know this year. It's truly the best place to work! My favorite part of the day is saying good morning to all the students at the front door each day." We are so happy and lucky to have her here!

The Faculty Musicale

by Gianna D.


For a couple of days teachers from the Hopewell Valley Regional School District got together and practiced songs to perform on January 29, from 7:00-9:00pm, at the Central High School. We had four Stony Brook staff members in the Musicale. The four teachers were Mrs.Hail, Mr.Emhof, Mrs.Nutt, and Mrs.Hill. The song performance they did was Fight Song by Rachel Platten. The teachers did the song with some other teachers from the District. Mrs.Nutt sang the song, Mr.Emhof beat-boxed, and Mrs.Hail and Mrs.Hill played an instrument. There were a lot more performances in the show! Some were solos, some were duets, and most were groups. I can’t tell you how nice of an experience to see it was! If they are planning to have another one next year, I assure you that it would be worth attending! Seeing the talent in some of the HVRSD staff was a joyful time.

The Presidential Election

by Aaron D. and Chelsea K.


This year’s race for the White House is as close as ever. The candidate’s campaigns have been performing well but thousands of Americans have already selected the candidate they want to vote for. For a long time, the front runners for the Republican side were Donald Trump, John Kasich and Ted Cruz. On the Democratic side was Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Recently, however, everyone bowed out of the race except for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Who will win?


Democrat Hillary Clinton is fighting to try to ensure children and world class education. Hillary could be the first female president. If Hillary were elected president, she and her husband, Bill Clinton, would make history by becoming the first couple to both be in office. Isn’t that amazing? Hillary also is fighting for female rights, like getting better payments for women. While on the other hand Bernie Sanders is fighting for freedom and human rights and to try to combat terrorism. Bernie also says, “The decision to go to war is a last resort.” That means he doesn’t believe in going to war unless there are no other options for peace left.


Republican Donald Trump plans to use his success in business to bring about reform. He wants to change the current U.S. rules on immigration, taxes, and healthcare. He also supports the rights of U.S. citizens to own guns. He feels that the U.S. needs to be harder on the people who misuse guns rather than those who own them for self-defense and other reasons.


In November, people will go to the polls and vote for the candidate that they are supporting. Who would you choose? Who do you think will be the next president of the United States of America?

Egg Man & Bacon Boy

by Aidan N.

Upcoming Events

5/18 - Grade 2 Play

5/25 - NJASK Science Grade 4

5/26 - 5th Grade Philadelphia Trip

5/27 - 2nd Grade Elmwood Park Zoo Trip

5/30 - OFF, Memorial Day

6/1 - Spring Concert at the PAC

6/3 - Field Day

6/6 - 6/10 Circus Week

6/13 - Grade 1 Play

6/14 - 5th Grade Band and Orchestra Recital

6/15 - Grade 5 Promotion Dinner

6/17 - Grade 5 Fun Night

6/21 - Early Dismissal

6/22 - Early Dismissal, Last Day of School!