Helming tours Newark school district

Sophomore Paris Morris (left) explains to Senator Helming (center) how she is able to create her composition on her laptop using Adobe Photoshop software as Superintendent Matt Cook (right) watches.

NEWARK — State Sen. Pam Helming recently toured Newark schools.

Helming, R-54 of Canandaigua, visited:

• Special Education teachers Matt Groot and Sarah Kiley’s Functional Skills Development Class at Newark High School where the popular Reds Wagon Catering emanates from.

The class gave Helming a tray of its chocolate chip and sugar cookies and a fall-themed mason jar centerpiece made by students in its morning technology program.

• The WNHS Television Production Studio at NHS and spoke briefly with Kyle Bliek, NCSD Audiovisual and Social Media Coordinator

• NHS art teacher Renee Bailey’s Drawing and Painting 2 class, an elective class that will lead into the Advanced Placement college-level Drawing Class, where some students were involved in the creative process on their new 1:1 laptops.

Laptops for NHS and Newark Middle School students as well as iPads for Kelley School, Lincoln and Perkins School students have recently been purchased with NYS Smart School Bond funds.

Helming was intrigued when Bailey explained about the growing integration of technology with art. Sophomore Paris Morris explained how she is able to create her composition on her laptop using Adobe Photoshop software. Students will complete their composition using either acrylic paints or colored pencils.

• The NHS athletic complex and saw the new track and fields that were part of the nearly complete district capital project.

• The current sixth-grade students involved in the My Brothers Keeper Rites Of Passage program at Newark Middle School that is funded by a state Education Department grant. They were joined by seventh-graders who participated last year.

The young men of color advocacy program is intended to help these students make a meaningful social, emotional and learning transition into a new school is in place at Kelley School for third-graders; NMS for sixth-graders and at NHS for ninth-graders.

The students also participate in after-school activities in the community and field trips which are overseen by the Wayne County Youth Advocacy Program of which Michael Crespo is director.

James Schuler, assistant director of the advocacy program, who developed the MBK Rites of Passage program in Newark and acts as a consultant for it, told Helming the program is making an important difference in the lives of those participating.

Jesse Cruz, who is program coordinator for the advocacy program, works with and provides support for each of the three MBK Rites of Passage groups in their schools each day.

Helming noted that Lyons also has received funding for the program.

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