Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
P/sunny
80°
P/sunny
Hi 78° | Lo 58°

Jackson Street, Tuesday Market team up with counting book

  • Jackson Street School math teacher Mary Cowhey plays a counting game called "shake it up" with Angela Robles, 6, front, Anaisha Feliziano, 8, and others during a book launch party Friday at the Northampton home of Elba Heredia. Cowhey, Heredia, and Santa Garcia produced a book called "Our Kids Count"  with photos by Tuesday Farmer's Market co-founder Ben James. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Jackson Street School math teacher Mary Cowhey plays a counting game called "shake it up" with Angela Robles, 6, front, Anaisha Feliziano, 8, and others during a book launch party Friday at the Northampton home of Elba Heredia. Cowhey, Heredia, and Santa Garcia produced a book called "Our Kids Count" with photos by Tuesday Farmer's Market co-founder Ben James.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • During a party Friday at the Northampton home of Elba Heredia for a new book,  "Our Kids Count", Santa Garcia, right, reads from the book as Heredia and Ben James of the Tuesday Market follow along. The three created the book on counting for 3-5-year-olds with help from Jackson Street School math teacher Mary Cowhey.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    During a party Friday at the Northampton home of Elba Heredia for a new book, "Our Kids Count", Santa Garcia, right, reads from the book as Heredia and Ben James of the Tuesday Market follow along. The three created the book on counting for 3-5-year-olds with help from Jackson Street School math teacher Mary Cowhey.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Ben James holds the book, "Our Kids Count" during a book launch party Friday at the Northampton home of Elba Heredia of Jackson Street School's Families with Power. James, who is manager of the city's Tuesday Market, did photos for the book, a joint project with the school.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Ben James holds the book, "Our Kids Count" during a book launch party Friday at the Northampton home of Elba Heredia of Jackson Street School's Families with Power. James, who is manager of the city's Tuesday Market, did photos for the book, a joint project with the school.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • A group of children, including Alexie Robles, 12, left, and Angela Robles, 6, play snack dice, a counting game, Friday during a party at the Northampton home of Elba Heredia for a new counting book for 3-5-year-olds, "Our Kids Count." Ben James, who shot photos for the book, looks on.JERREY ROBERTS

    A group of children, including Alexie Robles, 12, left, and Angela Robles, 6, play snack dice, a counting game, Friday during a party at the Northampton home of Elba Heredia for a new counting book for 3-5-year-olds, "Our Kids Count." Ben James, who shot photos for the book, looks on.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jackson Street School math teacher Mary Cowhey plays a counting game called "shake it up" with Angela Robles, 6, front, Anaisha Feliziano, 8, and others during a book launch party Friday at the Northampton home of Elba Heredia. Cowhey, Heredia, and Santa Garcia produced a book called "Our Kids Count"  with photos by Tuesday Farmer's Market co-founder Ben James. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • During a party Friday at the Northampton home of Elba Heredia for a new book,  "Our Kids Count", Santa Garcia, right, reads from the book as Heredia and Ben James of the Tuesday Market follow along. The three created the book on counting for 3-5-year-olds with help from Jackson Street School math teacher Mary Cowhey.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Ben James holds the book, "Our Kids Count" during a book launch party Friday at the Northampton home of Elba Heredia of Jackson Street School's Families with Power. James, who is manager of the city's Tuesday Market, did photos for the book, a joint project with the school.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • A group of children, including Alexie Robles, 12, left, and Angela Robles, 6, play snack dice, a counting game, Friday during a party at the Northampton home of Elba Heredia for a new counting book for 3-5-year-olds, "Our Kids Count." Ben James, who shot photos for the book, looks on.JERREY ROBERTS

In her classes at Jackson Street School in Northampton, she noticed that children liked counting books, though too few of them were in Spanish, a language spoken by many of her school’s families.

“The books weren’t as culturally relevant as I would have liked,” said Cowhey, who is a Title I teacher at Jackson Street. “I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to have a counting book with our kids?”

That was the genesis for “Our Kids Count,” a bilingual book produced by Cowhey and the Families with Power school/community group in cooperation with Northampton’s Tuesday Market.

A book launch party was held late last week at Hampshire Heights to celebrate the release of the first 50 copies. The easy-to-hold flip book, which is aimed at 3- to 5-year-olds, features 14 pages of colorful photos of Jackson Street students counting vegetables at the city farmer’s market with text in English and Spanish.

Ben James, co-founder of the Tuesday Market, said his organization formed ties with Families with Power three years ago when the two groups sponsored a pilot farmers market project at Hampshire Heights.

“I’m always enthusiastic about anything that involves kids in the community,” said James, who took the photos for the new counting book.

Santa Garcia, a Families with Power member who provided Spanish translations for “Our Kids Count,” said she’s always wanted to produce a book.

“I’ve been an elementary school teacher and I tell my granddaughter all the time, I want to make a book for her,” said Garcia, in an interview before Friday’s book party. “It’s going to be a surprise for her.”

Garcia’s granddaughter, Amelie Acevedo, 6 — who will be entering first grade at Jackson Street next month — appears in the counting book, along with several classmates.

Elba Heredia, another Families with Power member and co-president of Jackson Street’s PTO, wrote suggestions in the front of the book for ways parents can help their kids learn to count. “The most important things are talking with and listening to your child every day and doing some counting with your child every day,” she wrote.

The School Department’s Early Childhood Office provided funding for the first 50 copies of “Our Kids Count.” James said plans are in the works to print another edition in early September that will be sold for $10 apiece at the Tuesday Market as a fundraiser for the Food Stamps X2 program. The program doubles the amount that food stamp users can spend on fresh, locally produced food when they shop at the Tuesday Market.

For details about “Our Kids Count,” contact Cowhey at 584-8917.

•••

Film rescheduled

A free Cinema Northampton film screening of “The Princess Bride” that was cancelled earlier this summer due to bad weather has been rescheduled for Friday at 8:30 p.m. behind Northampton High School on Elm Street.

Hosted by Northampton Community Television, the event starts at 7 p.m. so filmgoers can take advantage of concession stands run by the Northampton Athletic Boosters Club. Proceeds from food sales will benefit athletic programs in the city public schools.

For details, call NCTV at 587-3550.

•••

Tech changes

The portal is coming!

The city School Department has installed a new student information system that will debut when school starts in September. The second phase of that project, according to Technology Director Angelo Rota, is a new “parent portal” that will give parents and students access to a secure online site to check grades and homework assignments.

The portal should be up and running sometime in January, Rota said.

The portal will replace the Engrade system now in use at Northampton High School and will extend online grade-checking access to parents and students in city elementary and middle school grades.

“There’s not as much of a call for it at the elementary schools,” Rota conceded. “But it will be there for kids to log in and parents to log in.”

What about families that don’t have easy access to computers and the Internet?

“That’s a concern,” Rota said. “I toyed with the idea of having computer stations around town that people could check into. Most can also use the library or their smartphones. But we will continue to do paper grades as long as we have to.”

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.