Editor's Note: The following news brief was contributed by Lawrence Township Public Schools.
Slackwood Elementary School recently held a Roots and Wings Unity Celebration, inspired by the poem "Roots and Wings" by Denis Waitley.
If I had two wishes, I know what they would be
I’d wish for Roots to cling to, and Wings to set me free;
Roots of inner values, like rings within a tree,
And Wings of independence to seek my destiny.
Mrs. Kathy Saretzky, library specialist, and Ms. Jill Lee-You, art specialist, wrote a grant that was funded by the Lawrence Township Education Foundation (LTEF).
This grant supplied the funding for the school to construct a Unity Tree in the lobby and paint the walls. This tree and the surrounding grass represent the Roots of the community.
Basically, the school is the Roots and supplies the students with nourishment (education, values, character and friendships). Through this nourishment, the students grow Wings and become contributing and valuable members of society.
Ms. Lee-You designed the Unity Hall that has the tree and, with her students, decorated the hallway and the historical pictures that accompany the display. Students will then add feathers (leaves) to the tree as they prepare to move to their next school. Mrs. Saretzky wrote the poem that accompanies the tree:
Slackwood - Flock of Friends Forever
Before we fly our first school’s nest,
We add a feather to attest,
Slackwood School YOU ARE THE BEST!
The Unity celebration was held in the All-Purpose room. All of the students wore their new Roots and Wings shirts. Staff, community members, alumni, and Lawrence Township Education Foundation members were part of the celebration.
The program consisted of a video about the building of the tree, student read “Unity” ideas, the “Blue and Gold” (Slackwood Song written by Robert DeLorenzo, Slackwood ’57).
Afterwards, students were treated to special unity snacks in their classrooms while parents, family, alumni, and teachers signed blades of grass as they continue to be supportive of Slackwood ideals. The entire display unites the school’s past, present, and future.