Southdown Splash Award recipients with teacher Dorene Karivalis and Principal Scott Oshrin.

Southdown School is on the Move

Southdown Splash Award recipients with teacher Dorene Karivalis and Principal Scott Oshrin.

February 3, 2020

Southdown Primary School is always on the move. A group of spectacular students was recently recognized and a new reading initiative was launched to fanfare.

Southdown’s most recent Splash Assembly covered plenty of ground, from honoring youngsters on every grade level to jumpstarting a new program that focuses on getting more books into the hands of students.

January’s Southdown Splash Award recipients included:

Universal Pre-Kindergarten: Bryana Ramos Saravia

Kindergarten: Justin Reyes Amaya, Anastasia Calderon, Lisbeth Zavala Aguilar, Mason Burkhardt, Alexander Aversano

First grade: Matthew Stensland, Andy Velasquez Arevalo, Suleymi Alfaro, Saudi Gonzalez Mendez

Second grade: Emma Aversano, Shane Brightbill, Jr., Nelson Henriquez Jimenez

Third grade: Lyla Monge, Harrison Jennings, Emily McCarthy

January’s Splash Award faculty recipient was Dorene Karivalis. “Dorene came to Southdown a few years ago,” Principal Scott Oshrin said. “She is a great fit for our school. An accomplished and dedicated reading teacher, she consistently goes above and beyond for her students. We are lucky to have her.

The students who ride back and forth on Van B were also celebrated for their positive bus behavior.

The recent Splash Assembly also introduced something new to students and it has created a buzz around the building. A new “Take a Book, Leave a Book” initiative was officially launched. Books will be stored in a high profile spot in the main lobby.

“We need help to get this off the ground, so we asked parents to send in new and used books,” Principal Scott Oshrin said. “Students can bring books their family wants to donate directly to their classroom teacher. The more books we have, the easier it will be to launch this program.”

The initiative originated from an idea generated by Southdown’s shared decision making committee that includes Mr. Oshrin, teachers and parents.

“The idea is simple yet powerful,” Mr. Oshrin said. “Students will be permitted to take books from this space as often as they would like. They should return the books when finished. Students will be encouraged to create a book review after they finish reading the book. This activity will take place in class. These book reviews will allow students to select books based on peer recommendations.

Southdown’s teachers hope that students will “take and leave” books throughout the remainder of the school year. “It is always our hope to spark a love of reading and learning with our students,” Mr. Oshrin said.