Engineering Cars in Prekindergarten

by Beth Brennan
Director of Early Childhood Programs

Wood was cut and holes were drilled, all in preparation for a very special design project last week in our Pre-K class.  The children were challenged by their teachers to come up with designs for wooden vehicles that move.  Once the designs were in place, the students set out to sand, stack, build and glue pieces of wood together to make their cars.  Vocabulary like axles, wheels, and hub caps were incorporated in the building portion of the lesson. In projects like these, the process is as important as the end results; the children start with imagination, followed by the development of a plan, then trial and error. Once assembled, as you will see in this video, they had the opportunity to talk about their ideas and, best of all, test their vehicles. 

The Elisabeth Morrow School Community Raises $6,000 for The Caroline Fund

Left to right:  Linda Stanton (Administrative Director Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital), Fran Jones (Manager of Operations Hackensack UMC Foundation), Steve Sakovits, Mitchell Lynn, Anna Lynn, Nancy Lynn, Dr. Michael B. Harris (Director of Tomorrows Children's Institute) , Barbara Sakovits, Caroline Sakovits, Jane Phend (Principal of Elisabeth Morrow), Gael Barile (Second Grade teacher), Kimberly Caesar (Director of Development for Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital) 

Courtesy of Angela Thomas, Prana Marketing

Englewood Cliffs, NJ, April 23, 2012 

Seven-year old Anna Lynn, a second-grader at The Elisabeth Morrow School in Englewood, New Jersey, wanted to honor her classmate, Caroline Sakovits, a patient at The Tomorrows Children’s Institute (TCI) for Cancer and Blood Disorders at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center.  Anna had heard Caroline talk about The Caroline Fund and how it helps children who are very sick.  Moved by her story, Anna and her mother Nancy Lynn, Executive Vice President of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, mobilized a team of EMS second-grade Moms to help organize a bake sale. 

Second Grade Bake Sale - March 22, 2012 - Grace Muller Courtyard
Dozens of EMS families volunteered to bake over 800 scrumptious treats, which were eagerly snapped up by students, families and staff at an event held on March 22nd, as Anna, Caroline and some of their classmates proudly worked the tables. Unsold items were brought to the hospital, where they were enjoyed by patients and their families. 

As well, in a show of community solidarity, the EMS fourth graders dedicated their third annual talent show to The Caroline Fund.  Young singers, dancers, musicians, and comedians entertained their classmates and family members, while the proceeds from admission were then added to the bake sale fundraising.

The Little School's efforts certainly help in supporting a worthy cause.  Established in July 2006 by Steve and Barbara Sakovits, in honor of their daughter, The Caroline Fund provides much needed morale for children struggling with serious illness.   TCI’s team of specialists believe that children are not simply small adults, that they have unique psychological and developmental needs that require as much attention as their medical issues. To this end, The Caroline Fund helps the Institute provide special programs, such as Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy.  By incorporating arts & crafts, music, video games and many more activities, TCI seeks to reduce stress, bring joy, promote recovery and provide some of the aspects of normalcy that are vital to the overall well-being of their young patients. 

The support from The Elisabeth Morrow Community was truly generous.  On April 12, the EMS community presented a check for $6000, dedicated for The Caroline Fund, to The Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation.  

If you would like to learn more about The Caroline Fund, please visit

Large Motor Development at the Art Table in the Three’s Classroom

by Tricia Eickelberg
Early Childhood Teacher

The three-year-olds of C-1 recently painted marble pictures using daffodil colors. In order to move the marbles around they needed to tip the box from side to side and back and forth. On another day, they also helped paint our pond by using rollers to spread the paint over the paper. They then used texture tools to make the waves in the water. 

Children generally enjoy active projects like these–they're fun, they're making art–but the overarching goal here is to strengthen muscles in their upper arms. Later, when they begin writing, these stronger muscles will help with both proper pencil grip and with the ability to move the pencil across the paper.