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Watson Elementary School students 'soar to new heights'

This year, the theme at Watson Elementary School is “Soaring to New Heights.” The theme is based on principles of social-emotional learning.

Watson students D'Andre Mullings-Newberry, left, and Avery Dodd enjoyed the morning meeting with Dr. Johnson and seeing the hot air balloon on the field.Photo courtesy of Rockville Centre School District

With help from a grant generously funded by the Rockville Centre Education Foundation, Watson educators will teach students ways to deal with social-emotional issues, such as compassion, empathy, self-esteem and inner happiness, throughout the year.

On Sept. 26, the school surprised students with the appearance of a REMAX hot air balloon on the Watson field, provided through Liberty Balloon Company. Students observed as commercial pilot Captain Lee Teitsworth inflated the balloon.

The hot air balloon served as a reminder that boundaries are limitless and students’ potentials are sky high. The symbolism of the hot air balloon will be referred to throughout the year.

Students gathered in front of the hot air balloon. Photo courtesy of Rockville Centre School District

After students witnessed the inflation, the entire student body sang a song written by a group of Watson students called “Soaring to New Heights.” This original song reinforces the path leading to self-confidence, making the right choices and feeling good about oneself.

Once the balloon deflated, students in grades three through five gathered in the gym for a presentation by the balloon’s pilot. This session included information on the operational characteristics, history and safety considerations of flying hot air balloons.

Watson School will host more events this year to enforce an environment where the social-emotional health of its youngsters can flourish.

Superintendent Dr. William Johnson hopped into the hot air balloon during the event. Photo courtesy of Rockville Centre School District

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