The Meadowbrook School is excited to spotlight Brett, Meadowbrook student and a member of the Class of 2020, and his recent achievements on the soccer field. As a member of the Philadelphia Union Soccer Youth Academy, Brett has excelled as a playmaker both on and off the field during his young soccer career. Starting in 2018, Brett has been invited to play in international tournaments; first during the IberCup in Portugal, followed by the IberCup in Marbella, Spain in 2019. The IberCup is one of the largest international soccer tournaments in the world. He then went on to play with the world’s best youth academics from the Celtics and Rangers futbol clubs in Glasgow, Scotland.
This past January, Brett was selected once again to play in two IberCup tournaments in Brazil! Along with celebrating his 12th birthday while there, Brett’s team also claimed second and third overall prizes in each respective tournament.
The level of athleticism that Brett exhibits, and the reason he is consistently selected to be part of these tournaments, is credited to his high level of dedication to the sport of soccer. For four days a week, you can find Brett training at the Youth Soccer Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania. On the weekends, he is traveling to multiple competitions in the area and throughout the country. Brett is extremely hardworking, and has a real love and passion for the sport. We at Meadowbrook have been lucky enough to watch Brett play at some of our own games, as he has lent his talents on our field (and on the basketball court as well!)
When Brett is not playing soccer, he enjoys listening to music, playing basketball or fort-nite with his friends, and playing the piano, which he takes private lessons for every Friday night. He also enjoys spending time with his family, and golden doodles, Ollie and Niko, and cat, Sophie.
On Wednesday, February 5th, The Meadowbrook School celebrated World Read Aloud Day. World Read Aloud Day was created in 2010 by “LitWorld” to build more opportunities for children to celebrate the joy of reading aloud. World Read Aloud Day is now a global event and Meadowbrook was very happy to have participated in it!
Reading aloud has encouraged self-expression in children, along with building their understanding of text while furthering their confidence. This plays into our curriculum nicely, as our students are often expected to speak, perform, and give presentations in front of their peers and teachers both in the classroom and in assemblies. Our students had a wonderful time celebrating World Read Aloud Day in their classrooms through different reading activities. We gave the students an opportunity to read some of their favorite books and passages aloud to their peers. Teachers had a designated time that they read aloud to their students as well. In Preschool, the students were treated to “There’s a Monster in Your Book” by Tom Fletcher, while up in Sixth Grade, students read “Beowulf”! In Fourth Grade, children listened intently to “The Curious Garden” by Peter Brown, while Second Grade was enchanted by “Sam and the Lucky Money” by Karen Chinn. While we were delighted to celebrate World Read Aloud Day at school, we also encouraged parents to do some reading when their children came home after school. The Meadowbrook School was very happy to have participated in such a beneficial event, and look forward to celebrating World Read Aloud Day for many years to come.
The Meadowbrook School is pleased to welcome Ms. Nicole Matregrano as our new librarian. This summer was a big summer for the Matregrano-El Gharib clan! The family relocated from the United Arab Emirates to Collegeville, Pennsylvania. For the past 8 years, Ms. Matregrano has been living in the U.A.E. working as a teacher and Head of Faculty at a local school for Emirati children. This summer was the big move back to Pennsylvania, with her husband and son, Yasin, who also attends the Meadowbrook School, is in Mrs. Langlois and Ms. Betz’ classroom. In between the move from Al Ain, U.A.E., they stopped in Egypt for 3 weeks. There, they visited family, took in the sites, and enjoyed themselves. They always love the yummy Egyptian food like Molokhiya, Ma’amar, and Mashi. They also tried to visit amazing sites in Cairo, and went to the Giza Pyramids and The Sphinx. In Upper Egypt (which is actually in the South), their favorite place to visit was in Aswan and Luxor. These are beautiful villages along the Nile River, from where the Pharaohs lived and ruled. After Egypt, they completed their move to America. Now the family is enjoying the different fall activities, cold weather, and being part of the Meadowbrook family.
At the Meadowbrook School, our science class answers the age old question, “How does your garden grow?”
“It isn’t with silver bells and cockleshells,” says Janice Mockaitis, Meadowbrook’s science teacher. Instead, we plant, water, weed, harvest, plant, water, weed, harvest. That has been our pattern in the science garden since last spring. In May, the students planted miniature pumpkins, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes seeds. After caring for the plants until the end of the school year, the plants grew all summer.
Overflowing with pumpkins and cucumbers, the students enjoyed harvesting the first week of school and learning the health benefits of cucumbers as they tasted them. We counted, sorted, and watched the green mini
pumpkins turn orange these past few months. After clearing the garden (except the sweet potatoes,) the students planted spinach and broccoli. Again, after watching the plants grow, the students enjoyed spinach with Ranch Dressing in the science room immediately after picking from the garden. In the next few weeks we will harvest the broccoli and sweet potatoes. There is nothing better than fresh vegetables from garden to table!
The King Lives in the hearts of these Meadowbrook teachers! Yes, 42 years later, Elvis fans are still visiting Graceland to pay honor to “the King,” and this year, Mrs. JoAnn Prego, and Mrs. Debbie Fletcher-Marcolina, were among the approximately 35,000 visitors to Elvis Week in Memphis, Tennessee. Staying at the new Graceland Guest House from August 14 – 18, all of the events and tours were within walking distance, and Graceland was right next door! Every day was filled with fascinating in-depth interviews. There were conversations with many who knew Elvis intimately and performed with him for many years. Highlights were meeting Estella Brown of the Sweet Inspirations and James Burton, Elvis’ lead guitar player and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Every night there was a totally awesome concert filled with the greatest sounds one could ever experience, including an American Sound Studio 50th Anniversary Concert, an Elvis in Vegas Concert, and a gospel concert featuring B.J. Thomas of Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head fame, the Blackwood Brothers, and the Imperials. Another highlight was a day trip to Tupelo, Mississippi, to visit the two room house that Vernon Presley built and where Elvis was born on January 8, 1935. At a stop at the Tupelo Hardware store where Elvis and his mother bought his first guitar for his birthday when he was eleven years old, visitors can stand on the spot where this world-changing event took place. A tour of Graceland and, of course, the solemn candlelight vigil on August 15, commemorating Elvis’ passing away, were events no Elvis fan would ever miss! A side trip to the unforgettable National Civil Rights Museum in the Lorraine Motel in Memphis was also a must. This destination was recommended by former Meadowbrook mom and grandmom, Marci Abt! The song If I can Dream, sung by Elvis as the finale to his ’68 Comeback Special, is Elvis’ tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. and the uplifting ideals he gave us. This trip to Memphis was a trip of history and a trip of pure enjoyment all rolled into one fabulous time for two Meadowbrook teachers!
The Meadowbrook School was excited to have celebrated 100 years with with a day long birthday party for all students and faculty on October 4, 2019. The celebration was full of decade-themed activities, such as 1940’s and 1950’s dance and history of music, DIY lava lamps in the art room to celebrate the 1970’s, and 1980’s video games in the computer lab. Our students were amazed by the ability of our teachers to “hand-jive” as well as out-play them in Donkey Kong and Mario Bros.!
Students also enjoyed a school-wide scavenger hunt that allowed the them to explore our grounds and learn more about The Meadowbrook School’s rich 100 year history. As they walked around the school, they were also delighted with many photographs and artwork of former students, as well as fun memorabilia from the last century. A particular point of interest was the history of phones in the Art Wing. It was fun to show the students how to actually use a rotary phone. In addition, with the help of Mr. Frank and Mr. Tom and under the guidance of Mrs. Mockaitis, the students helped to beautify the campus by planting bulbs donated by our families. These daffodils will bloom in the spring and be another reminder of this great day.
After the celebration, grades 4 through 6 played in the annual Red vs. Gray Soccer match. This tournament is an ongoing tradition that all students participate in over the course of 3 weeks. After the soccer match ended in a tie, students, parents and faculty were invited to enjoy special Centennial Cupcakes lovingly created by Erica Sweigard, mom of Olivia ’21 and Ethan ’23 and prizes for the winners of the scavenger hunt – Clifford ’26, Drew Davis ’26, and Zachary Johnson ’26 and Finn ’22, Luna ’22, and Madison ’22.
This day was 100 years in the making and we are so grateful to Mrs. Kristen Haugen for her role and to all the teachers, staff and parents who were there to lend a hand. More pictures of this great day can be found on our Facebook page.