Cunniff Kids News

This just in...
Special report: Steampunk festival in Waltham
The World Around Us
Special report: Battle of Lexington and Concord
An eye for news: Battle of Lexington and Concord
An Eye for News: Art Show
Front Page News
Favorite Things
Pleased to meet you
Fun and games
Halloween at the Cunniff
Special report: Clown debates
King Richard's Faire 2012
An eye for news: Ringling Bros. Circus
An eye for news: King Richard's Faire
Cunniff Culture
Read all about it!
Corridors and classrooms
An eye for news: Baby chicks 2010
An eye for news: Baby chicks 2009
To the Cove and beyond!
An interview with ...
Pleased to meet you: Debby Ryan
Pleased to meet you: Henry Winkler
2011 Gift Guide
Fun features!
An eye for news: Fifth-grade play 2011
Special report: Meet the Candidates
Special report: Snowstorm!
Special report: New police station, 2008-2010
An eye for news: Fifth-grade play
Archive: Pleased to meet you
May I ask a few questions? Angela Hucles
May I ask a few questions? Harry and the Potters/Math the Band
Archive: To the Cove and beyond!
May I ask a few questions? Mike Reiss
An eye for news: Shubert Theatre
An eye for news: Magic class
An eye for news: Bonaparte
An eye for news: Scott Wahle
Archive: Front page news
Archive: The world around us
Archive: Corridors and classrooms
Archive: Cunniff culture
Archive: Fun and games
Closer look: Super Bowl
About the Cunniff Kids News

Top Divider


Cunniff Culture

 The Arts and Entertainment section
Sights and stories from the MFA 


Cunniff Kids News staff reporters

     On Friday of April vacation, we went to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

     At the MFA, we heard a story about a boy who forgot his pencil, went back to get it, but a bird had it. The bird dropped the pencil, the boy got it back, and then he went back home.

     Then we went to eat. We had soup with chips, a banana, broccoli, and some pretzels. The food was really good.

     In the cafeteria, there was an enormous golden rock.

     Outside of the museum, there were two baby heads on the ground made out of stone.

--May 27, 2012--


"Hunger Games" catches fire

with fourth-, fifth-graders

Cunniff Elementary students have

appetite for book trilogy, hit movie


Cunniff Kids News staff reporters

     The hit movie and books of the year are “The Hunger Games.” There was a trilogy of books by Suzanne Collins, and now an exciting movie.

     The first book was “The Hunger Games,” the second was “Catching Fire,” and the last was “Mockingjay.” The books are very interesting, and you will never want to put them down because they are so exciting.

     The movie is based on the first book. It is an exciting, heart-racing, fast-paced movie. It is full of action and features a heroine named Katniss Everdeen, who gets thrown in an arena to fight to the death.

     Fourth- and fifth-graders at Cunniff Elementary are loving both the books and the movie. Almost any older kid would love it, too.

     Students liked both the books and the movie, and they gave both five stars. A few people liked the books better than the movie, so it is suggested that you read the books first.

     The movie is still in theaters, so go and watch, and you will definitely be satisfied.

     We strongly suggest to come see and read “The Hunger Games.”

--May 16, 2012--


"Dora the Explorer" still

finding ways to entertain


Cunniff Kids News staff reporter

     Every day before school I watch “Dora the Explorer” with my sister, Nimaka, and my brother, Kudja.

     I love “Dora the Explorer.” I love her because it’s fun when she sings, and dances, and helps people feel better.

     My favorite characters are Boots, Dora, the Map, and Backpack.

     My favorite song is the map song. I like it when Dora sings with Boots.

     One of my favorite episodes was when Benny the Cow was sneezing, and when Dora was playing with the map and a bird who was collecting sticks picked up Swiper thinking he was a stick.

     I like it when Dora had her birthday. At her birthday, there were a lot of people and Dora didn’t know how to get to her own birthday party. I also liked it when Dora went to her house.

     In the show, Dora is always getting stuff from Backpack. He always has the right stuff.

     I like it when Dora checks the Map. He is very funny.

     Swiper is the fox, and he always swipes Dora’s stuff. To make him stay away, Dora and Boots always say, “Swiper, no swiping!” 

     One of my favorite things about Dora is that she helps people and always makes them feel better. When I grow up I want to be like Dora so I can help people too and have my own backpack. 

--April 22, 2012--


cracks up crowd 


Cunniff Kids News staff reporter

     I went to see “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” with my brother and my dad. I really liked the movie.

     I ate popcorn and M&M’s and drank lemonade.

     The movie was about the Chipmunks and Chipettes and how they got stranded on an island.

     My favorite part was when the mean lady went to the island to get the gold under the waterfall. She caught Eleanor (one of the Chipettes) and then tied her up so she could get the gold. The lady then stole the gold from Eleanor. This was my favorite part because it was funny.

     I give this movie five stars!

--April 22, 2012--

"Arrietty" a big hit

for small crowd 

Cunniff Kids News staff reporter
During Vacation I went to the movie theater in Waltham to watch “The Secret World of Arrietty” with my mom, sisters, cousin, and little brother.
“Arrietty” was a nice movie. Arrietty looks beautiful. She is really small, and she does a lot of stuff, like when she saw a rope and climbed up to get a piece of sugar from a person’s jar. The sugar was shaped like a square and fell on the floor. Shawn gave the piece of sugar back to her, but she left it outside and the ants bit all over it.
Arrietty and her mom and dad had to leave their home because a human being saw them. Arrietty’s father said if a human being saw them they would have to leave and find a new home. The lady that cleans Shawn’s grandmother’s house wanted to show everyone that she saw little people.
--April 3, 2012--


A Festival for the ears


WMS to host night of concerts March 30


Cunniff Kids News staff reporters

     Guess what’s coming to Watertown Middle School on Friday, March 30, from 7-10 p.m.? The first Watertown Music Festival!

     Students, faculty, and other musicians will be there performing.

     There will be refreshments, like pizza, and a bake sale. There will also be an instrument petting zoo.

     The Watertown Music Festival is a fund-raiser for the Friends of Watertown Music. A donation of $8 per person or $25 per family is suggested.

     (For information about Friends of Watertown Music, go to http://watertownmusic.org/.)

     --March 30, 2012--


A painting by Katsushika Hokusai hangs in the Cunniff School lobby as part of

art teacher Jessica Gillooly's annual mural installation. 

Waves of appreciation

     Hokusai murals on display in Cunniff lobby


Cunniff Kids News staff reportersckn-hok-2.5.JPG

     There is an art exhibit in the Cunniff School lobby this week with Katsushika Hokusai’s colorful paintings.

     Hokusai was Japanese and lived from 1760 to 1849. 

     Cunniff teacher Jessica Gillooly is teaching the students about Hokusai in art class

     “Hokusai changed his name 50 times!” Mrs. Gillooly said.

     She gets the big murals from Teacher’s Discovery Traveling Exhibitions. Last year, she taught the students about Diego Rivera. She has also brought in paintings by Gustav Klimt and Vincent Van Gogh.

     Hokusai’s art is a real masterpiece!

     (To read stories and see pictures of mural exhibits in the Cunniff lobby from years past, check out the Cunniff Culture section of the Cunniff Kids News.)




Cunniff School art teacher Jessica Gillooly (right and below) answers questions from a Cunniff Kids News reporter in front of one of the murals in the Katsushika Hokusai installation hanging this week in the school's lobby. The reporters were recording their reports for the "Watertown Weekly News," which airs each Thursday on the Watertown Community Access cable TV channel.




--Feb. 16, 2012--

Carving out an audience
Mexican artists explain craft to Cunniff students

Cunniff Kids News staff reporters
    Ventura and Norberto are two Mexican carvers who visited the Cunniff School recently as part of the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday.
    Ventura is 73 years old and has been carving since he was 17. He said he started carving because he didn’t have money to buy masks, so he carved the masks himself.
He said he taught himself how to make the carvings. He started out making masks that his friends liked and then he started making the fancy carvings and painting them to sell and make money for his family.
The artists talked with the students in the art room where they showed them wooden carvings of dancing chickens and a video of their life back in Mexico.
“It [dancing chickens] is my favorite thing to carve,” he said, through a translator.
He and his son, Norberto, have made thousands of carvings. Norberto starting carving when he was 12, and he also paints the carvings.
All of the carvings were made out of wood and were painted in vibrant colors. The keychains were about 2 inches tall and the largest items were carvings of mythical creatures about 1 to 1 1/2  feet tall.
Their biggest creation was a tower that was about 6 feet tall and had skeletons on it.
Neither of them like to make carvings of devils, but Norberto still does them.





(For further information, go to the artists’ website at http://www.thedancingchickens.com/dancingchickens/Home.html.)

--Nov. 19, 2011--

A trip to "Oklahoma!"
Fifth-graders to see musical's opening at WMS;
public invited Thursday and Friday nights

Cunniff Kids News staff reporters
    The fifth-grade classes from the Cunniff School are going on a field trip to Oklahoma.
    No, not the state. They are going to see the musical “Oklahoma!” that the sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders are putting on at Watertown Middle School.
    The Cunniff fifth-graders are going to walk to the middle school Thursday, Nov. 17. The students will miss a lot of school because it is a half-day.
    This will be the first performance of the play at WMS. The public can see the play Thursday and Friday night at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 and tickets will be sold at the door.

-- Nov. 16, 2011--

Some bunnies to love!
Max & Ruby author, stage director answer
Cunniff Kids' questions before show arrives in Boston

     Max & Ruby, stars of dozens of books and their own Nickelodeon TV show, are on their way to Boston.  "Max & Ruby: Bunny Party" is a live stage show that will be in Boston Thursday, April 21, with two performances at the Orpheum Theater (1 p.m. and 4 p.m.).
     Rosemary Wells, author of the "Max & Ruby" series, and Patti Caplette, creator of the live stage show, answered questions from Cunniff Kids News reporters about themselves and their two furry little friends.

     * If you had to choose another career, what would it be and why?
     Rosemary Wells: ‘‘I would work for the FBI. It would be a very exciting way for me to serve my country.’’
     Patti Caplette: ‘‘If I could sing I would, but making dances and writing scripts is my forte!’’

     * What inspired you to write the Max & Ruby books?
     Rosemary Wells: ‘‘My own two children are the inspiration for Max & Ruby. I overheard their conversations together many years ago and wanted to turn it into a story. This is why their parents are never mentioned. The stories are just about Max & Ruby. Their parents are in the same place that Charlie Brown’s parents are.’’

     * Where do you get your inspiration for the costumes, etc. for ‘‘Max & Ruby: Bunny Party’’?
     Patti Caplette: ‘‘From the books of Rosemary Wells, the author and illustrator of Max & Ruby books.’’

     * How did the idea come about to turn Max & Ruby into a live stage show?
     Patti Caplette: ‘‘The popularity of Max & Ruby made it a good choice for our production company. At Koba Entertainment, producing live shows is what we love to do!’’

     * Is the stage play any different than the books or TV show?
     Patti Caplette: ‘‘Audiences will be thrilled to see the actual world of Max & Ruby come to life bigger than ever. I also throw in some different elements to keep audiences surprised.’’

     * Why did you choose to make Max and Ruby bunnies?
     Rosemary Wells: ‘‘I like to draw bunnies!’’

     * Do you have pet bunnies?
     Rosemary Wells: ‘‘I have a dog. I cannot have a pet bunny, because if I did, my dog would eat it!’’
     Patti Caplette: ‘‘I don’t have bunnies, but I have two cuddly cats!’’

     * How many books have you written?
     Rosemary Wells: ‘‘I have written 125 books!’’

     * Do you like watching Max & Ruby on TV?
     Patti Caplette: ‘‘Especially with my grandchild.’’

     * Is ‘‘Max & Ruby: Bunny Party’’ going to be a play or a concert?
     Patti Caplette: ‘‘It is a musical, which means it has dialogue, singing, and dancing!

     * Are there any new stories or characters in the show that we haven’t read in books or seen on TV?
     Patti Caplette: ‘‘Yes, I have a wonderful cameo role for a ballerina, and a few funky robots!’’

     * Will you be at the show when it is in Boston?
     Rosemary Wells: ‘‘No. I would like to, but I will be attending the two performances in New York. However, even though I am not in the area, I am a very big Boston Red Sox fan!’’
     Patti Caplette: ‘‘Unfortunately I won’t be at the Boston show, but I hope everyone comes and has a great time!

     * Do people recognize you on the street?
     Rosemary Wells: ‘‘No, not usually.’’
     Patti Caplette: ‘‘Only in my home town!’’

     * How much are tickets to the show in Boston?
     Rosemary Wells: Tickets for ‘‘Max & Ruby: Bunny Party‘ in Boston start at $27.50.

    (For information and tickets for "Max & Ruby: Bunny Party", go to http://www.maxandrubyontour.com/.)

-- April 15, 2011--

Funny you should ask ...

Mary Ellen Rinaldi to star at Cunniff's fourth annual
Comedy Night and Silent Auction on Friday, April 8

Cunniff Kids News staff reporter

     The fourth annual Comedy Night and Silent Auction will be held Friday, April 8, at 7 p.m. at Hibernian Hall, 151 Watertown St., Watertown.
     The event raises money for the Cunniff PTO. It is the PTO’s biggest fund-raiser of the year. The star of this year’s show is Maryellen Rinaldi. 
     Auction items include autographed baseballs, Patriots tickets, items from the Comic Stop, gift certificates from Pini’s Pizza and Panera Bread and lots more, said Lisa Cerqueira, who is helping run the show. 
     Tickets are $10 now, $15 at the show.
     Tickets can be purchased from a member of the PTO or through the PTO website (https://sites.google.com/site/cunniffcomedynight2011/home).
     Auction items can be seen and bid on online (https://sites.google.com/site/cunniffcomedynight2011/view-auction-items).

(For tickets, go to: https://sites.google.com/site/cunniffcomedynight2011/home. For auction items, go to: https://sites.google.com/site/cunniffcomedynight2011/view-auction-items. For information, contact Lisa Cerqueira at CunniffPTO@gmail.com or 617-926-0149.)

--April 6, 2011--         

Nathan Greess (second from left), an eighth-grader at Watertown Middle School, poses with reporters from the Cunniff Kids News after doing advance press for Watertown Children's Theatre production of "Singin' in the Rain."

Singin' will make
you happy again

Watertown Children's Theatre 
to stage classic musical April 1-3

Cunniff Kids News staff reporters

     If you want to get a glorious feeling, get tickets to “Singin’ in the Rain”!
     The musical will performed at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown by Watertown Children’s Theatre. The shows are Friday, April 1, at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 2, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 3, at 2 p.m.
     The play is set in the 1920s and there’s a lot of dancing and singing in it. The cast is made up of kids from Watertown and other nearby towns from second through eighth grade.
     Nathan Greess, an eighth-grader at Watertown Middle School, is playing Don Lockwood. He is one of the male leads. (In the famous movie, Gene Kelly played Don Lockwood.)
     “It’s a lot of hard work,” Nathan said a week before the play opened. “It’s hard memorizing lines and learning the dances. But there’s a lot of teamwork and we help each other a lot.”
     Nathan was asked what he liked most about being in the play. “It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “The character is totally different than anything else I’ve ever done before.”
     Sean Loughran, a second-grader at Cunniff Elementary, is also in the play. He said his character doesn’t have a name. Sean said he’s the newspaper man who gives newspapers to people in the show.
     He said he didn’t know why and he wanted to try out, but he was enjoying it.
     “It’s cool,” he said.

     (For information and tickets for “Singin’ in the Rain,” go to www.watertownchildrenstheatere.org or call 1-800-838-3006.)

     --April 1, 2011--

Bandarama is coming
Watertown all-schools concert set for March 9

Cunniff Kids News staff reporter

    Bandarama 2011 is coming March 9 in the Watertown High School gym. The concert starts at 7 p.m.
    The Cunniff, Hosmer, Lowell elementary schools, and the middle and high schools are coming together again for a big, big concert.  Brass, woodwind, and strings will all be playing. Band will go first and strings will go second.
    “I’m very excited,’’ said Joe B., a fourth-grader in the band.
    So, practice, and don’t get nervous because it is all coming soon.

--March 1, 2011--

The murals of Diego Rivera cover the walls of the Cunniff School lobby, part of an annual
showcase organized by art teacher Jessica Gillooly (below right).

Mural, mural
on the wall

Diego Rivera's work highlights
Cunniff's Specialist Night and art show 

By TIMMY C., EVA M., JAKE M., and ASAD S.artfeb-jgill.JPG
Cunniff Kids News staff reporters

     Diego Rivera was a famous artist who specialized in large murals. There is an art show in the Cunniff School lobby this week featuring Diego Rivera’s work.
     Anybody is welcome to come Monday, Feb. 14, through Friday, Feb. 18, so they can experience the great art of Diego Rivera.
     On Wednesday, Feb. 16, there will be a Specialist Night at the Cunniff School from 6-7 p.m. The Cunniff’s art, music, physical education, and library/technology teachers will feature student work and activities based Diego Rivera and Mexico.
     Art teacher Jessica Gillooly said there is a theme so “people can learn about a new culture.”
     Ms. Gillooly gets the murals from Teacher’s Discovery Traveling Exhibitions. In the past, she has shown paintings by artfeb-hall2.JPGGustav Klimt and Vincent Van Gogh. Cunniff students work on projects in the lobby all week.
     Diego Rivera was born in 1886 in Mexico. When he was a child, he was allowed to paint on walls. As he grew up, he started painting large murals. These murals were common in San Francisco and Detroit.
     He always said how he wanted everyone to see his work -- not just the wealthy people. Many people didn’t like his style in which the back is facing the audience.
     He had work in Rockefeller Center in New York, but it was taken down.
     Diego Rivera died in 1957.  


--Feb. 15, 2011--


Strokes of genius
Led by Cunniff parent Jenny Howard,
wall shows off students' artistic vision

Jenny Howard (third from right), artistic director of the Cunniff School
mural project, poses with reporters from the Cunniff Kids News.

By the Cunniff Kids News staff
     Did you check out the mural on the wall of the Cunniff School?ckn-mural-2.jpg
     Jenny Howard, a parent of a Cunniff student, was the director of the Cunniff mural. 
     The mural planning started May, 27, 2010. Cunniff students chose the designs that were on the wall. If you look closely, you will see a secret word on the wall. 
      Painting of the mural started at Spring Fling on June 18. Ms. Howard said the mural is ill be 4½ feet high and 65 feet long.
      Parents, students, and teachers painted the mural. They finished panting on June 25.
      Come by and see the beautiful mural!


--Jan. 31, 2011--

Banding together
Cunniff's Winter Concert shows off
many instruments students can play

Cunniff Kids News staff reporters

    Brendan played the trombone with the school band during the Cunniff School’s Winter Concert.
    “Why not play the trombone? It’s fun! It’s cool and it’s loud!” said Brendan.
    The Winter Concert was held Dec. 14, 2010, in the Cunniff Cafetorium.
    Brendan, a fourth-grader, said he was  not afraid or nervous to play in front of parents, teachers, and students. He said he has been on stage in front of people before.
    The trombone is long and shiny and makes high and low pitch sounds.
    Joseph is a fourth-grader who plays saxophone. He also said he was not afraid to be on stage.
    The saxophone is a woodwind instrument. It is medium-sized and makes high and low pitch sounds.
    Many of the fourth-graders in the band have only been playing for two months before the concert.
    There are other instruments in the band. The violin is the smallest string instrument option in the school.
    The clarinet is a medium woodwind instrument, but nobody plays the clarinet in the Cunniff School.
    The viola is medium sized and the smallest of the three. The largest is the cello, medium is the viola, and the smallest is the violin.
    The trumpet is the same size as the violin. The trumpet is small and gold, and it has a silver mouth piece just like the trombone. 
    The snare drum is an instrument only the fifth-graders get to play. It is not like a rock band drum, with a million noises. It only is one drum. It has two sticks and is medium sized.

--Jan. 23, 2011--

Bravo performance
Cunniff fifth-graders applaud 
"Once Upon a Mattress" at WMS

Cunniff Kids News staff reporters

    The fifth-grade classes fro the Cunniff, Hosmer, and Lowell School went to Watertown Middle School to see the play, “Once Upon a Mattress” on Nov. 19. The Cunniff fifth-graders walked to and from the Middle School
    “Once Upon a Mattress’’ was a play performed by Watertown Middle School students. It was a twisted version of “The Princess and the Pea.”
    It was about a prince who wants to marry a princess, but his mother, the queen, doesn’t want him to. So she makes a test, which people think is fair but really isn’t.
    The play was put on for two days for people in Watertown, with three showings. Once on Nov. 19 for the three schools, and at 7 p.m. that night, and once at 7 p.m. on Nov. 20. The play was also performed for the other Middle School students.
    The Middle School students in the play worked really hard for two months practicing the play.
    The students at the Cunniff really liked it, and we hope you did, too.
--Jan. 7, 2011--

Sounds like fun!

Students working hard preparing
for annual Winter Concert 

Cunniff Kids News staff reporters

     “Please remember when the concert is, class. It is in two weeks. So get practicing!”
     That is how instruments class began.
     Now it is just two days until the Cunniff School fourth- and fifth-grade Winter Concert.
     The students have been working really hard since the beginning of the year on the songs they will perform Tuesday, Dec. 14, in the Cunniff cafetorium at 1:15 p.m.
     So please come! Instruments (band and string0 and chorus will be performing, and all are welcome!

--Dec. 13, 2010--

Premiere party

Cunniff cafetorium home to first
family movie night Nov. 12

Cunniff Kids News staff reporters
    Bring your pajamas, blankets, and pillows!
    On Friday, Nov. 12, the Cunniff School will be having a movie night in the cafetorium. All grades are welcome to watch “The Polar Express.”
    The movie starts at 6:30 p.m. and the doors open at 6 p.m.
    “The Polar Express” is a fun, exciting, and happy movie. It’s a perfect move to watch right before the holidays.
    The movie night is sponsored by the Cunniff School PTO and made possible by a grant from the Watertown Community Foundation.
    So come and watch “The Polar Express” with all your friends! Hope you can make it!

--Nov. 11, 2010--



Colorful cast
of characters
The Wiggles answer Cunniff Kids' questions
while on their way to Boston shows Nov. 5


     The Wiggles --  Sam Moran (Yellow), Murray Cook (Red), Jeff Fatt (Purple), and Anthony Field (Blue) -- are celebrating the 19th year as one entertainment’s most colorful bands with a worldwide tour. The tour will stop in Boston Friday, Nov. 5, with two shows at the Orpheum Theater (2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.).

     While on their way to Boston, the band members took time to answer questions from the Cunniff Kids News  about themselves and their music.


     * Do you like traveling?

     Anthony: “Yes, we get to meet people from all around the world and see lots of countries and experience the food, culture and music … and get to meet the families.” 

     * What do you do in your house? 

     Murray: “Read books, play guitar, and spend time with my children.”

     * Do you have kids? 

     Anthony: “Yes, I have three and Murray has two and Sam has one.”

     * Have you ever come on stage wearing the wrong shirts (on purpose)?  What happened? 

     Murray:  “Not on stage, but on a TV show as part of the story.  It looked really strange wearing the wrong shirts!”

     * Can you play the flute?

      Anthony: “I can play the tin whistle and didgeridoo, but not the flute.

     * Where is your favorite place to sing? 

     Anthony:  “On a boat in Sydney Harbor where no one can hear me.” 

     * Who started the group?

     Jeff: “Anthony did.”

     * Why do you like to sing? 

     Sam:  “Because it is fun and it feels good to do fun things!”

     * How many places have you been?

     Jeff: “Hundreds of places!”

     * What is your favorite song (that the group recorded)? 

     Jeff: “Rock a Bye Your Bear because I get to fall asleep.”

     * Do you have any prior musical experience (other than being Wiggles)? 

     Jeff: “Yes, I’ve played in various rock and roll bands; most notably the Cockroaches with Anthony.”

     * How long have you been interested in music? 

     Jeff: “All my life.”


     (For more information on the band, go to www.thewiggles.com or www.wiggletime.com. For information on their Boston shows, go to http://www.orpheum-theater.com/orpheum_theater_boston.php)

--Nov. 4, 2010--

This wall on the west side of the Cunniff School will soon be home to a nearly 300 square foot mural.

Brush with greatness
Students to paint giant mural on side of Cunniff School


Cunniff Kids News staff reporters

     The Cunniff School mural is an exciting project. Students from kindergarten through fifth grade will paint on the wall across from the swing set.

     Jenny Howard, who is in charge of the project, went outside with reporters and pointed out where the mural would be. She said it will be 4½ feet high and 65 feet long, and the students are going to choose the design that will be on the wall.

     On Thursday, May 27, Thursday, June 3, and Thursday June 10, there will be meetings to decide what to paint. It is free for all students, teachers, parents, and guardians to sign up and help.

     The painting will be June 8 to June 17 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

     She said when the mural is finished, there will be a party and the whole school can come.

     The website for the Cunniff School mural is linked from the Cunniff School website.

     (For information on the Cunniff School mural, go to http://sites.google.com/site/thecunniffmuralproject/. For more information or to sign up, email Jenny Howard at jennyhoward0@gmail.com.) 

--May 26, 2010-- 

A brand new scene

Xtranormal allows students to become movie-makers

Cunniff Kids News staff reporter
     What if you could make a movie, post it for the world, be famous, without spending a penny on the movie, actors and all? You're thinking, "Wow, this is impossible!"
     Not at all.
     This is now possible by using Xtranormal (www.xtranormal.com/makemovies/) Sure, you can't have your friends' voices, but the animated characters have funny accents! Control their movements, what they say, what they look like (from a selection of premade people), add camera angles, and much more.
     "Xtranormal is so cool! I love the way [the characters] talk and move aroud," said Meagan, a fourth-grader.
     People can share their movies on Youtube, Facebook, Myspace, and other social networking sites.
     This is a website you should check out!
--May 20, 2010--

Clements to speak about new book series

     Andrew Clements -- author of "Frindle," "Things Not Seen," and "The Report Card" -- will be speaking and signing copies at Wellesley Library Thursday, May 6, at 4 p.m.
     Clements's newest book is "We the Children," the start of the suspenseful Keepers of the School series, featuring sixth-grader Benjamin Pratt.
     For information on the event, go to www.wellesleybooksmith.com.

--May 4, 2010--

The pieces of art shown here were made by Cunniff students and are currently on display as part of the Watertown Schools exhibit at Watertown Mall. 

A feast for the eyes

Celebrate Watertown art show with opening festivities April 12
Watertown Splash staff reporter

     The Watertown Public Schools annual Art Exhibit is being held though April 26 at the Watertown Mall.  Artwork from students from kindergarten through 12th grade is on display.
     The opening reception will be held on Monday, April 12, from 6-8 p.m.
     Come on down and get some free ice cream to celebrate the opening of this fantastic art show!

-- April 12, 2010--


Emily Osment tickets on sale 

     Emily Osment, one of the stars of “Hannah Montana” and a singer in her own right, is coming to the Watertown area this week for a concert. Her label, Wind-up Records out of New York, has reached out to the readers of the Watertown Splash and the Cunniff Kids News to spread the word about the show! The concert is Friday, March 26, at Somerville Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $19, and there are a limited number of VIP tickets for $59, which include a private meet-and-greet with Emily! For information and tickets, go to  http://www.officialemilyosment.com/events.aspx or http://www.livenation.com/edp/eventId/418836.

--March 22, 2010--

Part of the Gustav Klimt art installation adorns the wall across from the office, but only until Friday.

to the spot
Art exhibit part
of lesson produced
by Cunniff teachers


Cunniff Kids News staff reporter

     A Gustav Klimt art exhibit is hanging in the Cunniff School lobby until Friday. Art teacher Jessica Gillooly got it from Teacher’s Discovery Traveling Exhibitions.

     Ms. Gillooly, music teacher Sharon Woodworth, and librarian Toni Carlson wanted to do something together. So they picked a ti3-3-10-klimt-5.jpgme period to study in library (before World War I), artists from time period to study in art (Klimt, pictured left, and Horace Pippin), and musicians also from that time period to study in music (Scott Joplin and Richard Strauss).

     Ms. Gillooly is having her students copy patterns and small sections from the exhibit, which is made up of three hanging curtains of artwork. The students are also writing their thoughts about the exhibit in a journal or typing them online.

     Ms. Gillooly, Ms. Woodworth, and Ms. Carlson put together a movie of students’ Klimt-based artwork, with Strauss music playing in the background, and showed it to the students in art class.

     Last year, Ms. Gillooly did something very much like this, only with Van Gogh. She enjoyed it, so she did it again, but with a different artist.

     “I wish I could have it for another week,” she said.



Student artwork inspired by Gustav Klimt hangs in the hallway across from the Cunniff library.

--March 3, 2010--

Frank Santorelli (front row, center) relaxes with reporters from the Cunniff Kids News. 

 Funny way to make a living

Waltham comedian headlines Cunniff fund-raiser

See below for ticket information and two exclusive Cunniff Kids News videos
of the comic stylings of Frank Santorelli, “Grasshopper’’ and “Ducks’’


     Frank Santorelli said his name, in Italian, means “small saint.”

     “Neither of which I am,’’ he said.

     Santorelli is a professional stand-up comedian that lives in Waltham. He performs all over the United States, but mostly in New England. On Thursday April 30, he will headline a fund-raiser for the Cunniff Elementary School for the second straight year.

     “I did a show last night in Waltham for St. Jude’s Church [for the eighth year in a row],’’ he said. “Through word of mouth, they found out I did a benefit for St. Jude’s and they, in turn, wanted to do one for the Cunniff School.’’

      He has hundreds and hundreds of jokes. He listens to what people say, and if it is funny, he makes a mental note and turns it into a joke.

        He grew up in Cleveland and moved to Boston because of the comedy scene. He has been a professional stand-up comedian since 1981, but, “I have been a comedian my whole life,’’ he said.

     “From the time I was your age, I’ve been making my Mom and Dad laugh, by balancing things on my nose and stuff like that.”

     In 1976, he was voted “class clown” and “loudest” in his senior class.

     “I’m a professional comedian. That’s how I make my living,’’ he said. “Other people sell cars, some people are teachers. I’m a stand-up comic. That’s how I make my living, by making people laugh.”

     Santorelli, the father of two daughters, is also an actor. He played Georgie the bartender in “The Sopranos.’’ He was in 16 out of 87 episodes over eight years. He has also been in “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Spin City,” “Las Vegas,” and “Providence.” In 1996, he had his own sitcom, “Let’s Be Frank,’’ in which he played a policeman, but it never made it to TV.

     He will be performing at the Cunniff fund-raiser April 30, but it will be nowhere near his biggest audience. He performed for 5,000 people at Mohegan Sun opening for Frankie Valli &  the Four Seasons.

     “From the time I was very, very young, I knew I wanted to be a comedian,’’ he said. “It’s a gift being able to make people laugh. If you can do it, you should cherish the fact that you can do that.”

(Story reported and written by Cunniff Kids News staff reporters Charlotte V., Domenic M., Shannon M., Patrick W., Matthew M., Mairead W., Rose M., and Renee T.)


 Comedy Night and Silent Auction
featuring Frank Santorelli
Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
American Legion Post 440, 295 California St., Newton.
 A night of entertainment to benefit the Cunniff Elementary School,
featuring food, music, raffle, and a silent auction. Tickets are $15.
For tickets and information, contact Susie Hughes at 617-923-3552 or
or Marisa Petrillo at 617-926-1403 or


--April 26, 2009--


The artwork of Vincent Van Gogh adorns the lobby walls at the Cunniff School.

Days to enjoy “Starry Night”


Cunniff Kids News staff reporters
    Come see the mini art gallery in the Cunniff School lobby!

     Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings were recaptured and put in the Cunniff School lobby, so students can learn about the famous man and his art.

     There are six paintings in the lobby -- four landvangogh3.jpgscapes, one self-portrait, and one painting of beautiful irises.

     In the lobby there are laptops and journals so people can write or type their opinion of the paintings.

     The painting of irises was brought in to the school by Cunniff principal Stephen Billhardt and is called “Vase of Irises.” He said it is his favorite painting.

     The other paintings are called, “Starry Night,” “Trees in the Garden of Saint-Paul Hospital,” and “Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, at Night.”

     “I like how the lobby looks like a mini art gallery,” Billhardt said.

    Jessica Gillooly, the Cunniff’s art teacher, said her favorite painting from the exhibit is “Starry Night.” She said she likes “Starry Night” because she likes how Vincent made different colors for the wind.

     Gillooly said she loves the textures of his paintings and the red background of the self-portrait.

     (Editor’s note: The Van Gogh art installation was made possible by a grant from the Cunniff School PTO.)
              “Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, at Night” (left) and “Trees in the Garden of
                 Saint-Paul Hospital” by Vincent Van Gogh.
 --April 16, 2009--

“Shade” fills room with cool sounds


Cunniff Kids News staff reporters
    They made us close our eyes and imagine that we were in a time machine, when jazz was born.
    They had a lot of things on stage. Along with all of the instruments, they had a map.
    At first, the kids didn’t know what was going on -- until the Made In The Shade band marched in through the crowd playing really loud music.
    The Cunniff School hosted Made In The Shade on Feb. 3, 2009. There were four people in the band. The music they played was jazz and it started in New Orleans. The instruments were drums, guitar, trumpet, and trombone.
    The band was not reading sheet music. The musicians memorized it and were listening to each other so they could play along.
    The music was weird, but it was interesting. The students also learned about jazz fusion. It was better than most of the other songs.

    Some of the parts of the show were funny and a lot of people tried to get everyone to clap. 

    One of the most interesting parts was when one of the musicians showed that you can tell a story with music. For example, he told a story with his trumpet about his lost cat, Muffin (which was found at the end of the story).
    One of the audience's favorite parts of the show was when the musicians chose a student to go up and be a conductor. They chose a third-grade girl named Michaela.
    The students were happy to have entertainment. They love to have a surprise assembly, and everyone loved the music.
--March 9, 2009--


A tasty treat for the eyes
Grand opening set for Watertown's student art show
Cunniff Kids News staff reporters

     Ice cream and art will soon be coming together again.
     The annual Watertown Public Schools Art Show will be held from March 13-27 at the Watertown Mall. About 500 Watertown students from kindergarten through 12th grade will have their work shown.

     “It’s a great way to celebrate Youth Art Month,” said Jessica Gillooly, who has taught art at the Cunniff School for two years.

     To celebrate opening night, on March 16 from 6-8 p.m., teachers from all five Watertown schools will be at the mall and free ice cream will be served to students and parents.

     About 100 students from the Cunniff will have their work displayed, said Gillooly. She said it is hard to decide and she only has a small space to fit 100 pieces.

     She said she chooses a project from each grade. She uses three steps to help her pick which ones to display.

      “First, I look to see if it was completed on time,” she said, “Second, I see if they put their name on it. And third, I look to see if they followed all of my learning objectives.”

      She said a student will only have one piece displayed.

      She said there will be a variety of different art at the show: paintings, collages, weavings, sculptures, print making, and seascapes.

      The event is free and open to the public.

(To see samples of art made by Cunniff students, visit Jessica Gillooly’s home page: http://www.teacherweb.com/MA/WatertownCunniffElementary/MrsGillooly/ap5.stm.)

-March 5, 2009-



Winter Concert warms hearts

Cunniff Kids News staff reporter

     Watch out Boston Pops, the Cunniff School had its Winter Concert and it was off the charts!

     The concert was held Dec. 16 in the Cunniff cafetorium. The first group of students to perform was the fourth-grade band. Students played instruments, including the trumpet and saxophone. They wowed the audience with the sing, “Jingle Bells.”

     Then the members of the fifth-grade band succeeded in amazing the crowd with how much effort they put into playing their instruments. Fifth-grade students also played the drums and the clarinet.

     After the fifth-grade band came the fourth-grade strings. The fourth-grade strings -- students played the violin and cello -- surprised the audience by how much they learned in just a couple of months.

     After the fourth grade came the fifth-grade strings. They were outstanding.

     The finale was the fourth- and fifth-grade chorus, who sang “Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key,” “Auld Lang Syne,” “Iko Iko,” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Several students helped the chorus by joining them on the violin.

     Overall, the annual concert was a terrific success.

-Jan. 6, 2009-


'Icky Bug Man' draws out laughs
    Something very exciting happened at the Cunniff School.

    A famous illustrator named Ralph Masiello, also known as the Icky Bug Man,  came to the school Oct. 2. He got this nickname because the first book that he illustrated was “The Icky Bug Alphabet Book”.

    Masiello talked with each grade in the library and showed the students how to draw. He was very funny. As he talked, he held skulls of a monkey, a panda, and a coyote. These skulls helped him create “The Skull Alphabet Book”.

    He showed the students how to draw a beetle using the letters T, U, Z, and O.

    He made jokes about his friend, Jerry Pallotta, who is also an author and has worked on several books with him.

    When he was little, he didn’t believe he had any talent in drawing.

    “I thought I was a terrible drawer,” he said.

    He wanted to be a brain surgeon but changed his mind in high school. Then he went to college in Florida to become a marine biologist. While he was studying, he said he would draw in his notebook. Another student saw the drawings and told the art teacher about him. The teacher said, “You should go to art school instead of being a marine biologist.”

    His first books were children’s books. They were soft covered. Then he made them hard so little kids 3 and younger wouldn’t eat them.

    Sometimes the books he writes are changed after he is finished. Sometimes the lettering of the book titles is changed by other people. One time, he complained and complained until Jerry changed the titles to look more fun.

    His favorite book is “The Flag We Love”. Now he makes how-to-draw books.

    His younger daughter begged him to make a princess and a fairy book since she was 3. She is now 12 years old and he is just working on these books.
    (Story reported and written by Cunniff Kids News staff reporters Denisse C., Taylor N., Leslie K., Owen G., Meagan K., Jie Sen L., Tia P., Beth P., Emari S., Renee S., Isabella V., Elizabeth A., Julia F., Jessica M., Ryan L., Jia Yi L. and TJ P.)
(Fore more information about Ralph Masiello, go to www.ickybugman.com.)
 (To contact the Cunniff Kids News staff or advisor John Vitti, send an email to CunniffNews@hotmail.com) 
tumblr visitor stats

Bottom Divider

My TeacherWeb
©2017 TeacherWeb, Inc.