By LindaReilly

SPIRIT correspondent

Students from Charles Kelly Elementary School, in the Upper Darby School District, led the Pledge of Allegiance at the November school board meeting before showing a video about their service club projects.

Lead teacher Kelly Udovich described how students, parents and staff built relationships with positive behavior through the month of October and throughout the school year.

“The first and second grade teachers, along with our reading team and instructional coach, had a Family Fluency Night,” Udovich said. “Families were able to come and enjoy a dinner and then participate in the reading and math centers. Each center focused on improving math and reading fluency at home and in school.”

During Red Ribbon Week, students brought in canned goods for donation to the Upper Darby Food Bank.

“Students were very generous in helping to give back to our community,” Udovich said.

Monthly assemblies are held to honor students chosen by their teachers for being trustworthy with parents invited to witness the presentation.

According to Udovich, students worked together to make a special bench for the school yard for students in need of a friend.

“Student ambassadors, nominated by teachers and peers, took on a project with the help of our staff to create a Buddy Bench for our school yard,” Udovich said. “Students decorated a bench with handprints and kind words and the bench was placed in our playground.
The students of Charles Kelly know that if they are at recess and are lonely they can sit on the Buddy Bench. It is then the job of our other students to recognize this and to include the student in their game or group.

“We will continue to build relationships throughout the year with our motto, ‘If you can be anything, be kind.’” Melanie-Jo McCarthy-Frick, the new principal of Charles Kelly, joined Udovich at the podium for the presentation, one day after she was officially hired.

McCarthy-Frick was previously employed by the Springfield School District and William Penn School District for nearly 20 years. Her salary in Upper Darby is $116,054.

“I am very excited to be returning to Delaware County and even more excited to have the opportunity to lead one of Upper Darby’s 10 elementary schools into the future,” McCarthy-Frick said. “Together, with the staff, students and parents/guardians, we will continue to make Charles Kelly the amazing school that it is. I am very thankful to the board and the administrative team for allowing me this opportunity and look forward to working with all stakeholders in the years to come.”

Highland Park Elementary School teacher Stephanie Sitek shared the TEACH (Teachers Enrich A Child’s Home) program with the school board.

According to Sitek, teachers visit the homes of first grader families on one evening after school to read a book.

Each family is given a book to read together and an application for the Upper Darby Library.

TEACH is funded by the Upper Darby Lansdowne Rotary Club and has been presented to first grade families for the last seven years to encourage reading in the home.

In other business, the board approved three members, Vincent Gordon, Lee Jordan and Kenneth Rucci, to attend the annual Conference of the National School Boards Association next March 25-27 in Denver, CO at a cost of $2,300 per person.

Charles Kelly Elementary School lead teacher Kelly Udovich accompanied by Kelly School student ambassadors, spoke about the school’s projects promoting kindness.

Charles Kelly Elementary School lead teacher Kelly Udovich accompanied by Kelly School student ambassadors, spoke about the school’s projects promoting kindness.

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Newly-appointed principal of Charles Kell Elementary School, Melanie-Jo McCarthy-Frick.

Newly-appointed principal of Charles Kell Elementary School, Melanie-Jo McCarthy-Frick.

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