Blast from the past: 20-year-old time capsule

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Twenty years – that’s how long a kindergarten time capsule was safely tucked away at Moriches Elementary School, until principal Deirdre Redding recently discovered it in the back of a supply closet. This time capsule project that the five Moriches Elementary kindergarten classes of 2000-01 undertook to memorialize their interests – such as their favorite toy, their favorite video game, favorite singer or song, favorite television show and where they like to celebrate their birthdays – has brought back fond memories for the teachers involved. While a few things have stayed the same, much has changed.

“We have been in that closet so many times over the past decade and have never seen this box.  It was kismet that it was found this year, exactly 20 years after completion of the project,” said Redding. “I enjoyed reading the children’s ideas and it brought back fond memories from the past.  We like to think that Moriches holds a special place in the heart of those who have graced these halls,” she added. “Seeing the students leave such a special memento behind reminds us that there is always a connection to the past. The voices and hearts of these students have always been here, and always will be.”

Phyllis Jonaitis, who was also in her first year teaching at Moriches Elementary in the 2000-01 school year, was “thrilled” when Redding showed her the time capsule and enjoyed reading the students’ responses. “The memories of that year came flooding back to me,” she said. “I was in awe looking at the students’ writing and pictures.”

Dr. Rhonda Stitham, currently a fourth- and fifth-grade virtual teacher at Moriches Elementary School, said, “After 20 years, it was simply amazing to see what students associated with during that time period. As I looked at what the students wrote, I could see a theme – electronics and superheroes. Many of the students focused on the Gameboy and up-and-coming technology. Ironically, this technology has evolved over 20 years into many gaming systems created by Nintendo. Many students also chose to write about superheroes such as the Power Puff Girls. In kindergarten, students love to talk about heroes with powers and abilities that surpass time.”

Two other classes were involved – retired teachers Mrs. McAlary and Mrs. O’Brien. Some of the responses from the students included: Favorite television show: Jonaitis’s class) – “Batman”; “Spongebob Squarepants”; “Barney”; “Spiderman”; “The Lion King”; “Rugrats”; “Ed, Ed & Eddie”; “Tom and Jerry”; “Scooby Doo”; “Power Puff Girls”; “Pokemon”; and “Sylvester & Tweety.” Favorite singer/song: Ms. Lynagh’s (now Mrs. Foster’) class – Blue; Brittany Spears; Bahamen; Lil’ Bow Wow; Christina Aguilera; Backstreet Boys; Shaggy; Aaron Carter; and Shania Twain. Favorite video game: Dr. Stitham’s class – Gameboy; Power Puff Girls; Nintendo; and Pokemon. Favorite toy: Mrs. McAlary’s class – trampoline; scooter; jack-in-the-box; dinosaurs; yo-yo; Barbie; blocks; and dolls. Favorite place to celebrate birthday: Mrs. O’Brien’s class – SportsPlus; Splish Splash; Chuck E. Cheese; and Bullwinkles.

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