Monthly Archives: March 2011

Second Graders Experience Brazil!

Bruna Effting from Brazil, an au pair with Au Pair in America, taught an lesson on her country to second graders at the Wenonah Elementary School in Lake Grove, NY.  Bruna is a teacher in Brazil and enjoyed being back in a classroom sharing her country with America students. 

Bruna lesson included locating Brazil on the world map.


Then she taught the students how to say “Qual e’ sue nome?”  Portugese for ‘What is your name?”  They learned to answer “Meu nome e’ _______” or “My name is _______”, they each had a chance to answer.

Bruna explained that seasons are opposite in Brazil and the students were surprised that the kids in Brazil go to school from February till early December.011

  The most exciting part of the lesson was about Folklore.  Bruna explained that in Brazil folk stories are very important and are explanations of how things came to be, many are about the beautiful fauna and flora of Brazil.  The children were enthralled in Bruna’s lively storytelling of “The Legend of Iguazu Falls!”



Her lesson was a required Global Awareness component of her UCLA college class, an online course exclusively offered to Au Pair in America au pairs.  

Each au pair must enroll  in and attend courses at a post-secondary institution during the exchange program,  Host families on the Au Pair and Extraordinaire programs pay tuition and fees (books, etc.) up to $500  Host families establish agreeable time frames to attend classes, assist with course registration and provide transportation to and from classes.  Au pairs must complete no less than six hours of academic credit or its equivalent during the first 12-month exchange.


Each student wrote a sentence about what they learned about Brazil.  They then drew a picture about what they learned.  Several drew the Brazilian flag.  They learned that the green on the flag represents the forest, the yellow is for the gold that was discovered in Brazil, the blue for the sky, the white stars represent the 27 states in Brazil.   Bruna and the students attached their work to a poster board and they kept it for the classroom.  

What is Global Awareness? 

Global Awareness is an educational program designed to promote multi-cultural understanding and appreciation in elementary and middle school classrooms.  Global Awareness is sponsored by the American Institute of Foreign Study, Founded in 1964, the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) is one of the oldest, largest and most respected cultural exchange organizations in the world.  Au Pair in America is a division of AIFS.

St. Patrick’s Day Parades in Suffolk County

62nd Annual Friends of St. Patrick Parade

Rocky Point, NY st pat

Sunday, March 11 at 1:00 PM.

Route 25A Rocky Point, NY
Parade starts steps off at Harrison Avenue in Miller Place travels east on Route 25A to Broadway in Rocky Point, then north to Gracie’s Restaurant (Broadway and Prince Road), viewing stand at corner of Broadway and Route 25A.   2.5-mile-long parade route includes at least five marching bagpipe bands, fire departments from six surrounding communities, Stony Brook University marching band, cheerleaders and mascot Wolfie, Peconic Warpipes Bagpipe and Drums, Longwood and Rocky Point high school bands, Irish step dancers, 25 floats and nearly 50,000 spectators.

Sunday, March 11

Long Island’s oldest and largest parade of its kind, the 77th Annual Huntington St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts at 2 p.m., north of the Huntington Station along New York Avenue, then turns west onto Main Street, and ends at Saint Patrick’s Church.


Annual Westhampton St Patrick’s Day Parade   

Sunday, March 11 Noon
Westhampton Beach, NY
Phone: 631-560-6392
 Steps off at intersection of Mill Road and Oneck Lane in Westhampton Beach, travels down Mill Road to Main Street, then west on Main Street, ends at corner of Sunset Lane and Main Street

Parade includes six pipe bands, Samba de Escola Boom, Irish step dancers, Wells Fargo Stage Coach, Rough Riders Calvary of the Nassau-Suffolk  Horsemen’s Association, Civil War re-enactment groups, floats and the ever-popular Coneheads satirical float.

A few more parades:

  • Huntington- Sunday March 11, 2012 @ 2pm
  • St. James- Saturday March 17, 2012 @ 1pm
  • Montauk – Sunday March 25, 2012 @ 10am – 5oth Annual Parade!
  • Mardi Gras Fun With Kids

    March 8 Mardi Gras

    Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday” marks the end of Carnival and the beginning of the Christian fasting of Lent.  The biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the US is in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Rio de Janeiro in Brazil also has a huge celebration.  Find a Brazilian au pair in your cluster and ask her to tell you all about it.

    Make Mardi Gras Pasta Necklaces

    Coloring pasta is easy to do and gives kids something bright and beautiful to work with. Once the pasta is colored and dried, necklaces can be made by stringing on yarn.

    colored pasta necklace

    Supplies for Colored Pasta:

    • Dried Pasta – any pasta works, but for stringing you will need tubed pasta. I used macaroni, penne, and wheels.
    • Food coloring
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Plastic baggies
    • Paper towels
    • String or Yarn

    Place your dried pasta in a zip plastic baggie. Pour in 3-4 drops of your food coloring. Pour in 1 Tablespoon of Rubbing Alcohol. Now seal the bag and shake it all together. Make sure each piece of dried pasta gets coated.

    Pour your colored pasta out on paper towel lined trays. Food coloring can stain, so be careful. You’ll want it completely dry before you start to work with it again, as you don’t want any color to drip. I put mine out in the sun to dry faster.

    Get out your string or yarn and cut the length of a necklace for your child. Then tie a knot at one end, big enough that the pasta will stay there. I like to tie pasta in my knotted end so the others won’t fall off. I also like to put a little tape around the top of the string so it won’t fray as you string. 

    Have your child string on pasta, all sizes and shapes. You can introduce patterns or do counting with your child.  Once they’ve hit the end of their string, tie the two sides together for a necklace around your child’s neck.

    Make Mardi Gras Paper Plate Masks 


    Supplies for Masks:

    • Paper plates
    • Color construction paperPlastic baggies
    • Markers and/or crayons
    • Glue
    • Stickers
    • Glitter
    • Craft feathers
    • Hole punch
    • String


    Cut a paper plate in half (you can make two masks per plate this way).

    Cut eye holes in the half plate.

    Shape the mask by cutting around the edges–scallops, points, curves or whatever suits you. Be sure to cut a curved groove between and beneath the two eye holes for the nose.

    Place a line of white glue around the eye holes and along the edges of the mask. If you want, you can also create swirls or other patterns with glue on the mask.

    Sprinkle glitter on top of the glue while it is still wet. Allow the glue to dry.

    Decorate the mask as you see fit once the glue is dry. Use markers to color the white paper plate; glue feathers, beads or cut-out construction paper shapes to the mask; or add anything else that might make the mask colorful and festive.

    Punch one small hole on each side of the mask and tie a string into the holes.