The summer theme at the Nassau BOCES Seaman Neck Middle School in Seaford is based on former Levittown resident Billy Joel's hit song “We Didn’t Start The Fire”. The students carefully analyzed the meaning of the song, which entails a historical summary of historical events dating from 1949 through 1989. They studied what effect these events had on our country and our daily lives.
The walls and tables are decorated with colorful paintings, collages, montages and fascinating papier-mâché creations. The images reflect everything from a lunar space landing to important figures such as Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Events such as the invention of modern television, the Vietnam War, Fidel Castro and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are mentioned in the song.
Joel's music has not only entertained; it's also reflected his political visions and views. The year 1989 represented a lot of changes in Billy’s life, as a split with his manager led him in different directions. His extensive travels took him overseas to the Soviet Union where he became the first U.S. star to perform a staged rocked production. The release of his fourteenth Album on December 16, 1989 included the single “We Didn’t Start The Fire” which reached the number one spot on the Billboard Album and single charts.
The children at Seaman Neck Middle School have learned a lot from the lyrics of Billy Joel. “Breaking down the lyrics and learning about history makes summer classes enjoyable for the students,” said teacher Ms. Achatz.
“As a class, we have compared things from the song to events taking place now," she added. "I think the students have enjoyed how things have changed."
Seaman Neck Middle School is located in a building that used to house Seaman Neck Elementary School, which the Levittown Public Schools closed in 1997.
Part of the Nassau BOCES Department of Special Education, the Middle School Program has been designed to foster growth and independence in an academic setting that is geared toward meeting student-specific needs. Visit www.nassauboces.org for more news, information and educational updates.