Conversing about the weather is a small-talk rite of passage, and one of the few things all humans experience simultaneously. Despite its ubiquity, knowledge about the weather does not come naturally. It must be learned at a young age. Enter Schmitty the Weather Dog!
Clad in sunglasses, a doggie dress, and a blue and green striped tie, Schmitty and her loyal friends, Ron Trotta and Elly McGuire joined the children of Esther Ashkenas Central Park Early Learning Center on Thursday, March 17th, to teach the students and staff about weather terms through sing-a-longs and other fun activities.
Schmitty Knows Weather
Schmitty is a Yorkshire Terrier (aka Yorkie), one of the tiniest of dog breeds. She has frequently appeared on the daytime TV circuit, including Oprah, Ellen, and Live with Regis and Kelly. Schmitty has also raised money for victims of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Together with Ron Schmitty has “posted over 500 weather pawcasts on her Schmitty the Weather Dog You Tube Channel and they are the weather team for the National Science Teachers Association, The National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.”
The multi-talented Ron Trotta received his degree in math and education from Purdue University before deciding to become a meteorologist later in life. He is a world champion ragtime pianist and has had numerous interactions with former President George H.W. Bush. He currently works behind the scenes for ABC News and tours schools around the country with Schmitty.
Elly McGuire is Ron’s “forever fiancé” and author of the children’s book, Schmitty the Weather Dog: Daydream (illustrated by Simon Estrada). She is a former educator and corporate executive. She currently raises money for pet charities through her line of New Yorkie products and produces the annual New Yorkie Runway Celebrity Doggie Fashion Show during Fashion Week in NYC.
Schmitty Makes New Friends
Elly began the day by reading Daydream to an assembled group of students. The book details Schmitty’s journey from being an ordinary dog to one who can predict fog. After the reading the book Elly asked the children, “Do you guys want to meet Schmitty?” The kids answered with a resounding “Yes!” and Schmitty entered the classroom to greet the awestruck students.
Playing a small piano, Ron and Elly sang songs that featured a lot of call-and-response and clapping while teaching the kids important terms and facts about the weather. Among the things the kids learned were that the sun is also a star, how math is important in weather forecasting, and what a tornado is (which one student excitedly referred to as a “tomato storm”).
After the assembly Schmitty, Ron, and Elly visited each classroom of the preschool so that all of the students had a chance to meet the stars of the day!
The Dog Days of Spring: Schmitty’s Journey Continues!
Schmitty and Co. will be visiting other AHRC NYC schools in the near future, including stops at Brooklyn Blue Feather Elementary, Astoria Blue Feather Head Start, and Francis of Paola Early Learning Center.