Long Island students have helped thousands of local families stay warm this winter through collections of everything from socks to scarves.
A stocking fundraising initiative, called Socktober, saw more than 1,500 new couples gathered by students at Seneca Middle School in Holbrook – including as many as 1,200 couples by Nicholas Goulding in eighth grade – benefit the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless.
A similar effort at West End Elementary School in Lynbrook raised 650 couples for organizations, including Bethany House in Baldwin.
“Socks are the least donated item given to homeless shelters,” said Lynn Coyle, associate principal at John Quincy Adams Primary School in Deer Park, where 100 pairs were collected for local shelters.
In Valley Stream, about 150 winter clothing items were collected as part of a Giving Tree project hosting third-grade classes at Howell Road Elementary School. The donated items were used to decorate a tree in the hallway before going to the school’s Community Market, where families in need are invited to shop.
In Wantagh, the Elementary School Student Council held a drive that gathered 75 new and gently used coats as part of a Coats for Kids campaign sponsored by Assemb. David McDonough (R-Merrick).
In Seaford, about 100 gloves, hats and scarves were collected for the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless through a drive conducted by Seaford Harbor Elementary School’s Safety Patrol.
“I’m happy to be a part of being able to donate these items to people who are less fortunate than me,” said Seaford Harbor fifth-grader Lyla Hanshe. “It makes me happy to know I’m making a difference.”
Daniel Ciccone has been appointed principal of Burr Intermediate School with effect from 1 February.
Ciccone served the past five years as assistant principal at Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School in Port Washington. He replaces Amy Ryan, who served on a temporary basis.
“There are excellent staff in place and I can not wait to learn from them and help build on the educational experiences of our students,” Ciccone said. “I’m very excited to build meaningful relationships and discover how I can support new colleagues and friends in achieving their goals.”
Lynbrook School District has launched Flight School, a program to engage students in three to five grade levels in project-based learning. It consists of two instructors who visit each class in the district and lead children in a two-day “comprehensive learning experience” where they develop solutions to real-world problems, the district said.
In a recent project, fourth-graders built their own wind turbines, which used the mechanical energy produced by the wind to lift a load.
“I think it’s very spacious and has a lot of fun activities,” said Leo Krokoff, a fifth-grader at the district’s West End Elementary School.
Drama writer wins
Roslyn High School senior Andrew Defrin was one of four nationwide winners – and the only one from Long Island – in the New York State Theater Education Associations 2021 Student Playwriting Competition. He was selected for his five-minute play, “Creatures,” which he developed with English teacher Scott Segal.
The winning plays were performed earlier this month at an exhibition event in upstate Callicoon.
“Andrew is an amazingly gifted young theater artist,” Segal said. “Creative ideas just flow out of him like a volcano.”
Mathew Guerrero of Bellport High School, Deborah An of Commack High School and Michael Schwamb of the Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology at the Gary D. Bixhorn Technical Center in Bellport were first, second and third last month, respectively, at Suffolk 2021. County High School Art Exhibition at Suffolk County Community College.
Guerrero won $ 250 for his piece of acrylic on canvas, “Untitled”; One won $ 150 for her acrylic on canvas piece, “Who Am I?”; and Schwamb won $ 100 for his inkjet print, “We’re Alone Now …”
This year’s exhibition included 108 students across the country.
OVER THE ISLAND
Nominated for presidential candidates
Four Long Island students – Britney Bennett from Elmont Memorial High School, Alexandra Clougher from William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, Zavier Foster from Baldwin High School and Joseph Mathew from Hauppauge High School – were among 25 high school seniors across the state, who were nominated for the 2022 U.S. President Scholars Program by the New York State Education Department.
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on factors such as academic achievement, artistic expertise, and community service. The winners will be announced in May.
“I’m so proud of these hard-working, talented New York students, and I’m honored to nominate them for this prestigious program,” said State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa. “They really are among the best and smartest.”
– MICHAEL R. EBERT