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BOE Audit Committee Meeting Notice - February 28, 2019

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Kind Acts Can Change the World

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During the last week of January, the Leadership club at Dickinson Avenue Elementary declared the school’s participation in the Great Kindness Challenge. The Leadership Club is made up of the fifth-grade class and focuses on serving the school and local communities throughout the year, and spearheaded this project in particular.

This challenge, which has been accepted by over 19,000 schools nationwide, is a week-long celebration that seeks to create cultures of kindness.

Dickinson’s goal was to reach 2,000 kind acts by the end of the week, and each student received a checklist of potential kind deeds they could perform to get the ball rolling.

Students showed kindness by talking to students they didn’t know, making a point of smiling at people in the hallway, going out of their way to treat their family members with respect, and more.

By the end of the week, the school had reached a total 5,626 kind deeds—more than double of what they set out to accomplish.

“How we treat people is important,” said Elana, a fifth-grade Leadership Club member. “You don’t know what some kids are going home to, and your kindness could change their whole day.”

While the students were proud of surpassing number of deeds, they knew it was about more than just the number.

“It really comes down to how we treat each other,” said Aidan, another Leadership Club member, “not just how many acts we do!”

In response to the great success of this week, Dickinson Avenue has decided to challenge other schools in the district, as well as other districts in the surrounding area, to participate in the Great Kindness Challenge and see what happens to the culture of their school.

“Just imagine what our world would look like if everyone sought to treat each other with kindness,” said Principal Laurie Storch. “Our efforts, as small as they may seem, can make a difference in the culture of our world.”

Crafting Cold-Weather Blankets at Northport Middle

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In response to the cold winter weather and a desire to give back to those in need, the Northport Middle School Community Service Club spent the afternoon of Feb. 13 making fleece blankets for local homeless and pet shelters.

Thanks to the coordination of fleece blanket donations by sixth-grade teacher Ms. Jen Petrie, groups of students gathered together after school to learn how to cut and tie the fleece blankets with club advisor Mrs. Linda Dillon. Each group was given the materials to make one to two blankets.

“It’s been such a cold winter, and it means a lot to know that our efforts will be keeping some people, and animals, warm,” said Makayla, one of the club’s regular members.

“This club something fun to do after school, but it’s also something that actually helps others,” said other club member Patrick, at sixth-grader at Northport Middle.

All completed blankets will be donated to Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative and the Little Shelter Animal Rescue in Huntington.

Notice: Surplus Equipment Sale

If you are interested in the surplus equipment sale, the bid packet and instructions for viewing may be obtained at the District Purchasing Office, Room 215, in the William J. Brosnan School, 158 Laurel Avenue, Northport, New York beginning February 14, 2019. Bids must be returned by 3:00 p.m. Friday, February 22, 2019.

The items will be available to view February 19 and 20, 2019 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. by appointment only.

For more information, please contact the District Purchasing Department at 631-262-6640.
 

Spreading the Love with Kindness Rocks

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Northport High School’s Virtual Enterprise (VE) class recently pledged to participate in the Kindness Rocks Project. This national movement encourages people to beautify rocks with inspiring and encouraging messages to leave along the path of life. Students painted rocks with phrases such as “you are unique”, “spread the love”, and “you can never dream too big.” They plan to leave them in common areas outside the high school as well as around the community.

The VE firm at NHS, Port Pride, is participating in this project as a part of the class’ social responsibility initiative—which reinforces the idea that corporations should balance profit-making with efforts that benefit society.

“Sometimes the smallest gestures can make a big impact,” said student Rachel Ricciuti.

VE classes teach students to become business professionals by bringing the workplace into the classroom. Some of those enrolled in the class, taught by Mrs. Kristen Cogan, vocalized how much they value the unique niche the class fills in their education.

“This class takes you out of the “norm” of high school and puts you in an experience-based setting where we learn to be truly good civil servants,” said student Will Lober.“We’re given the opportunity to learn how to make a difference, and it’s such an invaluable experience.”

Students for 60,000 Help the Homeless

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The Students for 60,000 club at NHS, which is dedicated to helping the homeless, is preparing to take its first service trip to West Virginia to work in some of the most impoverished, opioid-stricken communities in the United States.

Before leaving for the trip during February break, students attended the County Executive's forum on the opioid epidemic. Additionally, the club presented the work they have been doing for the homeless, as well as what they will be doing on their service trip.

Students for 60,000 began in 1987 as a school club dedicated to assisting the homeless. The name of the club came from the approximate number of 60,000 homeless in New York City in the 1980s. Over the years, the club has turned into a program that organizes fundraisers, raising over hundreds of thousands of dollars, and raising awareness for those in need.

“This will be a chance for the students to see first-hand that, while our states may be very different, we are all still human and are all equally vulnerable to the disease of addiction,” said social studies teacher and club advisor Darryl St. George. “This trip is a continuation of seeking to fulfill our mission: helping those in need.”

Invention Convention Rescheduled for Wednesday, February 27th from 6 - 7:30 PM

Due to the cancellation of after-school activities, the Invention Convention has been rescheduled for Wednesday, February 27th at 6 - 7:30pm at the Brosnan Building Cafeteria. 

NHS Students Create Peaceful Outlets for Painful Memories

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Students in Northport High School’s fashion club recently created a large art panel dedicated to the Parkland High School victims. The panel, entitled “Flowers of Love”, consists of 17 beautiful interconnected felt flowers to represent the innocent lives lost.

The students employed the Nuno Felting technique which uses wool and silk woven together. This technique was taught to them by local textile artist Oksana Danzinger, who volunteered earlier in the school year to teach the students.

“Through the process of creating a beautiful piece of art students find a peaceful outlet for painful memories of this most tragic event,” said art teacher and club facilitator Mrs. O'Neill-Gonzalez.

On Feb. 4, students presented their work at the Northport Public Library. Additionally, the high school tour choir and IB dance students dedicated a performance to the victims of the tragedy.

“This project is also adding to our effort to create a community event where young people can openly, and in a positive way, discuss issues of their generation,” said Mrs. O’Neill-Gonzalez.

This project was made possible with funds from the New York state Council on the Arts, and administered by the Huntington Arts Council.

World Read Aloud Day

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On Feb. 1st, Fifth Avenue celebrated World Read Aloud Day, which is a nationwide call to attention of the importance of reading aloud, sharing stories, and the idea of literacy as a human right. Faculty and staff surprised students by putting on a special reader’s theatre performance of “A Bad Case of the Stripes” in the all-purpose room. Later in the day, students and staff engaged in a school-wide activity where every class stopped everything to read. Some titles read included “Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane”, “Holes”, “Number the Stars”, “Wayside School is Falling Down”, and more.

“Reading aloud to children every day can put them almost a year ahead of children who do not receive daily read-alouds,” said Andrea Ferrari, one of the school’s librarians.

“And reading aloud not only helps develop literacy skills,” added librarian Rosemary Becker, ”but also builds community and connects us to each other.”

NORTHPORT-EAST NORTHPORT SCHOOL DISTRICT PUBLIC NOTICE

The Board of Education seeks volunteers with financial expertise to serve on the Audit Advisory Committee. This committee provides advice to the Board regarding the internal and external auditors and financial control policies. Applications are available below, or in the Office of the District Clerk, 158 Laurel Avenue, Northport, NY. For additional information call 631-262-6608. Applications are due by March 22, 2019

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Pulaski Pride Dominates Paper Football Tournament

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The fifth-graders of Pulaski Road Elementary School were recently challenged to the ultimate face-off by News 12 Anchor Kevin Maher—a paper football tournament.

Each year, Kevin challenges a different school to provide a paper football champion for him to challenge. After the fifth-graders faced off with each other, the champion emerged: Carmine Montanino.

Kevin talked a big game, posting a Facebook video where he smack-talked the fifth-graders the week before the tournament. The students of Pulaski sent a rebuttal, claiming that they would be the victors—and, in the utmost mature manner possible, indicated that they ruled and Kevin drooled.

On the day of the tournament, students came to school decked out in Northport gear and pumped with energy. Forming a tunnel for the two opponents to run through, Carmine’s peers cheered wildly for him as he approached the football table, followed by the Northport Tiger—but Kevin wasn’t as popular with the crowd.

Though the competition was fierce, and the game was close, Carmine came out victorious, scoring a whopping 41 points to Kevin’s 31. The crowd went wild for their classmate, and Kevin sulked in defeat.

Carmine was named the tournament champ, and Kevin, the tournament chump—better luck next year!

Northport Science Students Place Impressively in Science Olympiad!

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Recently, both of Northport High School’s Science Olympiad Teams competed at the Division C - Eastern Long Island Regional competition on Jan. 26 and earned 14 top 10 medals. The New York State Science Olympiad is a nonprofit organization that aims to engage and challenge students in different areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by hosting competitive team tournaments throughout the state.

Five groups of Northport’s students placed impressively, ranking second and third in the following five different categories:

Second place in Astronomy: seniors LeeAnn Chu and Beck Mamus
Third place in Circuit Lab: seniors Nathaniel Wang and Jack Pagoaga
Third place in the Duct Tape Challenge: sophomores Gavin Murdock and Nicole Foster
Second place in Geologic Mapping: sophomore Mia Pancari and freshman Esther Loring
Second in Parasitology: junior Isabella DeBrino and freshman Matthew Holm

Additionally, one of Northport’s two teams finished twelfth overall out of 52 teams. Great work, students!

STEAM time at Ocean Avenue

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First-graders in Mrs. Sharon Stummer’s class at Ocean Avenue have the opportunity to use their imaginations first thing in the morning during the class’ newly-instated STEAM Time. Three days a week, students engage in hands-on activities as though the creative possibilities are endless.

Once students are settled in for the day, each group is permitted to select one material to experiment with. Materials include dominos, Legos, Play-Dough, Velcro-laden popsicle sticks for bridge building, and more. Some dream big, resolving to build the longest popsicle stick bridge in existence, while others let their imagination take over, building and sculpting things like a swimming pool for tiny Lego-people or a family of deer grazing in a field.

“It feels like it’s stretching out my brain,” said Julia, a student in Mrs. Stummer’s class, as she put the finishing touches on a Play-Dough bird’s nest.

Starting with creativity first thing in the morning helps students be less afraid to take risks throughout the rest of the school day with challenges like spelling, math problems, or writing a story.

“The students like the fact that there’s no wrong answers in being creative,” said Mrs. Stummer, “and without even realizing it, they’re growing in the areas of observation and empathy. When sharing their projects with one another, classmates will exclaim ‘I can see how you did that!’ or “I couldn’t see what it was until you explained it, but now I understand.’”

“Launching” science at Bellerose Avenue

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Students at Bellerose Avenue Elementary School teamed with Northport High School students on Jan. 22 to kick off the third year of the ever-popular Science Club.

High school science teacher Mr. Greg Guido, along with high school science honor students, introduced this year’s Science Club Fluor Challenge to the third- through fifth-grade club members. The task for the elementary students was to create a catapult in order to launch a paper projectile, as well as constructing a device to catch the projectile.

Broken into groups, the elementary school students used materials such as paper, clips, craft sticks, rubber bands and plastic spoons to construct the catapults and catchers. High school students supervised while adding insight as well as tape to hold the projects together.

Groups began testing their contraptions by launching the projectiles towards the catchers throughout the school’s all-purpose room. Through repetitions and corrections, students started to find the right launch angle, distance and force to have the projectiles land in the catchers.

This event was a great opener as the science club will follow up with weekly meetings and unique contests throughout the remainder of the school year.

Learning to Babysit at ENMS

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East Northport Middle School 6th grade students recently learned to care for infants in Mr. Robert’s family and consumer science class. During this babysitting unit, students were taught how to perform tasks including to change a baby's diaper, how to feed and burp the child, and more. Students also learned important pieces of information for the child’s safety, such as why it’s necessary to support a newborn’s head and neck.

The unit culminated with the students creating tri-fold brochure which advertises what they learned, and why they would make a great babysitter.

Video: A Note from Pulaski Street Students to News 12 Anchor Kevin Maher

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Pulaski Road School’s Note to News 12 Anchor Kevin Maher’s Paper Football Tournament challenge. For Kevin’s original video to Pulaski, click here.

VIDEO: Books and Cooks at Norwood Avenue

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Masters of the Marble Machine

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Sixth-graders at East Northport Middle School recently used information from a unit on forces and energy to complete a massive challenge—to create a gravity-powered marble machine.

To start, students worked in groups of four to design and build a self-powered marble machine on a two by two stand-up peg board. Groups used materials such as paper towel tubes, pipe cleaners, water bottles, and more. Students experimented with different sized marbles to find the best size for their mechanisms.

Once each class had selected one group’s successful design, students came together to transfer these smaller designs onto a giant four by eight-foot board.

“It’s kind of like a giant science puzzle,” said Will, an ENMS 6th grader.

Students worked together using freshly learned information—like the concepts of velocity, friction, momentum, and more—to fit together the different series of ramps, pulleys, and tubes that would help their marble travel successfully to the end of the machine. Students excitedly conversed with each other, trying to unearth what would work and what would not, becoming more and more determined with each trial run.

“Students are hungry for tactile ways to implement the knowledge learned in class,” said science teacher Paul Neumann, “and we’re trying every day to give that to them.”

Accomplished and Outstanding Students Honored

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On Jan. 9, the district’s Board of Education gathered to honor accomplished and outstanding students.

NHS senior Jack Puttre was presented to the Board as the district’s technology and engineering department student of the month. Science and technology district chairperson David Storch introduced Jack, commending him for being a “studious and self-motivated student who possesses the skills and knowledge to create a better tomorrow.”

Past and current teachers also commended his adeptness at multitasking within and beyond the classroom, never hesitating to help classmates, ability to delve deeper into the problems, and demonstrate exceptional leadership in all areas of science, technology, and mathematics. Jack is also the robotics team president, supports improvement projects throughout the district and in the community, and assists teaching younger students about the importance of STEM education.

Mr. Storch also presented Northport senior Katie Sierra to the board as the science student of the month, dubbing her one of the most dedicated and passionate science students the district has ever had the pleasure of working with. In addition to her maturity, powerful intellect, and many contributions to the district’s many STEM-related programs, Katie has the discipline and motivation to put the work in to master scientific material at a deep and meaningful level. Katie has already done much impressive work for the scientific world, including completing a science research project that will provide scientists and the future aqua-culture industry with vital information on the effects of how changes in environmental conditions can affect blue mussel viability. Not only was Katie commended for her outstanding academic work, but she was also recognized for recently being named a top 300 Regeneron Science Scholar and Presidential Scholarship candidate.

Additionally, District Chairperson Sean Hurley presented this year’s selectees for the American Legion Boys/Girls State program to the Board: Maxwell Aftel, John Bravo, John Hagan, Thomas Lavin, Taylor Lindberg, Christopher Mignanelli, Kieran Weaver, Erika Ramos-Pinto, and Elizabeth Starin. This highly esteemed program guides students in becoming informed leaders, stewards of freedom, and patriotic citizens.

NHS Virtual Enterprise

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On Jan. 9th, students in Northport High School’s Virtual Enterprise course attended The Long Island Regional Conference & Trade Show Exhibition at LIU Post. The NHS virtual enterprise (VE) company, Port Clothing, was one of more than ninety firms that represented the virtual economy. Virtual enterprise classes teach students to become business professionals by bringing the workplace into the classroom. This event in particular brought more than 1,800 students, educators, and business leaders together.

VE Firms competed in trade show booth design, salesmanship, impact marketing, and more. The NHS management team, led by CEO, Russell Mitard, included Rachel Ricciuti, VP of Sales; David Avallone, CFO; Ryan Weigand , VP of Marketing; Annette Lyubchenko, VP of Administration and Sarah Pitfick, Director of IT. These students presented their business plan and fielded questions about their company in front of a panel of judges. They won a silver award in Booth Design, and student Sarah Pitfick was interviewed by Fox 5 News about the diversity of Port Clothing's upper management team.

NHS Senior Katie Sierra Accumulates Accolades

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On Jan. 9, Northport High School was notified that senior Katie Sierra was chosen as one of the top 300 Regeneron Science Scholars nationwide in the Regeneron Science Talent Search!

Being selected to participate in one of the oldest and most revered science research competitions is no easy feat, but her in-depth science research project entitled the “Effects of Multiple Stressors on Survivorship and Growth in Juvenile Mytilus edulis” met the staggering standards for selection in this prestigious competition.

53 of the selected scholars, or 18%, currently reside on Long Island. According to District Chairperson of Science, Technology & Engineering Education Mr. David Storch this concentrated amount on Long Island alone “made the competition even that much more steep, and Katie’s selection all that more cause for celebration.”

Katie will be will be receiving a $2,000 check from the competition—the same amount that will also be given to Northport High School to use toward schoolwide STEM activities. Additionally, Katie is in the running to be selected as a top 40 finalist. If selected, she will receive a prize of $25,000 and a chance to travel to travel to Washington D.C. for the final competition. The top prize for being named the most promising emerging STEM leader in the United States is $250,000.

In addition to this incredible accomplishment, Katie was also recently nominated as one of twenty New York State candidates for the 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholarships.

These honors, in addition to being selected as Northport High School’s Science Student of the month, were recognized and commended at the district’s Board of Education Meeting on January 10.

Congratulations, Katie!

Norwood Visits and Learns from Huntington Hospital

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Recently, first graders from Norwood Avenue went on a field trip to Huntington Hospital. During the trip, students learned from hospital staff about nutrition, hygiene, playing safely, and not smoking. Additionally, the staff gave students a tour of several hospital features. This tour helped ensure students would feel comfortable if they were ever to visit a loved one at a hospital, or have to go themselves. At the end of the afternoon, students were shown how to attempt care-taking procedures on the stuffed animals that each of them brought along on the trip. Students learned how put on a hospital bracelet, how to administer a Band-Aid, and more.

Turning a Dream into a Reality

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Since 2003, Northport High School teaching assistant Mrs. Sookmin Harris has worked with Miss Minnie’s Kids Jamaica Project, an organization founded in honor of her grandmother Miss Minnie. Every year, Miss Minnie gave the children in her rural Jamaican community presents and a breakfast on Christmas morning, and her family wanted to continue that tradition.

“This Christmas season, we were able to send 9 barrels of toys and three boxes containing books for the local school,” said Mrs. Harris, “and since the initiation of the project, my family and I go to Jamaica to personally delivery them to make sure the gifts are received. Seeing the children’s faces, and joy in their eyes is when we really know everyone’s hard work has come to fruition.”

Thanks to the support from the Northport-East Northport School District, Interact Club, Northport Rotary Club, Brownie Troop 1431, friends, and family, Miss Minnie’s Kids is now a non-profit organization in Jamaica and in the U.S.A, and touches the lives of many children in need.

To read the article highlighting Mrs. Harris’ efforts, visit https://huntingtonnow.com/2018/12/23/hometown-turning-a-dream-into-reallity/

East Northport Middle School NJHS Students Visit the Atria

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At the end of December, National Junior Honor Society students from East Northport Middle School volunteered their afternoon to visit residents at the East Northport Atria. These young men and women spent time chatting with the residents and building cheerful winter snowmen out of socks and rice, decorating them with smiles and scarves.

“The students were engaged and extremely patient with all of the residents,” said Mrs. Victoria Hehir, one of the NJHS advisors. “Our students are always so happy to give back to the community in any way they can.”

Suffolk County Regional DECA Competition

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Congratulations to the 68 Northport High School business students who competed in the Suffolk County Regional DECA Competition at Suffolk County Community College on Jan. 3. More than 1,000 students from Suffolk County participated in this regional competition, and 42 NHS students qualified to compete at the state level. These students will travel to Rochester in March to compete at the State Competition.

First Place Winners:
Mike Calobrisi and Ted Kavanagh - Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making
Liam McKenna - Principles of Business Management & Administration

Second Place winners:
Ayla Lerner - Business Services Marketing
Jack Tomczyk and Alex Freedman - Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making

Third Place winners:
Tage Oster- Human Resources Management

Top 10 in category and State Qualifiers: Danielle Pothos, John Kippley, Valia Kavrakis, Ryan Reynolds, Erin Edgley, Alex Levick, Joe Loconte, Nick Tabert, Brenna Parker, Charlotte Kirincic, Rafiq Elkiki, Harsh Patel, Zachary Evans, Brendan McLelis, Hunter McCoy, Kevin Schmanski, Tom Lionetti, Sean Gathman, Brendan Larsen, Jake Giordano, Jaime Saturno, Meghan Smith, Annalee Meyers, Olivia Caulfield, Faith Gillin, Zach Heckman, Katerina Wettengel, Hayley Hayden, Conor Fitzpatrick, Kyle Gallagher, Adrian Ramonetti, Rosey Sarnataro, Jillian Preston, Maura Gilmore.

Investigate Students Against Straws

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At the end of December, ENMS sixth-graders Isabela Endler, Evan Liu, Blake Johnson and Michaela Tumsuden met and interviewed the Mayor of Sea Cliff, Mr. Edward Lieberman. As part of the district’s Investigate program, students take part in a semester long assignment called “Project Citizen.” For this project, students identify an issue of public policy in their community that concerns them and take action—researching, interview community members with regards to the issue, and identifying potential solutions.

This particular group of students were deeply affected by a viral video of a sea turtle suffering as a result of a plastic straw becoming lodged in its nose, and decided to select plastic straw use as their issue to research. After discovering that the village of Sea Cliff had very recently passed legislation to outlaw the use of all single use plastics in their community, including straws, Styrofoam containers, coffee stirrers, and cutlery, they immediately emailed Mr. Lieberman, requesting an interview.

Mr. Lieberman spoke with the students at length about the importance of taking care of the environment, and the negative influences of plastic on our oceans and sea life. He shared that plastics can last over 500 years in our oceans. The students learned about the steps Mr. Lieberman and his trustees took in study the problem and to pass the legislation. Together, Mr. Lieberman and the students discussed potential solutions to the issue, and possible alternatives to plastics in our lives, including paper and bamboo straws, and cutlery made of corn.

Student Blake Johnson questioned, “Why should restaurants just give out plastic straws? They shouldn’t give them out if someone didn’t ask for one,” and Mr. Lieberman agreed. Although the problem can seem overwhelming at times, given the presence of plastic in our lives, Mr. Lieberman shared some sage advice.
“A journey starts with a single step,” he told them, “but the second step is going out and changing the world!”

Ms. Brianne Furstein, one of Investigate’s facilitators, echoed his sentiments. “The future belongs to these passionate young students,” she said, “and they are the ones who will make our world a better place.”

The students found his expertise and advice to be an invaluable part of their research. They look forward to presenting their findings and making recommendations to legislators at Touro Law Center later this school year.

Speaking Up and Making a Change

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Dickinson Avenue first-grader Zoe Wood recently resolved to make her voice heard by writing the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation a letter regarding her feelings on the “No Scooter” rule at Caumsett State Park.

Zoe, an active young girl who enjoys riding her scooter everywhere, did not understand why bikes were permitted at Caumsett, but scooters were not. Zoe expressed that she believed scooters were just as safe as bikes—and just as fun, too.

Upon receiving her letter, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Rose Harvey park replied with a personalized response. In her letter, she thanked Zoe for voicing her ideas and revealed that, effective immediately, non-motorized scooters were officially allowed within the park.

“Always remember that one voice can make a difference, and we applaud you for speaking up,” Mrs. Harvey told Zoe in her letter. “Thank you for raising this issue with us, and thank you for caring about our parks as much as we do.”

Both Zoe’s parents and the members of her school community expressed pride in her ability to notice issues in the world around her. “Even from a young age, we seek to teach our students how to “take informed action”, and Zoe is a shining example of that,” said Dickinson Principal Laurie Storch.

Thanksgiving STEM Fun

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During the week of before Thanksgiving, Dickinson Avenue elementary students in Ms. Neems, Ms. Barnes and Ms. Schulcz’s classes came together to complete a holiday STEM Project. Each classroom housed a different challenge in an effort to meet the specific needs of all the students within each class. Each group was made up of one student from each class, and they had to work together to complete the challenge. The first challenge included constructing a model of the “Mayflower” that was able to hold the most pilgrims while staying afloat. The second required students to create a dinner table that could hold the most Thanksgiving dishes without overlapping. The third was to construct a shelter for a turkey was hiding from a hungry family on Thanksgiving. Students worked hard to problem solve, all while having fun.

“These activities all combined science, math and creativity,” said Ms. Neems. “While faced with things like action/reaction, solving problems, and using tools, students also physically created and applied the knowledge they’ve learned in class.”