Schools: Emergency Prep, Crocheting for a Cause

The Huntington Foundation recently donated more than $15,000 to the Huntington School District to fund seven grants sought by faculty members for innovative projects in several buildings.

Trustees accepted a donation in the amount of $15,648.95 during a public meeting this week. Huntington Foundation for Excellence in Education President Alice Marie Rorke was on hand for the presentation along with several of the organization’s officials and representatives from its youth board.

The seven grants will cover costs associated with the following initiatives:

Woodhull Intermediate School; Flexible Seating

Applicant: Teacher Jessica Mora Rivera

A grant in the amount of $1,159.60 will cover the purchase of wobble stools, a standing desk and a Zenergy ball chair.

Woodhull Intermediate School; Hands-On Task Boxes

Applicant: Teacher Ashley Williams

A grant in the amount of $1,512.40 will allow for the purchase of basic skills task assortments.

Huntington High School; Life Skills Extreme Makeover

Applicant: Teacher Erica Murphy Jessen and occupational therapist Meredith Kennelly

A grant in the amount of $3,287.98 will fund the purchase of a refrigerator/freezer, electronic range, dishwasher and gift cards.

Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School; Talk Technologies

Applicant: Dean of Students Matt Perlongo

A grant in the amount of $2,240.50 will fund the purchase of a Talk System microphones, transmitters, receivers and accessories.

Washington Primary School; Performing Arts: Stage Curtain Replacement

Applicant: Principal Michelle Richards

A grant in the amount of $3,363.00 will fund the purchase of new stage curtains.

Jefferson Primary School; Peaceful Playground

Applicant: Jefferson PTA Council Delegate Jennifer Carrillo

A grant in the amount of $3,119.42 will fund the purchase of Plush Sport Court Paint (various colors), squeegee, ball holder cart, basketball hoops and rims, various stencil kits, alphabet snake, a paint striping machine, paint rollers and extenders, measuring tapes, chalk snap line and rope.

Jefferson Primary School; FIRST Lego League Jr.

Applicant: Teacher Luz Marotta

A grant in the amount of $966.05 will fund team and expo registration fees, team t-shirts and WeDo 2.0 Core Set.

Ready for Emergencies

In collaboration with the American Red Cross of Long Island, third graders in the Half Hollow Hills elementary buildings are participating in a Pillowcase Project to help teach them how to prepare themselves, their households and their communities for emergencies.

During the presentation, participants receive a pillowcase to decorate and then take home to use as a personal emergency supplies kit.

Crocheting for a Cause

A group of Huntington High School student mentors and their mentees modeled what genuine kindness means along with a sense of giving by Crocheting for a Cause and donating more than 100 hats for newborns and 15 lap blankets for patients in palliative care at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown.

Veteran Huntington UFSD faculty member Eileen Gonzalez is one of the advisors for the high school’s English language learners’ scholar mentoring program and she thought this new initiative would be of value to participants.

“I was thinking of way our students could give back to the community,” Ms. Gonzalez said. “The ELL scholar mentoring program provides mentors to our English language learners who are new to the country.”

The mentors are high-achieving English language learners or former ELLs. “They are strong role models for our newcomers and ease their transition into our high school,” Ms. Gonzalez said. “They meet with their mentees to provide support, friendship and guidance on navigating life in America. I wanted the mentors to get involved in a positive activity that they could share with their mentees.”

Ms. Gonzalez wanted the mentors to get involved in a positive community-based activity that they could share with their mentees. “Serving the community was the focus,” she said. “The rest is history. Our Crochet for a Cause group started with two and steadily grew to fifteen students over the course of the project.”

When all was said and done the group crocheted over 100 hats for newborns and 15 lap blankets for patients in palliative care at St. Catherine’s of Siena Medical Center on Route 25A in Smithtown.

“I am so proud of the students,” Ms. Gonzalez said. “We met once a week, but most of the crocheting took place outside of school hours. The students were so motivated to reach our goal of 100 hats.”

Last Friday, Ilsi Martinez Euceda, a senior mentor in the program joined one of her mentees, junior Yessy Bonilla Lainez and Ms. Gonzalez to present the gifts to St. Catherine’s. Judy Goris-Moroff, the district’s director of world languages, ENL and bilingual programs also tagged along in support of the initiative.

Learning About the Food Chain

Fifth-graders at Thomas J. Lahey recently learned about the food chain through hands-on activities and fun simulations in Ms. Rebecca Turano’s class.

Students had the opportunity to create a live simulation of a food web by taking on
different producer, consumer and predator roles and tossing a ball of yarn from person to
person, creating a complex and interlocking unit. Later in the week, students participated
in a lab where groups of students had five seconds as a specific animal — mice, snakes or
hawks — to scurry around and gather food. Afterwards, students recorded and compared
their results. To wrap up the unit, students dissected owl pellets to see the first-hand
results of the food chain from producer, to consumer, to predator.
“Hands-on simulations help every type of learner,” said Ms. Turano. “It helps
students to realize the importance of trial and error and making mistakes and learning
from them — especially in science. When students understand that scientists have to get
their hands dirty to make discoveries, that what they know didn't just come from reading a book, it motivates them to want to do the same.”


TangerKIDS Grants Program

Countrywood Primary Center recently made a submission for the TangerKIDS Grants Program and was selected to receive a grant to support the primary center’s “Creating a Sensory Friendly School Environment” program.  Nancy Larson, general manager of Tanger Outlets in Deer Park said, “For us to see this in action gives the program some life.”

This is one of the company’s corporate driven initiatives that is awarded every year as a way of getting involved with the community. After learning more about “Creating a Sensory Friendly School Environment” program, Countrywood became a  candidate for the grant that would aid in student involvement in ways that help their learning

“For us to see this in action, it gives us a positive feeling. We liked the way it involved the school and engages everyone by incorporating the whole student body,” Nancy shared, alongside Assistant General Manager Ilean Vassallo and Office Administrator Amanda Fuentes.

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