Schools: Art, Poetry and Cultural Celebrations

Pupils at Goosehill Primary School recently learned about Asian Lunar New Year and made lion masks.

Under the direction of educator Jennifer Henriquez from the Long Island Children’s Museum, students learned about following a lunar calendar, where New Year’s Day changes every year as it follows the 12 full cycles of the moon roughly 354 days. Depending on the cycle, each year represents one of the 12 Zodiac signs. Goosehill students learned that if they were born in 2017 that was the Year of the Rooster, and those born in 2018 were the Year of the Dog. They also learned the United States follows the solar calendar, which
marks the time it takes the earth to orbit the sun, which is 365 days, which is why New Year’s Day remains constant on Jan. 1.

Meeting Their Lawmakers

Numerous public officials, including Suffolk County Legislator Tom Donnelly, participated in the annual Half Hollow Hills School District PTA Legislative Breakfast Thursday at the Fran Greenspan Administrative Building in Dix Hills.

The  event provides the opportunity for  students, administrators, teachers and parents from Half Hollow Hills to meet, question and talk with their elected officials in a comfortable group setting, Following the informal discussions, District Superintendent Dr. Patrick Harrigan provided an overview presentation on the current state of the Half Hollow Hills School District and each elected official was invited to speak to the group.

“Youth engagement in government is vitally important,” said Legislator Donnelly. “It was great to once again attend this breakfast, and to speak with students, administrators and parents about initiatives to benefit the school district as well as the importance of entering public service. If these students choose to go into public service, we will certainly be in good hands.”

Mystery Readers at Birchwood

To close out PARP week–Pick a Reading Partner– Birchwood revealed their Mystery Masked Readers on Friday.  The program designed to engage and involve parents, caregivers and other adults in fostering the love of reading in children.


Poetry Slam in Elwood

Elwood’s James H. Boyd Intermediate School recently held its annual Poetry Slam in the school’s auditorium. To prepare for the event, the 23 participating students chose poems they liked. After weeks of practice, they created slideshows to accompany their poem to enhance the audience’s experience. Student Charlotte McAuliffe served as the Poetry Slam’s emcee, with Jayden Berk as the assistant emcee.

“The Poetry Slam has taught us some very important skills that we will need
throughout life in order to be successful, such as being proactive and responsible, as well as how to present and public speaking,”” said McAuliffe, who read the Karen Cira poem “What is a Friend.”

Dinner With Seniors

Members of the Cold Spring Harbor Jr./Sr. High School National Honor Society hosted their annual complimentary pre-show dinner for senior residents from both the Huntington and Oyster Bay senior centers.

The guests were seated at tables where student waiters and waitresses introduced themselves and served from a selection of pastas, salads, rolls, fruit and a  Viennese dessert table. Throughout the dinner, students and administrators mingled with the guests. Following the dinner, the guests were escorted to the auditorium, where they were treated to a private performance of the production “Gypsy.”

Harborfields at Press Day

Harborfields students will be among the more than 250 high school students  from Suffolk, Nassau, Queens and upstate New York attending Adelphi University’s annual Press Day on  Feb. 16. Press Day provides students with the opportunity to learn from seasoned newspaper and magazine editors, online and newspaper reporters, and freelance writers about the world of media. A highlight of the event will be the presentation of the Quill Awards to the top student journalists and newspapers.

The theme of this year’s Press Day is “Navigating the Future: What Will Journalism Look Like in Five Years?” Students who attend will gain a clearer vision of the journalism landscape of the future from a panel of distinguished experts, including journalists, professors, and tech entrepreneurs, who will share their insights, experiences, and predictions, of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

The keynote speaker is James Madore, economics writer at Newsday.

Artistic Fusion at the Heckscher

Students from Walt Whitman and Huntington High Schools are participating in a program at Heckscher Museum on feb.24-25 to mark Black History Month.  “An Artistic Fusion of Heritage and Culture”  will showcase the talents of young people in Huntington.


Pippi and Pirates Fun

Students in the class of Suzanne Chmura and Denise Sullivan at
Washington Drive Primary School  recently held Pippi and Pirates Day in celebration of the classic tale “The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking.”

After reading the story, students dressed up as either character, since Pippi wants to be a pirate, and they watched a movie adaptation of the book. Stuffed monkeys and horses were also invited, since in the book, Pippi lives with a monkey and a horse.

“Pippi is a unique and confident character who demonstrates what it means to love who you are,” Sullivan said. “We had the best day!”

Technology Award

Cold Spring Harbor Central School District technology teacher Melissa McLees has been recognized for her work as a Bright Light by the Association of Suffolk Supervisors for Educational Technology.

Bright Light recipients are selected for their integration of technology into their educational environment. McLees teaches computer science courses ranging from beginner to Advanced Placement and Advanced Honors Coding, along with numerous math courses throughout her 19-year tenure in the district and 29 years of teaching.

She also is head coach for the Computer Science Club. Her love of coaching extends to the tennis courts as the girls varsity tennis coach for the past 18 years, receiving the Coach of the Year award in 2023. She has served as the director for  high school musical productions. She also implemented a TA program for computer science students as well as been a new teacher mentor coordinator.

Art Show at LI Museum
 Long Island student artists work on display at the Long Island Museum
on Feb. 24.
Some of the artists will be on hand during the show, from 2-4 p.m. and available to talk about their works and vision.
The event is free with museum admission. Learn more about the exhibition at

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