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Holocaust Survivor Preaches Acceptance and Kindness

Holocaust Survivor Preaches Acceptance and Kindness photo
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Amityville Memorial High School sophomores received a first-hand account of one of the darkest periods in the human history as they gathered in the library to hear from Holocaust survivor Werner Reich.

Through personal stories and pictures, Mr. Reich vividly described the historical event that resulted in the death millions of people. He shared his own tales of persecution, capture and imprisonment before liberation by American military forces when he was 17. After returning to Yugoslavia for two years, he moved to England and then the United States, where he was finally able to complete his education.

Mr. Reich said that while the Holocaust occurred many decades ago, there are lessons that apply to modern society. He called on students to fight any and all forms of oppression, including bullying. Even if someone isn't the victim of bullying, they should not be a bystander if they see it happening.

“Be the first to act,” he said. “Help without being asked.”

He added that speaking up is not snitching. Before concluding his presentation, Mr. Reich asked students to reflect on the question, “What kind of person will you be when others are in need?” 

Northeast Transforms Into Women’s History Museum

Northeast Transforms Into Women’s History Museum photo
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In recognition of Women’s History Month in March, students at Northeast Elementary School in the Amityville Union Free School District learned about the important contributions women have made throughout history.

Each pre-K and kindergarten class picked a notable female to spotlight. Students did research and decided which important facts should be included on its poster. The school was turned into a women’s history museum as the projects were hung throughout the hallways, highlighting artists, athletes, entertainers, political figures and scientists. Northeast had a museum walk on March 18 as teachers led their students around the building to read the posters.

The selections ranged from historical figures such as pioneering pilot Amelia Earhart and notable chemist and physicist Marie Curie, to contemporary figures like Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. 

Sharing Without Borders in Amityville

Sharing Without Borders in Amityville photo

Forty students from three Long Island high schools came together after school at Amityville Memorial High School on March 12 to continue their discussion on issues affecting society. Through the Breaking Borders program, Amityville students welcomed their peers from Oyster Bay and Syosset high schools to share their thoughts about inequality.

After bonding over pizza in the cafeteria, students moved to the gymnasium where they met in small groups. Discussion prompts included their perceptions of inequality and why it exists, gender pay equality, reasons some people don’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, and personal experiences with inequality. Each group had a student leader to facilitate conversation. 

Amityville social studies teacher Matthew Tomasi said the rules were simple: students had to come in with an open mind and respect each other’s opinions. The purpose was to foster an honest dialogue among teenagers who have grown up in different communities. 

“It’s nice to learn about other people on Long Island and to speak to people with different perspectives,” Amityville sophomore Johnatan Blanchard said about his reasons for taking part in the Breaking Borders program. 

Earlier this year, Mr. Tomasi took a group of 12 Amityville students from his Advanced Placement European History class to Freeport High School for a Breaking Borders program on family traditions. In addition to thoughtful and productive discussions, students also wrapped Christmas presents for children in the community.

Mr. Tomasi said that word quickly spread among the Amityville student body about the experience. He then took a group of 30 interested students to the next program at Elmont Memorial High School, where the conversation centered on immigration. Students also brought canned goods to donate to Elmont’s food drive. Joining students and Mr. Tomasi on that trip were Assistant Principal Brian Suckle, social studies teacher Robert Annese and science teacher Patrick Fallot.  

“It’s good for the students to meet different people from different parts of Long Island to bring issues to light,” Mr. Tomasi said. “It allows the students to face the challenges currently in our society, because they are going to be the generation that finds solutions.” 

Breaking Borders is a student-run leadership program which aims to break down ethnic, socio-economic, racial and religious barriers among students from different Long Island school districts. The program fosters respect, tolerance and understanding by encouraging open and honest dialogue among students. Mr. Tomasi said after the sessions at three different high schools, Amityville students “walked away seeing things from a different perspective.”



From Brainstorming to Bridge-Building at Northwest

From Brainstorming to Bridge-Building at Northwest photo
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Third-graders put their heads together and came up with bridge designs for a St. Patrick’s Day activity in Dana Herz’s class at Northwest Elementary School in the Amityville Union Free School District. 

Building materials included pipe cleaners, clay and paper cup. Each student came up with his or her idea, then the young engineers in every group discussed their plans and selected a design. When the projects were complete, Ms. Herz filled the cups with gold coins to see how much each bridge could hold. She added that the sturdiest bridges had multiple pipe cleaners in an arch and anchored into clay bases, resembling a rainbow.
 

Middle School Students Get New Chromebooks

Middle School Students Get New Chromebooks photo

Edmund W. Miles Middle School students now have increased access to technology as a learning tool, as the district launched its 1:1 Chromebook initiative.

Students in grades 7-9 and their parents were invited to an informational meeting on Feb. 26. Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly discussed the educational advantages of the Chromebooks, which students will use in school and at home. They will have around-the-clock access to their assignments through Google Classroom. It also increases opportunities to collaborate with classmates, communicate with teachers and become responsible digital citizens.

Dr. Kelly explained that research shows that providing members of this tech-savvy generation with their own devices has a positive effect on academic outcomes because of the corresponding increase in student engagement and research-based best practices in teaching and learning. She added that it also prepares them for the technology-based learning environments at the college level.

“We are preparing our students for success in a world that is dynamic and ever changing,” she said. “The research demonstrates that 1:1 initiatives transform teaching and learning by fostering students’ ownership of their learning, and by providing opportunities for active learning, problem-solving, critical thinking, digital literacy and citizenship, and collaboration with their teachers and peers.

Ninth-grade social studies teacher Jack Zider and his Advanced Placement Human Geography students demonstrated educational tools such a Quizlet, an interactive platform for content review. Mr. Zider said that he and his fellow teachers are excited about the possibilities for enriched lessons now that all students have their own devices.

Students received their Acer Chromebooks, which come equipped with the G-Suite for Education including Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. They were also given protective cases, chargers and ear buds.

In January, all first- through sixth-grade classrooms at Northwest and Park Avenue elementary schools were outfitted with Chromebook carts with enough devices for every child. Middle school students were the first to receive take-home Chromebooks. Next year, the 1:1 initiative will be expanded to the high school. It is being funded through a $125,000 grant from State Sen. John Brooks and money from Amityville’s share of the Smart Schools Bond Act. 

Cultural Exchange Program Comes Full Circle

Cultural Exchange Program Comes Full Circle photo

Amityville Memorial High School students are making friends all over Suffolk County. Through the school’s popular Cultural Exchange program, they welcomed peers from Bayport-Blue Point and East Islip high schools earlier in the year. In February, it was their turn to be the visitors.

Recently, students from Amityville’s Warrior Awareness Club, known as the WAC PAC, spent the day in East Islip. Students were welcomed with a big breakfast and took part in icebreaker activities. Each Amityville student paired up an East Islip student and followed the schedule of his or her host. East Islip staff members made T-shirts for all participants.

“I had a lot of fun spending the day my partner,” said Amityville sophomore Allany McCatty. “I enjoyed participating in her classes and I look forward to keeping in touch with her.”

Added senior Noah Odige, “It’s always interesting to see how other schools function throughout the day and I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to get a glimpse into the life of an East Islip student.”

This was the first visit by Amityville to the home of the Redmen and they loved it, according to WAC PAC adviser Jason McGowan. Amityville hosted the East Islip students back in January for the inaugural visit. 

The WAC PAC also sent 30 students to Bayport-Blue Point High School for their visit to the home of the Phantoms. Amityville students and staff were greeted by the orchestra as they walked into the cafeteria. 

Bayport-Blue Point School District administrators led icebreaker activities in a conference room and students, who initially met in Amityville in November, were reintroduced to each other over breakfast.

In a true double exchange, Amityville senior Letizia Cazzaniga, an exchange student from Milan, Italy, was a part of the program and she connected with her partner, Emily. Sophomore Abel Tejada was paired up with Mr. McGowan's son, Trey, and won a badminton tournament together in physical education class.

“I loved spending the day in their high school,” junior Bryan Canales said. “All of the students were friendly toward us." 

After gathering together for a pizza lunch, the Amityville and Bayport-Blue Point students parted ways but not before exchanging phone numbers and social media information.

“Teenagers are teenagers, and that’s the point I am trying to make with this program,” Mr. McGowan said. “Even though we are a few zip codes away, connections can be made regardless of your background. It was beautiful to see the laughter and the hugs as we left each school. The major goal of this program is for students to learn about diversity by experiencing dissimilar school populations. Rather than discussing diversity in a typical classroom lesson, participants have the opportunity to experience it first-hand.”




Amityville Artists Earn All-County Nods

Amityville Artists Earn All-County Nods photo
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Four students from Amityville had their work selected for the Suffolk County Art Leaders Association’s annual All-County exhibit. Their art was recently displayed at Old Town Hall in Babylon.

The featured student artists included Edmund W. Miles Middle School ninth-grader Ulric Farrier (block printing) and Amityville Memorial High School juniors Brianna Desire (photography) and Astrid Dixon (drawing/mixed media). Additionally, senior Maiya Bryant displayed her artwork within the senior scholarship portion of the SCALA All-County exhibition. 

Students completed their work under the direction of art teachers Jennifer Dibble, Jayne Grasso and Nicole Pappas.

2019-2020 Secondary Course Catalog

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Skyscraper Models Rise at Park Avenue

Skyscraper Models Rise at Park Avenue photo

They weren’t hundreds of feet tall, but skyscrapers built by sixth-graders still made a visual impact at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School. The interdisciplinary project under the direction of teachers Patti Dieck and Nakia Williams incorporated math, science and research skills.

Students could work independently or with a partner to research a famous skyscraper anywhere in the world. Popular selections included the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia. They used the mathematical concepts of ratio and proportion to build their models to scale. 

With Chromebooks now available in every classroom, students were able to easily access information about their chosen skyscrapers and watched YouTube tutorials on model construction. They also found aerial images to recreate the landscape around the buildings.   



Students Present Drone Study at LISEF Fair

Students Present Drone Study at LISEF Fair photo
Amityville Memorial High School students Darius Mobley Jr. and Z’Dhanne Williams recently presented their research project at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair held at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. Their topic was, “Are autonomous drones more efficient than human programmed drones in rescue missions?”

After conducting extensive research on present-day drone usage, Darius and Z’Dhanne conducted their own study comparing flight times of autonomous drones with the flight times of drones driven by human operators. With help from fellow robotics club members Raiphy Jerez and Trae’von Smith, they concluded that while the autonomous drones had a faster flight time by 15 seconds on average compared to human programmed drones, they lacked responsiveness and were more likely to have disrupted flight due to lapse time in communication with the computer server. The students set up an obstacle course in the cafeteria to conduct their study.

Northwest Students Get in the Game

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Skin in the Game learning has debuted at Northwest Elementary School as students are creating their own board games.

Several second- and third-grade classes are taking part in the initiative, which will eventually be expanded to the entire school. Skin in the Game supports the curriculum as students use their knowledge of different subject areas to create their games. They come up with a concept, create rules and directions and design game boards, pieces and question cards.

Math has been a popular choice for students as they explore the intricacies of game design. In Kelli Geilman’s third-grade class, one group worked on a multiplication and division game that has an “under the sea” theme. Juliane Roman and Stacey Tloczkowski’s class made a frog-themed game focusing on number sense and multiplication. 

Lori Heavey’s third-graders came up with “Escape from Northwest.” The board game starts at a picture of their school and ends at a picture of Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, where they will attend in fourth grade. Questions are broken up in to four progressive levels: addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, single-step problems, and double-step problems. 

Skin in the Game also includes a technology component. Once students understand the basics of game design, they will transition into video game creation to learn about computer programming. 

The Skin in the Game initiative is funded through a federal Academic Enrichment grant that the district received last summer. Amityville was one of 38 school districts selected by the New York State Education Department to receive funds through the Every Student Succeeds Act for technology enhancement. Teachers from multiple schools were trained last summer during an in-district professional development session, and more staff will be trained in February. 
 

Kindergarten & Pre-Kindergarten Registration 2019-2020

Kindergarten & Pre-Kindergarten Registration 2019-2020

Location: Central Registration Office, Edmund W. Miles Middle School, 501 Route 110 Amityville, NY

Dates & Times: April 2nd & April 3rd- 9:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Evening Hours:  April 2nd & April 3rd- 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

High School Musicians Shine at Day of Horn

High School Musicians Shine at Day of Horn photo
Three French horn players from Amityville Memorial High School represented the district at the annual Day of Horn festival, hosted by the Suffolk County Music Educators Association.

Participating students included seniors James Carey and Michael Gordon, and sophomore Tristan Angus. Hundreds of French Horn players from across Suffolk County schools participated in this festival at Northport High School, which included workshops, rehearsals and a performance by all musicians in a Massed Horn Ensemble concert.    

“Congratulations to James, Michael and Tristan for setting this additional musical goal for themselves,” said Director of Fine Arts Dr. Fran Fernandez. “Also, special thanks goes out to their families and their present and past music teachers for their guidance and support.”

High School Researchers Spread Knowledge

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After months of intense research, 35 students in the Advanced Placement Seminar course at Amityville Memorial High School presented their findings during a symposium in the auditorium on Jan. 31.

The first half of the year in the 10th-grade course was devoted to team research projects. Teacher Allison Reichel assigned each group a broad topic, and students then had to select a focus. Among the areas that students explored were video game violence, immigration policies and the use of performance-enhancing drugs by athletes. 

Ms. Reichel said that every team member was charged with looking at the problem “through a different lens.” Students then worked together to analyze their collective research, propose potential solutions and create a multimedia presentation.  

Noah Laforest and his teammates looked into the negative influences of social media. He said he learned that the research process is very intense and requires hard work and commitment.

“I liked how well my team and I worked together, and it make me enjoy working with others more,” he said. “It helped me see other people’s opinions and perspectives.”

The second half of AP Seminar will be devoted to individual research projects. The course is the first half of AP Capstone, a college readiness program now in its third year at Amityville Memorial High School, with AP Research offered for juniors. In that class, students will work on individual projects by selecting a topic, identifying gaps in existing research, compiling data and making their own contributions to a particular field. 

Students who earn scores of three or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research and four additional Advanced Placement exams can earn an AP Capstone diploma. 

Track and Field Athletes Qualify for States

Track and Field Athletes Qualify for States photo
A pair of Amityville Memorial High School track and field athletes are ready to compete for state titles. Seniors Nina Babington and Alton Kimbrough Jr. will participate in the New York State championships on March 2 at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island. 

Nina will take part in the shotput and discus events. Earlier this year, she set her personal best mark in shotput with a distance of 39 feet, 9.5 inches, which ranked her sixth in the state. This is her third season on the varsity squad.

Alton will compete in shotput, also setting his career high by throwing a distance of 54 feet, 3.25 inches, good for third in New York. He has been on the varsity team since eighth grade.

Both students are three-season athletes. Nina plays soccer in the fall, and is a member of the winter and spring track and field teams. Alton plays football in the fall followed by two seasons of track and field. 
 

High School Celebrates Black History and Culture

High School Celebrates Black History and Culture photo

Amityville Memorial High School students expressed themselves through art, song, dance and poetry to celebrate Black History Month during an afternoon assembly on Feb. 15. The entire student body gathered for the program which included numerous captivating performances.

The auditorium stage was flanked by two large black, green, red and yellow banners with inspirational words such as beauty, love, power, strength and wisdom. The show opened with the high school chorus performing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the black national anthem. 

 Host Justin Bethea asked his classmates to show their enthusiasm by shouting “ashay” after each performance. The percussion ensemble played an African beat on the drums and the dance team delighted the crowd with a Caribbean dance. 

Nate Odige showcased his Haitian pride painting, which paid tribute to both the nation’s history and the spirit of its people. Elliot Herrero sang “Big Love” by the Black Eyed Peas, Kayla Barrett danced to “Still I Rise” and Noah Odige and Tiana Spence performed 2Pac’s “Changes.”

The performances were intertwined with history lessons. A slideshow presentation on African-American success highlighted several individuals, such as Claudette Colvin, Bayard Rustin and Augusta Savage, who made great contributions to society but aren’t as prominently known. Students also learned about the origins of black newspapers. 

Student Rachelle Louis-Jean spoke about Major Nancy Leftenant-Colón, an Amityville Memorial High School graduate, who later returned as the school nurse after a distinguished career as a military nurse. The high school library was recently named in her honor. 

 

Kindergartners Turn 100 (Days Smarter)

Kindergartners Turn 100 photo

Kindergartners at Northeast Elementary School reached a milestone on Feb. 13 when they attended school for the 100th day. Upon hitting triple digits for the 2018-19 school year, students participated in a variety of 100-themed literacy and math activities.

Many children envisioned themselves about 95 years into the future by dressing up as 100-year-olds. They saw pictures of centenarians — people who have reached the age of 100 — and wrote about all they want to accomplish before turning 100.

Students colored 100-day crowns which they then wore with pride, counted 100 of different objects and imagined how they would spend $100. They practiced their math skills by counting to 100 by fives and tens.   

 

High School Announces Top 2019 Graduates

High School Announces Top 2019 Graduates photo
Amityville Memorial High School has announced the top graduates for the Class of 2019. Raiphy Jerez, with a grade point average of 108.61, is the valedictorian and Aleyna Kokogu is the salutatorian with an average of 105.11.

Raiphy will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study electrical engineering. He is a member of the math club and the National Honor Society, and is president of the Key Club. 

Aleyna, who is still in the process of selecting a college, plans to study biology or pre-medicine. She is a member of the math club, Key Club and National Honor Society and president of the National Art Honor Society.

Rounding out the top 10, in order of rank, are Leslie Washington, Meghan Luders, Kerianne Victor, James Carey, Courtney Evans, Carlos Ponce, Kayla Barrett and Patrick Abate.

“They are the best of an outstanding senior class,” Principal Maria Andreotti said. “They make us proud in everything that they do and I know they will continue to do so.”
 

Middle School Spotlights Civil Rights Era

Middle School Spotlights Civil Rights Era photo

Students, teachers and administrators contributed their talents to celebrate Black History Month at Edmund W. Miles Middle School.

The annual production on Feb. 15 honored famous members of the Black community and highlighted important moments of the Civil Rights movement. The middle school drama club reenacted the Children’s Crusade, a 1963 movement in which children protested segregation by leaving their Birmingham, Alabama school and marching to a church. 

“We felt this was important to highlight because the event gained a lot of media coverage and was a pivotal event in the Civil Rights movement,” said social studies Chairwoman Leslie Ciliota. “It was also one of the first examples of child advocacy.”

The chorus performed a song widely associated with that era, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which has become known as the Black national anthem, while the jazz band played “Avenue Swing.” Principal Edward Plaia and his band, The Warriors, performed “Stand By Me” and “Three Little Birds.” Joining him were teachers Michael Bonasera, Luis Colón and Charles Martine, monitor Colin Seehoff and aide Chris Grant along with student Zackary Rodriguez on drums.

Student Jonathon Jacas broke out his Michael Jackson impression for “Smooth Criminal,” and the Step Dance team demonstrated a step battle between sororities at a Historically Black College and University. There were additional musical performances and poetry readings. The show was hosted by Gerald Asbell.



After School an Enriching Time at Park Avenue

After School an Enriching Time at Park Avenue photo

Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School is the place to be in the afternoon, as the popular afterschool enrichment program has returned for the district’s fourth- through sixth-graders.

Principal Robyn Santiago said 236 students are taking part in the program, known as Park Avenue Clubs. Activities include art, dance, gaming, journalism, martial arts and robotics. There is also a character education program hosted in partnership with United North Amityville Youth Organization.

The robotics course, led by fifth-grade teacher James Replak, engages students through hands-on projects. The young engineers can build robots from Lego Mindstorm kits, or they can create their own from available pieces in boxes of spare Lego parts. Mr. Replak said that whether children choose to follow a plan or free build, they develop problem-solving and teamwork abilities.  

“They’re very engaged,” he said. “Many children like the freedom to create based on their imaginations. They also enjoy the opportunity to try something and improve upon it.”

The journalism course is led by former sports reporter John Boell. Students explore both news and creative writing, and learn how to generate story ideas. They are planning to publish their own newspaper before the end of the year. 

In the dance class, with teacher Amanda O’Connell, students learn basic dance moves and choreographed routines. During the holiday season, they performed for other students in the afterschool program and led an interactive dance activity. For February, students are putting together a routine for Park Avenue’s Black History Month celebration.  

Teacher Joanna Conboy leads the gaming class. Using the Skin in the Game curriculum, students learned the elements of board games by playing games with different styles, then creating their own. As the program progresses, students will then design video games, which will give them an introduction to computer programming.  

 

Fiction Brings History to Life at Middle School

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Not only are seventh-graders becoming stronger readers, but they are also learning about the past at Edmund W. Miles Middle School. English language arts teacher Katie Pallini recently launched the historical fiction unit through Reader’s Workshop.

The district has adopted the literacy initiative through Columbia University Teachers College which gives students the opportunity to read books based on their interests. Ms. Pallini and her co-teachers Suparna Basu and Alyssa DelGiorno opened the lesson with book tasting, in which students could sample dozens of historical fiction books before choosing one to read. While characters are typically fictitious, the stories are based on actual historical events.

In a follow-up lesson, Ms. Pallini read excerpts from Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Book Chains,” stopping periodically and asking students to share their thoughts with each other during turn-and-talk discussions. She also demonstrated jots, in which a reader pauses and writes down their thoughts about a text. Students are asked to note their feelings, predictions and questions, as well as any personal connections to a story. 

Jots, which are kept in reader’s notebooks, are used for their own reflections and to spark class discussions. The readers make connections to each other’s independent books.

“Students are not only deepening their analytical stills, they’re deepening their understanding of different historical time periods,” she said. “They are also learning how to communicate with their classmates by engaging in discussion about the topics and issues presented in the books.”

Books Build Bridges for Northwest Students

Books Build Bridges for Northwest Students photo
Third-graders made digital connections to celebrate their love of reading at Northwest Elementary School.

To mark World Read Aloud Day on Feb. 1, students in Lori Heavey’s class used their Chromebooks to read with children at other schools. Through Google Hangout, they participated in video chats with Melissa McCormack’s class at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School and with a third-grade class at P.S. 193 in Queens. Children on each end of the connection selected books to share with their video pen pals.

Using Flipgrid, Ms. Heavey’s students recorded themselves reading aloud, and those videos were shared with a third-grade class in Uniondale. She said that students enjoyed the opportunity to read using a different medium.

Northeast Teachers Inspire Young Readers

Northeast Teachers Inspire Young Readers photo
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“Llama Llama Red Pajama” was the selection for World Read Aloud Day at Northeast Elementary School. Kindergarten and pre-K classes gathered together throughout the day on Feb. 1 as teachers read the book aloud.

Kindergarten teacher Maria Lievano said that the book was chosen off of the World Read Aloud Day’s suggested list because it supports early literacy skills such as rhyming and making predictions. It also sparked discussions between students and their teachers about the difference between fiction and non-fiction texts. 

Children participated in turn and talk discussions about different vocabulary words in the book, along with various writing and craft activities. Ms. Lievano said the because there are many books in the “Llama Llama” series, hopefully students would be inspired to follow the adventures of the character and keep reading. 

VIDEO: Winter Wonderland

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Northwest Elementary School held its Winter Wonderland family learning night with literacy, math and science activities. 

Learning in a Winter Wonderland

Learning in a Winter Wonderland photo

Just hours before a light snow coated the ground, students and their families gathered to celebrate winter at Northwest Elementary School.

The school hosted its annual Winter Wonderland family learning night on Jan. 17. Activities celebrated art, literacy, math, music and science. It began with a sing-along in the cafeteria led by first-grade teacher Margaret Brooks, followed by a group game of winter bingo. Principal Kathleen Hyland and Assistant Principal Sonia Rodrigo called out the numbers, and winners got to take home prizes.

In classrooms, children made snowmen crafts, rolled dice and added up the numbers inside of paper snowmen and listened to winter-themed stories. They also mixed ingredients to create their own snow. As they left, students got to choose from dozens of free books to take home.



Park Avenue Boasts Award-Winning Artist

Youth Art Month Award Winner
Alessandra Pons, a sixth-grader at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, was chosen as the elementary school-level winner in the Youth Art Month Flag Design competition, sponsored by the New York State Art Teachers Association.   

Her artwork will be featured on the New York State display panel at the Youth Art Month Museum Exhibition during the 2019 National Art Educators Association Conference in Boston.   

Alessandra’s sponsoring art teacher is Susan Zaratin. She will receive a student award of art supplies valued at $100 from Sargent Art for her effort, and the Park Avenue art program will also receive supplies valued at $300. 

Middle School Students Analyze Dr. King’s Legacy

Middle School Students Analyze Dr. King’s Legacy photo
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American Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. helped ninth-graders make connections to international events in their global studies classes at Edmund W. Miles Middle School.

Co-teachers Jack Zider and Charles Martine engaged students in discussions about segregation in other parts of the world, past and present. The ninth-graders also made comparisons between non-violence movements in the United States and India. In small groups, students created and shared their own definitions of non-violence.

“Our curriculum is ancient history, so we have to make it something that they can relate to,” Mr. Zider said.

In Michele Rudden’s eighth-grade social studies classes, students analyzed Dr. King’s dreams for equality and discussed whether or not they felt his dreams had come true. They made connections between the Civil Rights era and modern society. Students used Chromebooks to access a hyperdoc, which had links to articles, passages and videos about Dr. King.

Ms. Rudden explained that by eighth-grade, students know about Dr. King and his accomplishments, so she wanted them to perform a deeper analysis of his legacy by using the online resources and their knowledge of current events.  

Studying Abroad in Amityville

Studying Abroad in Amityville photo
A love of language brought Letizia Cazzaniga nearly 4,000 miles from Milan, Italy to Amityville Memorial High School. The senior said she is thoroughly enjoying her year as a foreign exchange student and her immersion in American culture.

Growing up in Italy with a mother from Lebanon, she learned to speak both Italian and Arabic as a child. Since then, her linguistic interests have grown and Letizia is now fluent in five languages including English, French and Spanish, along with a little Portuguese.  

“I really like languages,” she said. “Being here and studying here for a year is good for my skills.”

Several of her courses foster her language development including dystopian literature, journalism, college French and Advanced Placement Spanish. She is taking algebra, plays the violin for the orchestra and sings in the chorus. Letizia was excited to participate in the winter concerts. She noted that schools in Italy typically do not have instrumental music instruction.

She said two differences about going to high school in the United States are the earlier start time and changing classes. There is also a greater emphasis on critical thinking while in Italy the focus is learning material and studying for tests. When she returns home, she will have one more year of high school remaining. Letizia hopes to attend college in Paris or the Netherlands and said possible majors include architecture or interior design.

Her host family in Amityville and the students at the high school have been very welcoming, she said. Letizia spent much of her holiday break visiting sights in New York City including the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Christmas tree and World Trade Center memorial site. She has also been to Washington, D.C. and North Carolina since her arrival. 

While she misses her family and friends in Milan, Letizia said she is able to stay in contact with them through telephone and Facetime. Family members who live in Texas have come to New York to visit her. 

“We are very pleased that Letizia decided to spend the year with us here in Amityville,” Principal Maria Andreotti said. “We have amazing programs and activities at the high school and are happy Letizia will get the share those experiences with our students. Through knowing her, students are learning more about Italy, and, as an Italian-American myself, I take great pride in that as well.”

Park Avenue Student has a Thoughtful Message

Park Avenue Student has a Thoughtful Message
Ryan Daly, a fifth-grader at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, had her work selected for the Long Island-based Child Abuse Prevention Services 2018-19 calendar. Ryan was one of 12 winners selected from more than 600 entries. 

As a fourth-grader, Ryan and her classmates took part in the Steer Clear of Bullies program led by CAPS educators, then were given a chance to enter the contest. Her “Before You Speak, Think” design appears on the January calendar page.
 
Tuesday, March 26, 2019