P.S. I Love You Day
Schools across the Riverhead Central School District marked Valentine’s Day by celebrating P.S. I Love You Day through a variety of age-appropriate activities.
At several schools, students wore purple for kindness, created signs and passed out bracelets. Throughout the day, the guidance department encouraged students to share kind words by writing them on Post-it notes that were displayed throughout the school. Roanoke Avenue Elementary School was a sea of purple as students created signs about kindness and anti-bullying. At Aquebogue Elementary School, students watched a kindness video and colored in “P.S. I Love You” hearts inscribed with positive character traits.
Student-musicians from the Riverhead Central School District were recently chosen to perform in the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association, Long Island String Festival Association, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, Hampton Music Educators Association, and New York State Band Directors Association’s prestigious music festivals.
The students were each selected after receiving high scores on their performances at the New York State School Music Association Solo Evaluation Festival last spring.
In preparation for the festivals, the students spent multiple hours rehearsing outside of school.
“I am so very proud of these students for their hard work and dedication to their music,” said Jason Rottkamp, the district’s director of fine arts.
Accepted to West Point and U.S. Naval Academy
Riverhead senior Kellia Daniel has landed an impressive accomplishment by getting accepted into both the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. She has opted to enroll at U.S. Naval Academy and will report on June 25 to begin her summer training. She plans to study mathematics.
Daniel earned these acceptances for her dedication to her school and her studies. She was nominated for the U.S. Naval Academy by Congressman Lee Zeldin, and her West Point nomination came from the Riverhead High School NJROTC staff.
The senior has been a cadet with the NJROTC throughout her tenure at Riverhead and currently serves as a commanding officer. Aside from that she plays varsity volleyball, runs track, and is a member of the National Honor Society.
A Trip To Ghana
As part of the Riverhead Central School District’s fourth-grade speaker series, students took a virtual trip to Ghana on February 11. Via Skype, the fourth-graders heard from students in Ghana about different aspects of their lives, from the food they eat to the games they play to favorite movies and television shows. Students from both schools also had the opportunity to ask each other questions.
School Counselors Recognized
Westhampton Beach guidance office celebrated National School Counseling Week during the week of February 3. As part of the observance, students shared the impact that counselors have had on their lives.
National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association, aims to bring awareness to the work counselors do in focusing not only on the college and career process, but also social-emotional learning, crisis situations, overall student well-being, and creating a collaborative environment that benefits the students, faculty, administration, parents, and community.
“My school counselor helps me be better by always being there when I need her and always helping me, no matter the problem,” said junior Ian Chitty. Sophomore Lyndee Walker added that her counselor helped her pick her classes and boosted her confidence.
Westhampton Beach Elementary School students were full of kind words on Valentine’s Day as they completed a variety of educational projects. They made giant hearts filled with compliments to give to their classmates, designed Valentine’s Day cards and, at the kindergarten level, worked on their writing skills by drawing on hearts using the “at” word family, such as cat, bat, sat, and sight words.
Black History Lesson
AP U.S. History students at Westhampton Beach High School recently marked Black History Month by researching the Negro Baseball League and creating projects to display what they learned. Along with team names and player information, the projects explored the discrimination that the league members had faced.
Students from Southampton and Westhampton Beach high schools recently competed in a friendly Special Olympics basketball scrimmage as part of their physical education classes. Players were cheered on by faculty and staff as they showcased their talents on the court.
World Read Aloud Day
Students at Cutchogue East Elementary School shared their love of reading by participating in the LitWorld’s World Read Aloud Day. Fourth-graders used this special occasion to read to the kindergarten students. Board of Education President Barbara Wheaton joined in the fun by reading the latest Caldecott award winner to fifth-grade students, while Cutchogue East Elementary School Principal Dr. Kathleen Devine read to first-graders.
Third grade students skyped with Connecticut author Jenna Grodzicki. Second-graders performed a choral reading of two poems with their teachers. The day ended with music teacher Bryan Bowie reading to the sixth-graders.
LitWorld founded the campaign in 2010 to advocate for access to literacy and diverse stories, as well as the power of reading aloud — an activity that has an immensely powerful impact on children’s development.
“LitWorld’s annual World Read Aloud Day has become a movement engaging hundreds of millions of people around the world in standing up for literacy as a foundational human right,” said LitWorld Executive Director Dorothy Lee. “When communities have access to strong literacy tools, every aspect of life improves.”
Addressing The Opioid Crisis
Hampton Bays High School students participated in an opioid crisis presentation on February 11. During the assembly, the students viewed the film “Unspoken, Now Told: Recovery Stories” and took part in a Q&A session with the recovered addicts who were featured in the film.
The film was produced by local resident Bill Donahue in conjunction with Human Understanding and Growth Services, Inc. of Westhampton Beach and Southampton Town Opioid Task Force co-chairman and former News 12 anchor Drew Scott.
Science Students Help Local Ecosystem
Hampton Bays High School Science Research and AP Biology students recently assisted Cornell Cooperative Extension on a research project that aims to improve local marine habitats by slowing and eliminating the growth of phragmites and replace them with native species, such as Spartina.
“Phragmites have eliminated many native species by making our marine habitats less stable and more difficult for habitat reconstruction,” said science teacher Dr. Stephanie Forsberg.
On February 13, 40 students counted and measured more than 800 phragmite plants in their classroom. The students’ work will assist Cornell in its larger study of finding solutions to manage the invasive species.
Pierson Middle School Students Learn CPR
On February 7, Sag Harbor’s Pierson Middle School seventh-graders learned CPR and life-saving skills in gym class, as part of their participation in American Heart Month; others attended a community class earlier in the week.
Local, trained instructors were on-hand to help teacher Sue Denis certify the students in CPR techniques for adults and children. Denis, who organized the instruction, was named a 2015 Heart Saver of the Year by the American Heart Association. Many of the more than 3,000 students she trained have used the skill to save a life.
“February is an ideal time to remind students to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their friends and families involved in adopting healthy living habits,” Ms. Denis said.
School Counselors Recognized
On January 18, the following students performed at the annual Hampton Music Educators Association Festival: Liam Squires-Band Trumpet; Julian Misut-Orchestra Viola; Ava Lima, Chiara Campaiola, Emma Suhr and Dylan Wisniewski-Chorus; Joseph Lucas; and Thomas Armandi-World Drumming. Music teacher Mr. Peter Falango nominated these students to represent Tuckahoe at the HMEA Festival. The Hampton Music Educators Association Music Festival is an event that unites students from all over the East End of Long Island in grades sixth, seventh, and eighth. The students gather for a few rehearsals and then perform a fabulous concert. It is a selected honor to perform in this music festival.
Celebrating Dental Health
Kindergartners at Southampton Elementary School celebrated Dental Health Month on February 6 by taking part in an oral hygiene lesson taught by representatives of Hampton Pediatric Dental Associates. The students learned the importance of taking care of their teeth through brushing and flossing.