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Calhoun team wins entrepreneurship contest

A team from Sanford H. Calhoun High School

A team from Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick won the elevator pitch contest held during the 2018 Business and Entrepreneurship Leadership Conference at LIU Post. Photo Credit: Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District

A Virtual Enterprise team from Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick grabbed the top spot in a contest that asked them to pitch a fictional business.

The 21-student team, titled DefenseLine, won first place and $1,000 in an elevator pitch contest held this fall during the Virtual Enterprises International Business and Entrepreneurship Leadership Conference at LIU Post. Their business offers products — such as nail polish, key chains and rings — containing a chemical indicator that changes colors when it detects harmful drugs.

The contest, which drew more than 1,500 students from more than 60 high schools across Long Island, gave teams 30 seconds to pitch their business to a crowd of peers as well as a panel of regional business leaders and entrepreneurs.

This is the second time in three years that a Virtual Enterprise team from Calhoun High School won the contest. 

"DefenseLine is a health and public safety company that specializes in the protection against date-rape drugs such as ketamine,  GHB and Rohypnol, " said team member Christie Powell, a senior at Calhoun. DefenseLine's winning pitch was delivered by senior Brenden Rosario. 

Second place went to The Party Project team from Herricks High School, and third place went to the Tota Vita team from Syosset High School.  Those teams were awarded $500 and $250, respectively.


Hispanic heritage celebration

Alden Terrace Elementary School for the first time held a special assembly in recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which traditionally is observed from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

At the assembly, held Nov. 1, activities included exposing students to Spanish vocabulary, learning about countries with Hispanic populations, and understanding Hispanic holidays, such as Día de los Muertos, when people remember deceased loved ones.

As part of the observance, Justo Gonzàlez, a grandfather of two of the school's students, played traditional instruments, including the chuli zampoña, rondador and charango. 

"Having a family from our own school and community share their culture and talents with our scholars was a true highlight to this wonderful assembly," principal Shawnée Warfield said.


A garden from recycled toothbrushes

Hillside Grade School placed second last month in a Save Water Garden promotion courtesy of Colgate-Palmolive, ShopRite and recycling company TerraCycle.

The school was awarded a new garden made from recycled oral care waste — such as toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and floss containers —that will be unveiled at a spring ceremony.

Hillside collected 2,713 pledges to save water daily from students, staff and community members. TerraCycle will make the garden by separating the waste by composition and then shredding and melting it into hard plastic that is remolded. 

"The energy and enthusiasm they put into protecting the environment has truly made an impact in their community, and we hope the new garden will bring smiles to children in New Hyde Park for years to come," said Juan Pablo Zamorano, president of Colgate-Palmolive's North American Division.   


Friendly family tours

Valley Stream School District 30 has introduced monthly Friendly Family Tours that allow families from the district's three schools to gain a better understanding of the curriculum and tools their students use in the classroom.

Each tour focuses on different curriculum areas, district officials said. During the September tours, families met PTA members and familiarized themselves with the district's social emotional learning initiatives, while the October tours looked at each school's maker space or innovation station.

"It's critical that the work we do here is supported by our families and that families have a clear understanding of what it is that we are trying to do with our students," said Superintendent Nicholas Stirling.


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