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‘Crossover’ author Kwame Alexander addresses students

"Crossover" author Kwame Alexander addresses students at Roosevelt

"Crossover" author Kwame Alexander addresses students at Roosevelt Children's Academy. Credit: Steve Pfost

Middle school students at Roosevelt Children’s Academy were treated to a special lesson about life and literature last month when they were visited by an award-winning author.

Kwame Alexander, author of the popular children’s book “The Crossover,” spoke to kids in grades 6-8 about the art of writing and his story about African-American twin brothers who share a love for basketball but are drifting apart. He won the 2015 Newbery Medal for having “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”

The visit materialized after academy trustee Tyra Washington had “The Crossover” recommended by a 10-year-old neighbor, who said it was the best book he had ever read.

“It’s rare for kids to make that declaration,” said Washington, noting this was the academy’s first Authors Day.

During the visit, about 200 students were given copies of the book and interacted with Alexander. Activities ranged from having them act out scenes from the book as verses were recited to having them perform freestyle rhymes.

Alexander also imparted advice about life, encouraging kids to be prepared for every moment and suggesting they act in the manner they want people to perceive them.

“When you have students excited about poetry, it’s a success,” said academy vice chairwoman Denise Washington.


Neuroscience finalist

Herricks High School senior Naseem Dabiran is one of 12 finalists nationwide for the 2015 Neuroscience Research Prize sponsored by the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society. She was chosen for “scientific skills and talents that indicate potential for scientific contributions in the field,” the academy said.

To apply, students submitted materials including a 300-word abstract and a research report. Dabiran’s project title was “Material Immune Activation and Brain Dopamine Receptors.”

Four teens will win $1,000 and the opportunity to present their work at the academy’s 68th annual meeting or the society’s 45th annual meeting, both in Vancouver.


Zone Awards

A total of 111 seniors from 56 Nassau County high schools received Nassau Zone Awards last month from the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Each school named one male recipient and one female recipient based on academics, leadership and physical performance.

Local winners were: Patrick Shevlin and Elissa Frein, Carle Place High School; Nick Normile and Sarah Cornell, W. Tresper Clarke High School, Westbury; Spencer Starr and Caroline Kiernan, Cold Spring Harbor High School; Timothy Hogan and Catherine Hatala, Glen Cove High School; Austin Tam and Lauren Kerendian, Great Neck North High School; David Kimmel and Gabriella Wong, Great Neck South High School; Brian Fitzpatrick and Jane Baranello, Herricks High School; Raymond Pietzak and Lucy Piacentini, Hicksville High School; Stephen Balko and Bela Kirpalani, Jericho High School; Spencer Matthaei and Gabrielle Pryor, Locust Valley High School; Joseph Tripodoro and Alexandra Pidedjian, Manhasset High School; Matthew Tavernite and Tara Maloney, Mineola High School; James Messina and Victoria Mooney, New Hyde Park Memorial High School; Jack Lincoln and Tara McGillicuddy, North Shore High School, Glen Head; Theresa Mattei, Our Lady of Mercy High School, Syosset; Kevin Velasquez and Lia Stanco, Oyster Bay High School; Nikolas Nantsis and Nicole Maseroni, Plainedge High School; Brandon Park and Erin Curran, Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School; Sean Tucker and Samantha Wiebe, Roslyn High School; Eric Fishbin and Chelsea Siegal, Paul D. Schreiber High School, Port Washington; Josh Thomas and Kelly Siebert, Syosset High School; Ronaldo Rennie and Janay Lamb, Westbury High School; Matt Kelapire and Cara Mattioli, The Wheatley School, Old Westbury;

Steven Dolsky and Bridget Jules, Baldwin High School; Anthony Regateiro and Samantha Ng, Bethpage High School; Tyler Schaefer and Maribel Sabino, Sanford H. Calhoun High School, Merrick; Jake Safuto and Brett Robison, H. Frank Carey High School, Franklin Square; Anthony Anzano and Brynn McLaughlin, Division Avenue High School, Levittown; Thomas Provenzano and Laura Tynan, East Meadow High School; Eric Graves and Jennifer Dalton, East Rockaway High School; Isaiah Jerry and Nicole Ross, Elmont Memorial High School; Joseph Hunt and Zoe Zebersky, Farmingdale High School; John Clune and Riley Anderson, Floral Park Memorial High School; Joel Perez and Toni McKenzie, Freeport High School; James Murphy and Jennifer Beihoff, Garden City High School; Christopher Jara-Chiriboga and Brittni Smith, Hempstead High School; Elliot Rudgayzer and Olivia Epstein, George W. Hewlett High School; Michael Leone and Kimberly Basile, Island Trees High School, Levittown; Christopher Fugina and Cora Travaglione, John F. Kennedy High School, Bellmore; Serge Byakov and Jordan Kleinworm, Lawrence High School; Thomas Ryan and Kaitlyn Rivera, Long Beach High School; Brandon Crofts and Kacie Curran, Lynbrook High School; Thomas Epp and Faith Gardner, MacArthur High School, Levittown; Adrian Ortega and Caris Ciccarello, Malverne High School; James Graziano and Kristen Moldovan, Massapequa High School; Joseph Massaro and Danielle Maddalena, Wellington C. Mepham High School, Bellmore; John Grossi and Paige McMahon, Oceanside High School; Kevin Velasquez and Ariana Stewart, Roosevelt High School; Nikolas Rullo and Casey Hayes, Sewanhaka High School; Ryan Chelius and Hannah Ditchik, South Side High School, Rockville Centre; Junhson Jean-Baptiste and Diana Lemus, Uniondale High School; Justin Mirville and Alyssa Picillo, Valley Stream Central High School; Samori Emmanuel and Cristina Russo, Valley Stream South High School; Osama Teepu and Courtney Gendels, Wantagh High School; Chris Mistretta Jr. and Emily Weinstein. West Hempstead High School.

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