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Herricks team wins elevator pitch competition

In Island Park, Francis X. Hegarty Elementary School

In Island Park, Francis X. Hegarty Elementary School raised $1,725 through a Winners Walk to benefit the Aniridia Foundation International, a nonprofit that assists individuals with low vision or blindness due to the genetic blinding eye disease. It was organized by the student council in collaboration with the school's physical education department. Credit: Island Park School District

A Virtual Enterprise team from Herricks High School has taken the top spot in a local business contest with its pitch for a fictional self-care company.

The 21-student team won first place and a $1,000 prize in an elevator pitch competition held this fall during the sixth annual Virtual Enterprises International Business and Entrepreneurship Leadership Conference, which took place at LIU Post in Brookville.

The contest, which drew 93 mock companies from schools across Long Island, gave teams 30 seconds to pitch their business to a crowd of peers, as well as to a panel of regional business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Herrick's winning pitch was for an app-based self-care company called Eleventh Hour.

"You're sitting at home preparing for your big presentation tomorrow," Herricks senior and Eleventh Hour co-CEO Priya Shah said while delivering her team's pitch on stage at LIU Post. "The only problem is it's 11 p.m. and you just realized you look like a mess. No one is open. What do you do? That's where we come in."

Eleventh Hour is designed to help busy professionals in need of personal grooming find freelancers in their price range who can come right to their doorstep to provide services ranging from haircuts to blowouts, Shah said. The company's other co-CEO is senior Lauren Levine.

EAST MEADOW

Read-a-Palooza

Parkway Elementary School students read 693,690 minutes, which was the second most statewide, in this year's Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge hosted by the publishing company Scholastic. The challenge asked children to log the number of minutes they read over the course of 18 weeks this summer to unlock digital rewards and access exclusive content.

In addition, four other elementary schools in the East Meadow School District placed among the challenge's top 16 schools statewide. Bowling Green ranked fifth with 367,696 minutes, Barnum Woods ranked 10th with 250,491, George McVey ranked 11th with 213,493, and Meadowbrook ranked 16th with 115,481.

A school from upstate Hilton took the state title with 784,039 minutes.

GREAT NECK

Clothing pantry

The Great Neck School District recently hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil a new clothing pantry at Saddle Rock Elementary that provides a variety of sizes, colors and weather-appropriate attire to children in the district. The donation-based pantry is accessible by the school's social work team upon request from a teacher, administrator or parent.

To help kick-start the pantry, Saddle Rock staff and the school's PTA donated new or gently used clothing earlier this year to the renovated space, which is housed in a small storage room. Staff members also volunteered their time to help sort and organize the donations, district officials said.

The pantry is open to the district's 10 schools, serving students in prekindergarten through grades 12.

COUNTYWIDE

Veterans Day

Many local schools celebrated veterans last month in recognition of Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

In Lynbrook, Waverly Park Elementary hosted a "Bring a Veteran to School Day" that included a breakfast for vets and a ceremony that concluded with a schoolwide performance of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA." Pupils also presented veterans with yellow roses and introduced the school's Wall of Peace, which features paper bricks with words of gratitude for their service.

In Massapequa Park, children created artwork for visiting veterans that was displayed in McKenna Elementary's "Hall of Heroes." Artwork ranged from paper soldiers to collages based on different branches of the military.

In Roslyn, first-graders at Heights School sang a series of patriotic songs to elderly residents at nearby Sunharbor Manor.

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