Team LUKO from Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station...

Team LUKO from Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station is among the finalists in Virtual Enterprises International's National Business Plan Competition. The team's Virtual Enterprises facilitator is Sandy Stueber. Credit: South Huntington School District/Liz Demonte

Twelve simulated businesses created by Long Island students are among 40 finalists in Virtual Enterprises' National Business Plan Competition.

To qualify as finalists, the students' business plans and oral presentations had already won competitions at the local, state and regional levels. A total of 310 simulated businesses competed nationwide for a place in the finals, which will be held virtually from April 12 to 22.

The competition is part of a yearlong Virtual Enterprises program, which provides more than 16,500 students nationwide annually with the opportunity to create and run virtual business ventures. Pupils perform tasks ranging from role-playing corporate positions to conducting transactions with other simulated businesses.

Long Island's finalist businesses and their high schools are: Hearth, Elmont; Kathy's Kits, Herricks; DigiScribe, George W. Hewlett; Pockits, George W. Hewlett; HomeTown, Huntington; Poseidon, Huntington; Imperium, John F. Kennedy; SolEnergy, Mount Sinai; Not Your Grandma's Pudding, Syosset; UV Clean, Syosset; LUKO, Walt Whitman; and Monenti, Westhampton Beach.

Their business concepts range from creating trendy and affordable clothing from 100% recycled materials to marketing eco-friendly shower heads that track the amount of water used during a shower.

"All I have to say is that people buy from whom they can relate to," said Huntington High School junior Naysa Escobar, who is the chief executive officer of HomeTown, a simulated food delivery service that focuses on bringing popular local foods to relocated Long Islanders. "HomeTown does not only sell a product; it sells family. And that is why we have gotten so far."


In Hicksville, Lee Avenue Elementary School students participated in a...

In Hicksville, Lee Avenue Elementary School students participated in a "wrinkled heart" activity to promote the Olweus Bully Prevention Program. Classes were provided with a large heart cutout to use while reading a story featuring characters being treated unkindly and then wrote examples of acts of kindness on adhesive bandages that symbolized a small fix for the problem. Credit: Hicksville School District

Champions of Character

Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School has launched a "Champions of Character" campaign to recognize students who demonstrate outstanding character, kindness and leadership.

Teachers nominate one student from each class every month and post their photos on the school's Character Wall of Fame. A different character trait — such as respect, courage or honesty — is highlighted monthly and will be reinforced through classroom lessons and activities.

"We are so excited to acknowledge and celebrate our students' positive character traits," Principal Tami McElwee said. "There is a heightened awareness and attention to doing the right thing across our school."

Freeport School District recently hosted a book pickup event to...

Freeport School District recently hosted a book pickup event to promote literacy at home as part of the district's #freeportreads initiative. Participants included, from left, student volunteer Agostina Alfonso, the district's instructional coach Lauren Quezada and high school math teacher Steven Probst. Credit: Freeport School District


Read Across America

Many schools hosted reading-themed activities last month as part of the National Education Association's Read Across America Day, which coincided with Dr. Seuss' birthday.

In Island Park, first-graders at Francis X. Hegarty Elementary School solved math equations and created word problems inspired by the 1960 children's book, "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish." They also played Dr. Seuss-themed games in physical education classes.

In West Hempstead, Chestnut Street Elementary School welcomed guest readers, including Superintendent Dan Rehman and Andrea Shinsato, president of the district's Board of Education.

In Manhasset, Munsey Park Elementary School Principal Chad Altman dressed up as the "Cat in the Hat" and read the classic children's book to classes.


Quill Awards

Six Long Island students and two school newspapers were among the first-place winners of Quill Awards during Adelphi University's 2021 Press Day, which was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Winners, their high schools and categories were: Sophia Seda, Brentwood, best sports story or column; Annabella Gangi, East Meadow; best arts review; Madison Grady, Jericho, best news article; Katie Tian, Jericho, most outstanding reporter; Sabeena Ramdarie, New Hyde Park, best visual; and Ashley Mazarin, Roslyn, best opinion piece.

Great Neck North High School's Guide Post and New Hyde Park Memorial High School's The Chariot won first place in the best layout and most outstanding newspaper categories, respectively.


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