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Suffolk schools use team spirit to raise funds for breast cancer fight

East Islip High School's varsity girls and boys

East Islip High School's varsity girls and boys volleyball teams raised more than $1,000 through the school's Dig Pink fundraiser. Credit: East Islip School District

Pink was the standout color this month in schools across Long Island.

Students and staff sported everything from pink ribbons to pink clothing to pink hair in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which ends Tuesday.

In East Islip, the high school’s volleyball teams hosted a “Dig Pink” rally held in collaboration with the Side-Out Foundation to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Attendees were encouraged to wear pink, donate to the school’s “Dig Pink” piggy bank or purchase their own “Dig Pink” shirts for $15.

“This year, we were able to meet and surpass our goal to give more than $1,000 for the cause, our biggest donation ever,” East Islip volleyball coach Romina Ackley said. “Thank you to all for helping to make strides and spike out cancer.”

In Elwood, the high school’s National Honor Society members and girls varsity soccer team were among those participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Jones Beach, raising more than $2,500 for breast cancer research. Bellport High School’s varsity cheerleading team also participated and raised $415.

In Manorville, Eastport-South Manor High School hosted a Lee Denim Day in which faculty were invited to donate $5 to wear pink clothing and jeans to school for a day. Proceeds went to the American Cancer Society.

Cosmetology students at Sachem High School East in Farmingville encouraged peers to show support for those with breast cancer by giving $10 for a pink hair extension.


New principals

The Connetquot school district has two new principals: Jill Lahey at Cherokee Street Elementary School and Laura Kimball at Edward J. Bosti Elementary School.

Lahey, who replaced James Williams, was administrator for English Language Arts K-12 in the Central Islip school district. Before that, she was assistant principal at Accompsett Elementary School in Smithtown.

Kimball replaced Gail Cholden, who retired. She most recently served 10 years as assistant principal of P.S. 89Q Elmhurst School, where she also was lead administrator of the school’s Gleane Academy.


Back-to-school contest

Ashley Rose of Commack High School and Alexis Barber of East Islip High School won a back-to-school art contest open to youngsters in the Art League of Long Island’s Summer Portfolio Development Program.

For winning, their illustrations appeared on the cover of Anton Media Group’s back-to-school issues on Aug. 23 and Aug. 30, respectively. Rose’s piece was titled “Summertime Sadness,” while Barber’s was titled “Notebook.”

“I am really thankful to the Art League of Long Island for giving me a chance to do the back-to-school newspaper contest, and was very excited when I found out I won,” said Barber. Her drawing featured a loose-leaf notebook filled with doodles, sketches and lettering.


Spirit of Community Awards

The 2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is inviting students in grades 5-12 who made meaningful volunteer contributions to their communities during the past year to apply to be named New York’s top youth volunteers.

Middle school and high school volunteers selected in each state and the District of Columbia will be named state honorees and receive $1,000 and silver medallions, and seven distinguished finalists will receive bronze medallions.

Ten national honorees will receive $5,000, gold medallions, a crystal trophy for their school, and $5,000 grants for the nonprofit of their choice from The Prudential Foundation.

The awards are sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The application is at and the deadline is Nov. 7.

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