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School Notebook: Long Island students collect winter clothing

Winter clothing items were collected as part of

Winter clothing items were collected as part of a Giving Tree project hosted by the third-grade classes at Howell Road Elementary School in Valley Stream. Credit: Valley Stream School District 13

Long Island students have helped thousands of local families stay warm this winter through collections of everything from socks to scarves.

One sock-collecting initiative, called Socktober, saw more than 1,500 new pairs collected by students at Seneca Middle School in Holbrook — including a whopping 1,200 pairs by eighth-grader Nicholas Golding — to benefit the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless.

A similar effort at West End Elementary School in Lynbrook collected 650 pairs for organizations including Bethany House in Baldwin.

"Socks are the least donated item given to homeless shelters," said Lynn Coyle, associate principal of John Quincy Adams Primary School in Deer Park where 100 pairs were collected for local shelters.

In Valley Stream, about 150 winter clothing items were collected as part of a Giving Tree project hosted by third-grade classes at Howell Road Elementary School. The donated items were used to decorate a tree in the hallway before going to the school's Community Market, where families in need are invited to shop.

In Wantagh, the elementary school's Student Council held a drive that collected 75 new and gently used coats as part of a Coats for Kids campaign sponsored by Assemb. David McDonough (R-Merrick).

In Seaford, about 100 gloves, hats and scarves were collected for the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless through a drive held by Seaford Harbor Elementary School's Safety Patrol.

"I’m glad to be a part of being able to donate these items to people less fortunate than me," Seaford Harbor fifth-grader Lyla Hanshe said. "It makes me happy to know that I'm making a difference."


New principal

Daniel Ciccone has been appointed principal of Burr Intermediate School, effective Feb. 1.

Ciccone served the past five years as assistant principal at Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School in Port Washington. He replaces Amy Ryan, who served on an interim basis.

"There is an excellent staff in place and I cannot wait to learn from them and help build on the educational experiences for our students," Ciccone said. "I'm very excited to build meaningful relationships and discover how I can support new colleagues and friends in achieving their goals."


'Flight School'

Lynbrook School District has launched Flight School, a program to engage students in grades three to five in project-based learning. It consists of two instructors who visit each class in the district and lead children in a two-day "immersive learning experience" in which they engineer solutions to real-world problems, the district said.

In one recent project, fourth-graders built their own windmills, which harnessed the mechanical energy produced by wind to lift a load.

"I think that it's very inclusive and has a lot of fun activities," said Leo Krokoff, a fifth-grader at the district's West End Elementary School.


Playwriting winner

Roslyn High School senior Andrew Defrin was one of four winners statewide — and the only one from Long Island — in the New York State Theatre Education Association's 2021 Student Playwriting Competition. He was selected for his five-minute play, "Creatures," which he developed with English teacher Scott Segal.

The winning plays were performed earlier this month at a showcase event in upstate Callicoon.

"Andrew is an amazingly gifted young theater artist," Segal said. "Creative ideas just flow out of him like a volcano."


Exhibit winners

Mathew Guerrero of Bellport High School, Deborah An of Commack High School and Michael Schwamb of the Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology at the Gary D. Bixhorn Technical Center in Bellport placed first, second and third, respectively, last month in the 2021 Suffolk County High School Art Exhibition at Suffolk County Community College.

Guerrero won $250 for his acrylic on canvas piece, "Untitled"; An won $150 for her acrylic on canvas piece, "Who am I?"; and Schwamb won $100 for his inkjet print, "We're Alone Now …"

This year's exhibition included 108 students countywide.


Presidential Scholar nominees

Four Long Island students — Britney Bennett of Elmont Memorial High School, Alexandra Clougher of William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, Zavier Foster of Baldwin High School, and Joseph Mathew of Hauppauge High School — were among 25 high school seniors statewide named nominees for the 2022 U.S. President Scholars Program by the New York State Education Department.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects the scholars annually based on such factors as academic achievement, artistic excellence and community service. Winners are announced in May.

"I am so proud of these hardworking, talented New York students, and I am honored to nominate them for this prestigious program," said State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa. "They are truly among the best and brightest."


CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled Nicholas Golding's name.

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