Dozens of local schools hosted collections of food in recent weeks to help fill the kitchens of less-fortunate families with everything from Thanksgiving fixings to Christmas cookies.
In Dix Hills, Half Hollow Hills High School West’s Interact Club raised money to purchase food items for 182 Thanksgiving packages, which were distributed to church groups and people in need in a joint effort with the Melville Rotary Club.
Meanwhile, Half Hollow Hills High School East and West Hollow Middle School collected 1,400 and 2,000 items, respectively, for the Gerald Ryan Outreach Center in Wyandanch.
“Even our mascot, Wolvie the Wolverine, got into the spirit of giving back and went around the building with signs motivating students to bring in the needed items,” West Hollow guidance director Edward Marinich said.
In the Harborfields district, students at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School in Greenlawn collected food for underprivileged families through the nonprofit Harborfields Alliance for Community Outreach — with most kids donating at least one item. Marie Fenter’s third-grade class collected additional items for individual baskets in recognition of World Kindness Day.
Third-graders at East Setauket’s Minnesauke Elementary School, in the Three Village district, baked pumpkin bread for senior citizens at Echo Arms Adult Home in Port Jefferson Station. The bread was combined with centerpieces crafted by other Minnesauke students for Thanksgiving.
In Port Jefferson, children at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School filled 27 boxes with food to benefit eight local families for Thanksgiving.
Tara Falasco has been appointed principal of Blue Point Elementary School. She replaced Diana Ketcham, who now is principal of Woodland Elementary School in Hicksville.
Falasco previously was an assistant principal at Oldfield Middle School in Greenlawn and at Washington Drive Primary School in Centerport, both in the Harborfields school district. She also has been a special education inclusion teacher and classroom teacher for the Comsewogue school district in Port Jefferson Station.
“I look forward to continuing the traditions and successes already established here by building strong relationships and being a presence in the community,” Falasco said.
Art contest winners
Three Suffolk County students were winners last month in a Veterans Day-themed art contest titled “These Colors Don’t Run,” at the Long Island State Veterans Home in Stony Brook.
The contest was sponsored by Melville-based elder law firm Genser Dubow Genser & Cona.
The winners were Erin Wong, a second-grader at May Moore Primary School in Deer Park, at the elementary level; Deana Fragiorgi, a seventh-grader at William T. Rogers Middle School in Kings Park, at the middle school level; and Denver Dukes, a senior at Cold Spring Harbor High School, at the high school level.
Each student received a $50 gift card and certificate of achievement.
More than 100 entries from throughout Suffolk County were submitted.
More than 300 educators gathered last month to celebrate their love of reading, while networking and participating in professional development sessions, during the 3rd Annual nErD Camp Long Island.
The event, held at James H. Boyd Intermediate School in the Elwood school district, helped educators learn new skills and techniques to bring into their classrooms.
The participants decided what to discuss in the sessions, which included topics titled “Books to Promote Mindfulness” and “Ideas and Inspiration to get Students Writing.” They also had the opportunity to speak with some 60 authors and illustrators who attended.
— Michael R. Ebert