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LI schools collect holiday gifts

Students at John G. Dinkelmeyer Elementary School in

Students at John G. Dinkelmeyer Elementary School in North Bellmore gather with toys collected to benefit children affected by hurricanes in Florida through the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Photo Credit: North Bellmore School District

The importance of giving was a popular lesson this holiday season in schools across Long Island.

In North Bellmore, three of the district’s elementary schools — John G. Dinkelmeyer, Park Avenue and Saw Mill Road — collected hundreds of toys for children affected by hurricanes in Florida through a partnership with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

“The students worked very hard during the three-week toy drive,” said Joanne Signorelli, adviser to the Dinkelmeyer school’s Students Against Destruction Decisions (SADD) Club. “This was a great opportunity for the children to see the results of their actions.”

In Lynbrook, West End Elementary School collected toys and raised about $400 to buy additional toys for the Marine Toys for Tots Program. The school collected the funds through two “dress down” days for staff. Those who wore the school’s colors of red and white or the district’s colors of green and gold donated $5 or more.

In Massapequa Park, Birch Lane Elementary School collected hundreds of toys for the John Theissen Children’s Foundation, which distributed the items to local hospitals, shelters and rehabilitation centers. Fifth-graders in John Coyne’s class donned elf hats to collect the toys from each classroom through last Wednesday.

“It makes me feel good helping other people,” Birch Lane fifth-grader Michael Murphy said. “That’s all this world needs — for people to be kind to one another.”

In Floral Park, Sewanhaka High School’s World Language National Honor Society filled 50 shoe boxes with gifts as part of Operation Christmas Child, a program of the organization Samaritan’s Purse. The shoe boxes went to Westbury Gospel Tabernacle.


“La Resistenza in Cucina”

Manhasset Secondary School students Despina Frankis, Alexis Powers and Alessia Ruffo are among three winning tristate area groups in “La Resistenza in Cucina (The Resistance in the Kitchen),” a project sponsored by the Italian American Committee on Education.

The committee invited students to submit original videos on how the Italian population’s culinary habits were shaped by economic difficulties and the social and political environment in the aftermath of World War II, when the Italian Constitution was ratified.

“I’m particularly impressed with how these students constructed insightful connections between their own community and cultures and the theme of the video, a skill which is essential for success on the AP exam,” Manhasset world languages teacher Maria Mellace said.


Zone Awards

A total of 113 seniors from 57 high schools in Nassau County received Nassau Zone Awards this month from the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Each high school names one female recipient and one male recipient based on academic, leadership and physical performance.

Local winners and their high schools were: Nicolette Manzella and Christian Vera, Baldwin; Amanda O’Neill and Sean Dalton, Bethpage; Heather Berberich and Corey Jones, Sanford H. Calhoun; Erin Mehr and Mark Spano, H. Frank Carey; Giana KcKeough and Luis Davila, Carle Place; Emily Carman and Arton Dalipi, W. Tresper Clarke; Samantha Reim and Jack Schlanger, Cold Spring Harbor; Madison Gillis and Thomas Heslin, Division Avenue; Rebecca Homan and Charles Cucchiara, East Meadow; Laura Millar and Edward McCann IV, East Rockaway; Jaiyetoro Gordon-Younge and Tobi Fadugba, Elmont; Erin Byrnes and Ryan Hynes, Farmingdale; Alyssa Ascani and Alexander Lauletta, Floral Park; Shannon Quinton and Justin Lescouflair, Freeport; Isabel Henke and John Protano, Garden City; Ariana Greenberg and Jesse Mayreis, Glen Cove; Christina Li and Maor Amar, Great Neck North; Gloria Moon and Ryan Concha, Great Neck South; Sarahy Pineda and Kason Romane, Hempstead; Liana Marino and Nicholas Capelle, Herricks; Kaylyn Forbes and Sam Bogdanov, Hewlett; Amber Pelczynski and Amaury Mateo, Hicksville; Brenna Glover and Charles Eisele, Island Trees; Sydney Herzog and Kevin Zhang, Jericho; Alessandra Dippolito and Hunter Moran, John F. Kennedy; Tylar Boone and Deion Brown, Lawrence; Lindsay Merenda and Bryan Fox, Locust Valley; Emily McDonnell and Taz Quinn, Long Beach; Jessica Grisales and Billy Miata, Lynbrook; Annie Zielinski and Dylan Loades, MacArthur; Breyana Moore and Christian Morgan, Malverne; Kelly Trotta and Sean Kenny, Manhasset; Julia Gibbons and Kevin Primm, Massapequa; Maxine Bresnaider and Anthony Paolillo, Wellington C. Mepham; Antonia Ondris and Joseph Lubrano, Mineola; Ciara Daly and Josh Destin, New Hyde Park; Alyssa Dey and Luca Marra, North Shore; Michelle Gomez and Daniel Cascio, Oceanside; Maggie Ford and Jason Hom, Oyster Bay; Mia Flores and Eric Dolinger, Plainedge; Jane Wernow and Dennis Wang, Plainview-Old Bethpage; Jillian Sukhra and Jonathan Abreu, Roosevelt; Leah Chapman and Jay Wiebe, Roslyn; Caitlin Kane and Savvas Christoforou, Paul D. Schreiber; Gina Tosano and Ryan Butler, Seaford; Forlendia Hunte and Nicholas Balletta, Sewanhaka; Lindsay Tighe and Dino Dervorvic, South Side; Melissa Esswein and William Taffe, Syosset; Maria Sosa and Corrance Stokes, Uniondale; Kaitlin Gabbidon and Armand Fernandez, Valley Stream Central; Francesca Melisi and Joseph Munson, Valley Stream North; Jillian Ledesma and Wayne Chen Delgado, Valley Stream South; Samantha Sparta and Ethan Herman, Wantagh; Isabella Caldwell and Ryell Walker, West Hempstead; Alahna Perez and Steven Pesantez Mendez, Westbury; and Sofia Greenfield and Matthew Kreitzer, Wheatley. In addition, Jacqueline Callinan from Our Lady of Mercy Academy was named.


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