Jeri Schwartz’s class at North Ridge Primary School collected the...

Jeri Schwartz’s class at North Ridge Primary School collected the most soup at the Commack school, 1,289 cans in total, for a Souper Bowl fundraiser in February 2012. Credit: Handout

Some Long Island schools scored big last weekend by putting a charitable twist on the year's biggest sporting event.

The North Ridge Primary School in Commack, as well as Long Beach school district's six schools, led by Lindell Elementary School, recently collected thousands of cans of soup through separate "Souper Bowl" fundraisers from early January through Super Bowl Sunday.

In Commack, North Ridge's collection was enough to create meals for 6,750 families, according to Long Island Cares.

"We doubled the amount we collected last year," said Lorraine Esposito, the school's physical education teacher, who ran the event and called the number of cans "overwhelming."

Long Beach's can collections benefited the Long Beach Food & Friendship INN, while North Ridge Primary School amassed more than 8,000 cans for Long Island Cares in Hauppauge.

"The Lindell school community was so generous, we could barely fit all the food they collected into the storerooms," said Gail Topple, a staff member at the Long Beach INN.

The "Souper Bowl" collection has been an annual event at Lindell for more than 10 years, school officials said. It was expanded to all district schools this year with the help of the Long Beach Teachers Association. At Lindell, fliers were sent home to all families and a Student Council member visited each K-5 class to spread the word.

A school custodian volunteered to transport the collection to the INN last weekend.

"I think our school has a keen sense of philanthropy," said Jane Quinton, Lindell's Student Council adviser. "We're making children aware that they can develop habits of the heart even at an early age."


AMITYVILLEAsthma education

Twenty-five students from Edmund W. Miles Middle School and Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School learned how to detect asthma and help asthmatic classmates with a six-week program called "Open Airways to Success." Activities included asthma-themed role-playing skits, instructional sessions and games aimed at boosting student health knowledge.

"What they have learned through this program will help them for years to come," said Monica Diamond-Caravella, an adjunct clinical instructor at Molloy College. The college's nursing program sponsored the event in conjunction with the American Lung Association.



Eastern Suffolk BOCES' Jefferson Academic Center recently held a "1932 Day" after a custodian dismantled a drawer that had been stuck for 80 years and discovered an old notebook. The book belonged to former student Fred Bone Jr., whose daughter was contacted and visited the school with photos of her father and a book he authored called "Sands of Time."

A student's lost bracelet spurred the drawer dismantling, Eastern Suffolk BOCES officials said.

"This experience has given students a real connection to the Port Jefferson community," principal Marc Foreman said. "They were tremendously excited to learn about the 1930s."


COUNTYWIDEHoratio Alger Scholars

Four Suffolk County students -- Julianna Iasevoli of Kings Park High School, Coraima Jimenez of Brentwood High School, Kelsey Larsen of Babylon High School, and Emily Sarich of Bayport-Blue Point High School -- were among a group of 25 statewide to recently receive $5,000 scholarships from the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. The nonprofit honors achievements of individuals who have succeeded despite adversity.

To be eligible for the scholarship, students should be in "critical financial need," the association said, meaning their family has an adjusted gross income of $50,000 or less. The scholarship also assesses academics and extracurricular involvement.


ISLANDWIDELI Technology Summit

More than 500 Long Island educators recently explored the latest educational technologies and how to implement them in the classroom at the 2011-12 Long Island Technology Summit. The event included lectures, workshops and demonstrations on topics such as converting text into interactive formats, using iPads, and improving literacy through the use of free online applications.

"Students today are immersed in the culture of technology with iPads and iPods," said keynote speaker Eric Sheninger, principal of New Milford High School in New Jersey. "Social media is not the enemy, and we need it to open up the conversations and become more transparent."

The event was presented by all three branches of Long Island BOCES -- Nassau, Eastern and Western Suffolk -- and was held at the Huntington Hilton.

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