Twenty-eight simulated businesses created by area high schoolers achieved gold status in various categories of Virtual Enterprises International's Long Island Regional Conference and Exhibition.
The event, held this month at LIU Post, included nearly 2,000 students from more than 80 high schools showcasing more than 100 fictional companies. Categories ranged from best commercial to best website.
Participants also made booths to display products and services and performed mock sales transactions using point-of-sale systems on mobile devices.
"These students have the opportunity through events like this to develop career readiness skills that are going to set them apart when they move from high school into college and ultimately their careers," Virtual Enterprises International president Nick Chapman said.
Gold-status businesses and their high schools were: "Waves Works," Babylon; "SuppLI," Baldwin; "MiSport," Bethpage; "STEALTH," Bethpage; "Plenty Package," H. Frank Carey; "A Lil Twist," Carle Place; "Outlast Outerwear," Carle Place; "Infinity Bars," Herricks; "The Party Project," Herricks; "Comforting Canines," George W. Hewlett; "Entertainment Express," Islip; "Worldwide Entertainment Corporation," Islip; "Delta Dorms," Jericho; "Caffeine Dreamin'," Lindenhurst; "Glow Games," Mattituck; "TruView VR," Wellington C. Mepham; "Amplify Audio," Miller Place; "Snap Shack," Miller Place; "Sol Energy," Mount Sinai; "T. Merchants," New Hyde Park; "Brama Chocolates," Oceanside; "Nova," Patchogue-Medford; "Home Pros," Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK; "TRUBLU Technologies," Smithtown West; "Tota Vita," Syosset; "At Your Service," West Hempstead; "A Helping Hand," West Hempstead; and "Sway," Westhampton Beach.
Mandalay Elementary School has launched a Reading Buddies program to help students develop confidence and make reading more enjoyable.
The monthly program pairs fifth-graders with kindergartners to read aloud a book of the older student's choice based on a common theme. During the recent theme of "friendship," the children also made friendship bracelets for one another.
"We are creating relationships between the oldest and youngest students, while building confidence in the older students," Mandalay library media specialist Leova Manbhat said.
Many area schools are spreading warmth to those in need through winter clothing drives.
In Floral Park, the high school's Leo Club held a coat drive in conjunction with the Floral Park Lions Club that collected 39 children's coats for the Belmont Child Care Association's Anna House in Elmont and 36 adult coats for Burlington's Warm Coats and Warm Hearts Coat Drive.
In Massapequa, student councils at McKenna and Unqua elementary schools hosted drives to collect items including gloves, hats and scarves for YES Community Counseling Center in Massapequa. Both collected more than 100 items.
In Carle Place, the middle and high school's National Junior Honor Society collected more than 100 pairs of socks for The INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network) in Hempstead.
Twelve Long Island students were winners in a Peace Poster Art Contest coordinated by the Shanti Fund, a Medford-based organization committed to enlightenment and peace through education. For winning, their artwork appears in the organization's 2019 calendar and they received prize money ranging from $101 to $1,201 based on their grade level.
Winners were: Heidi Almskog, James Wilson Young Middle School in Bayport; Kraig Benson, William Floyd Elementary School in Shirley; Rosita Boherquez, MacArthur High School in Levittown; Joyce Chen, Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington; Keren Dial, Valley Stream South High School; Lily Gomez, William Paca Middle School in Mastic Beach; Hailey Herfel, Fort Salonga Elementary School; Theresa Kelly, Park View Elementary School in Kings Park; Sania Parikh, Howard B. Mattlin Middle School in Plainview; Laiyla Salome-Diaz, New Visions School in Freeport; Lilian Sanchez-Diaz, Greenport Elementary School; and Nethmi Withanage, Smithtown High School East.