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LI students send support to Paris after November attacks

Members of the French Honor Society and A

Members of the French Honor Society and A World of Difference Club at Wellington C. Mepham High School show solidarity with Paris in the aftermath of the terror attacks on the French capital. Credit: Bellmore-Merrick Central School

Long Island students have been voicing solidarity with Paris in the aftermath of the city’s recent terror attacks.

Several schools have shown their support by sharing messages of hope, love and peace with the French capital, which lost a total of 130 people during the attacks on Nov. 13.

In East Setauket, 42 French-language students at Ward Melville High School translated a series of inspirational messages submitted by listeners of two local radio stations: WBLI 106.1 FM and WBAB 102.3 FM. The roughly three-minute video, titled “From Long Island to Paris,” was mailed to a radio station in Paris for broadcast.

“You’ve been through the unimaginable,” said the video’s opening message. “This hasn’t made you weaker — it’s made you stronger . . . Good outshines evil when we come together.”

In Bellmore, Mepham High School’s French Honor Society and A World of Difference Club invited students to wear the French flag’s colors for a school day as a gesture of unity.

The teens, garbed in red, white and blue, then assembled for a photo behind a banner reading “Vive la liberté,” which translates to “Long live freedom.”

“I felt the most meaningful, yet simple and feasible activity was to invite the school to wear the flag colors and take a picture to document it,” French Honor Society faculty adviser Betsy Siegelaub said.

In Deer Park, the Student Council at John F. Kennedy Intermediate School created a French flag poster that was signed by all students and mailed to a school in France.

“I know art can heal,” said JFK art teacher Joanne Buck. “Art transcends all languages.”


Historical landmarks

Three buildings in the Freeport School District — the Central Administration Building, Archer Street Elementary School and Columbus Avenue Elementary School — were recently recognized for their historical significance with markers from the Freeport Historical Society. The markers were unveiled during separate ceremonies attended by various government and school officials.

Columbus Avenue’s marker indicates that it was built in 1914 and was the first school with a gym in Freeport, while Central Administration’s marker indicates it opened as a school in 1908 to relieve overcrowding at another building.

“These markers pay tribute to our beginning as a public school system,” Superintendent Kishore Kuncham said.


ALS fundraisers

A 12th-grade economics class at Garden City High School recently raised close to $7,000 for the ALS Association through a bake sale and ice bucket challenge in which ice water was poured over the head of Principal Nanine McLaughlin. ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

The bake sale raised $6,394 and included items ranging from banana bread to chocolate-covered pretzels. The challenge raised $571. McLaughlin wore scuba fins as students poured buckets’ contents on her outside the school.


National Festival

Six Long Island students are among about 200 nationwide selected to perform in one of three ensembles — Honor Band of America, Jazz Band of America or Honor Orchestra of America — coordinated as part of Music for All’s 2016 National Festival in Indianapolis March 9-12.

The selected students are: Adam Cordero and Mikayla Chan of Herricks High School, Danielle Davis of Baldwin High School, Andrew Golub of Smithtown High School West, Sam Towse of Friends Academy in Locust Valley, and Kristina Wirkowski of Portledge School in Locust Valley.

To be selected, they submitted two contrasting recordings of themselves showcasing their musical technique and range.

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