Long Island students are continuing to pitch in to help those affected by superstorm Sandy.
In East Islip, the middle school's family and consumer classes created "bags of love" that included travel-sized toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant, all donated by parents, teachers and community members. The goods went into about 300 drawstring bags made from washcloths, courtesy of the pupils' sewing skills.
"This way, people in need could not only get toiletries, but a washcloth too," said Dani Franzese, a family and consumer science teacher in East Islip.
In Glen Cove, Deasy Elementary School students baked pumpkin bread -- 50 loaves and seven large trays of it -- using 130 pumpkins left over from Halloween activities canceled due to the storm. Volunteers from St. Rocco's Church in Glen Cove assisted with the baking, and the bread was delivered to the Glen Cove Police Department, the Glen Cove Volunteer Fire Department, area shelters and warming centers. There was also a special delivery for Long Beach, one of the Island's hardest-hit communities.
In Ronkonkoma, Connetquot High School's Student Government worked with the Connetquot Teachers Association to collect and distribute seven pallets of food items donated at a home football game against Ward Melville High School.
"We all need to remember that as most of us begin to regain normalcy in our lives, so many in our community have been displaced or have suffered significant damage to their homes," said Tony Felicio Jr., the teachers association's president. "We need to remember that normalcy for those families remains weeks, perhaps months, away."
In Amityville, the high school's honors society helped serve food and distribute clothing to local residents at Northeast Elementary School and Edmund W. Miles Middle School, which both operated as family warming centers last month.
The luncheon, which consisted of a complete Thanksgiving dinner, was made possible by fundraisers that the student council's members held earlier this year. Parents supplied homemade desserts, and party favors were made by Nancy Bachety's family and consumer science class.
"We talked to them about everyday life, served them food, and did everything possible to ensure they had a good time," sixth-grader Sarah Hull said.
Rebecca Monastero, a Sayville High School senior, is one of 10 national finalists for the American Academy of Neurology's Neuroscience Research Prize.
Monastero's research, which she conducted last summer as a Simons Fellow at Stony Brook University, explored the interactions of mercury and omega-3 fatty acids in avid local seafood consumers. Four of the finalists will win $1,000.
Eastern Suffolk BOCES' culinary art students recently treated several dozen guests to a gourmet buffet during a first-ever "Friends and Family Dinner" at H.B. Ward Career and Technical Center in Riverhead.
Guests were seated in a mock dining room with background music and dimmed lights -- and were issued fake checks.
"The dinner provided an opportunity for students to showcase the skills they learned in the culinary arts program to their parents, family and friends," Eastern Suffolk BOCES Deputy Superintendent Julie Lutz said.
The dinner, including everything from biscuits to apple pie, was created and served under the direction of culinary arts teacher Thomas Hashagen.
In Glen Cove, Connolly Elementary School's Student Council coordinated a walkathon in which kids solicited pledges and marched around the school. Meanwhile, Robert M. Finley Middle School's National Junior Honor Society held a bake sale and walked in the American Cancer Society's Make Strides to End Breast Cancer Walk at Jones Beach.
In Long Beach, the high school's girls varsity soccer team, wearing pink ribbons and pink socks, raised several hundred dollars from spectators during a home game against H. Frank Carey High School.
In Lynbrook, South Middle School students circled the outdoor track to raise money during gym classes in honor of English teacher Susan DeSena, who is battling breast cancer.