In East Setauket, Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School students spent the month of January giving back to a nearby hospital "for all they've done for our kids," school officials said.
The series of fundraisers - ranging from spare change collections to a basketball tournament - raised $10,000 for Stony Brook University Medical Center's Long Island Children's Hospital, which opened last year and is Suffolk County's first children's hospital.
The sum reached $30,000 when the Della Pietra family, which has children in the Three Village School District, announced that two family members would each match the $10,000.
"Giving makes everyone feel good," said Brian Scripture, adviser to the school's student government, which coordinated the fundraisers. "The ripple effect in this case was amazing."
The idea for the fundraisers came in the fall, Scripture said, when Stony Brook reached out to Gelinas to see whether its students would be interested in raising funds. Three Village has a partnership with Stony Brook that gives students access to university programs and facilities ranging from its sport complex to a technology summer camp.
The culminating fundraiser was a black-tie gala - called "A Touch of Class" - that attracted about 100 community members to the junior high for a chamber orchestra concert.
"We are thankful to everyone who donated," said student government president and freshman Matthew Cimini.
Planning for college
Copiague School District recently educated families on the importance of college planning through a series of workshops in which local bank loan officers offered tips on saving money for college. The workshops were held in conjunction with a second annual college fair that included 45 colleges and universities.
"Last year, we recognized not enough people were speaking to children about college," Superintendent Charles Leunig said in a statement. "We decided to begin that conversation."
Second-graders at Riley Avenue Elementary School rang in the Chinese New Year earlier this month with an "extravaganza" that included activities designed to teach kids about the culture, school officials said.
Activities included a student performance of traditional Chinese songs, a ribbon dance and an in-school parade that featured plaster sculptures of a mythical phoenix and a warrior from the Terracotta Army, a collection of sculptures about 2,200 years old depicting an ancient Chinese army. Kids also attended Chinese writing and martial arts workshops and a Chinese buffet with 200 community members.
Bomb squad lessons
Law enforcement classes at Eastern Suffolk BOCES' Edward J. Milliken Technical Center in Oakdale were recently introduced to the field of police emergency services during a visit from Dennis Small, a retired detective with the Nassau County Police Department.
During the visit, Small showed teens a bomb squad training video that is shown to police academy cadets. Students also learned how fireworks cause injury and the proper way to dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water following use
Seventy-four Long Island students will perform in various music ensembles next month at the 2011 Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore coordinated by MENC: The National Association for Music Education. Suffolk County attendees are:
Babylon: Martin Castonguay of Babylon High School; Central Islip: Spencer Manigat of Central Islip High School; Cold Spring Harbor: Elliot Horlick of Cold Spring Harbor High School; Commack: Scott Aronin, Grant Braider, Joanna Martell, Karen Schaub and Chris Zatorski of Commack High School; Dix Hills: Andrew Grossman of Half Hollow Hills High School East; Danielle Chuang, Dianna Hu, Emily Kim and Emanuel Zornberg of Half Hollow Hills High School West; East Islip: Frances Flancbaum of East Islip High School; East Setauket: Mike Chiarello and Anna Sato of Ward Melville High School; Farmingville: Caitlin Yovino of Sachem High School East; Huntington: Anna Harris of Huntington High School; Manorville: Shannon Cunningham and Nicole Hart of Eastport-South Manor High School; Mastic Beach: Ronald Gross, Anna Koenigsdorf, Scott McPhie and John Stein of William Floyd High School; Miller Place: Ambrose Teniozo of Miller Place High School; North Babylon: Jonathan Quarant of North Babylon High School; Northport: Chris Schaefer and Ariana Warren of Northport High School; Patchogue: Megan Nugent of Patchogue-Medford High School; Port Jefferson: Hayley Moir of Earl L. Vandermeulen High School; Sayville: Katelyn Odierna of Sayville High School; Shoreham: Abigail Fayette and Melaina Badalian of Shoreham-Wading River High School; Smithtown: Gianluca Farina and Ray Weber of Smithtown High School East; South Huntington: Ryan Capozzo and Soraya Karkari of Walt Whitman High School; West Islip: Jon Krais of West Islip High School; Rebecca Scholldorf of St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School; Westhampton Beach: Corey Ash of Westhampton Beach High School.