Newsday's Erin Geismar is in Sayville all week for our Town Focus series on the community.
Giving back is the unofficial theme of the week in Sayville.
Among the district’s five schools, four fundraisers were planned for this week to benefit local and national health organizations.
Tuesday, Sunrise Drive Elementary School continued a nearly 20-year tradition with Jump Rope for Heart, an hour-long event that takes place before school and raised about $12,000 for the American Heart Association.
Students elected to raise money leading up to the event, where they participate in healthy physical activities, and learn about healthy eating and heart health, said physical education teacher Amy Chaimowitz. The event also takes place at all three Sayville elementary schools in the spring, and the district has raised $53,000 in total for the organization this year.
“As a physical education teacher, we’re always telling the kids to eat healthy and take care of themselves,” Chaimowitz said. “So this is a great event. The kids always have a good time and it’s a great effort on the part of the parent and teacher volunteers.”
Also Tuesday, the varsity and junior varsity girls’ volleyball teams hosted Dig Pink, a benefit game for Breast Cancer Awareness, organized by The Side-Out Foundation and Suffolk County Girls Volleyball. The team has organized one Dig Pink game every fall since 2008, and this year raised about $500, said Coach Debbie Urso.
District Superintendent Walt Schartner has suggested that on Friday students, faculty and staff districtwide wear pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Families and other members of the community can send $5 donations for the American Cancer Society to Fran Sergison or Donna Brown at the middle school.
Finally, on Saturday, the varsity and junior varsity girls’ field hockey teams will host a Breast Cancer Awareness game on their home field versus Connetquot. The team will wear pink and asks that all attendees also wear pink. There will be raffles and pink gear for sale at the game and all proceeds will be donated to the Islip Breast Cancer Coalition.
Schartner said the Sayville and West Sayville communities are small ones, so the amount of money the students have been able to raise does not go unnoticed.
“It really comes from the teachers and building administration to support the students as well as their parents that feel that giving back to the community is an important thing,” he said. “It’s part of teaching children to be good citizens, that’s part of education.”