In honor of Dr. Martin King, Jr. Day and to kick off Black History Month, Eugene Auer Elementary School hosted an assembly organized by fourth-grade teacher Ms. Jeanine Buttino, with the help of Principal Kenneth Gutmann.
“Educating our students about Dr. King’s leadership and legacy is a great way to teach our learners about equality and the civil rights movement, said Principal Gutmann. “We are also looking forward to honoring Black History Month with the many classroom activities and lessons planned for the month of February that will be highlighting the countless African Americans who have contributed so richly and heroically to our country’s history and culture..”
During the assembly, selected students from each grade level shared with their fellow classmates what dreams they envisioned for the future. After, students listened to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech as well as listened to teachers read various books in honor of Dr. King and Black History Month.
Stagecoach Elementary School teacher Elaina Fein’s third-grade class recently received 12 Hess trucks along with the Hess toy truck STEM curriculum guide to use as classroom STEM learning tools. The award of the trucks and curriculum guide was the result of Ms. Fein’s successful application to a program sponsored by the Hess Corporation and the Baylor College of Medicine promoting the educational use of toys.
“STEM is vital in our early learners’ education. It incorporates critical thinking, collaboration, and analysis which are vital in the real-world contexts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” said Shaun Rothberg, Principal of Stagecoach Elementary School. “Exposing our students to STEM early in their education better prepares them for success throughout the educational and life journey.”
The Hess Corporation and Baylor College of Medicine sponsor the STEM Educational Outreach Program which offers free learning kits that include the Hess toy trucks and the STEM curriculum guide. This year the program gave away up to 1,000 STEM kits.
“Our third-grade students were excited to receive the toy trucks and to explore the principals of speed, velocity, and friction related to driving, racing, and track design,” said Ms. Fein. “Thank you to the Hess Corporation and the Baylor College of Medicine!”
Newfield High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions club (SADD) facilitated a successful Driver’s Safety Program through a collaboration of the Town of Brookhaven and Newfield High School Health classes.
“Educating our students about driving responsibly and safely is important, especially during the holiday season,” said Danielle Dineen, Newfield High School SADD advisor. “Through the Driver’s Safety Program, our students participated in an indoor obstacle course and witnessed firsthand how dangerous driving can be if one takes their eyes off the road—even just for a second!”
Al Ferrari, a volunteer retired police officer, and his Driver Safety team visited Newfield High School and presented some difficult truths about driver’s safety, one of which was that Middle Country Road is rated the fourth most dangerous road in New York State. The powerful presentation really resonated with students; many stayed after to personally thank them and express how the program had affected them.
During the aforementioned obstacle course, students were challenged to not hit any traffic cones while texting, speeding, or wearing vision-distorting “drunk” goggles. Students learned that multitasking while driving is always unsafe and always a bad idea.
“Thank you to Al Ferrari and Tom Indence for visiting our school; Lisa Cook, our school librarian for her technical assistance in preparing for the event; and the Newfield High School custodial team for assisting in the set up of the space,” said Ashley Sabia, Newfield High School SADD advisor.
Jericho Elementary School Fifth-grade students in Middle Country Central School District’ Jericho Elementary School were called to action to demonstrate the values of citizenship and cooperation as part of their Character Education. The students collected donations for Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue in Port Jefferson Station.
“It is heart-warming and inspiring to see our students come together to give back to their community,” said Maria Rivera Jespersen, Elementary Character Education teacher. “Through their efforts, we were able to donate a few hundred pounds of cat and dog food, hundreds of cleaning supply items, pet toys, and over 30 large custodial bags and boxes filled with assorted items! These are all staple items the rescue shelter needs to help keep the animals healthy and to provide a clean, safe, nurturing home for them.”
Character Education has been part of the Middle Country Central School District’s teachings for the past two decades. In the last two years, a more defined curriculum has been developed and implemented during the elementary school students’ weekly library time. Each of the elementary schools in the Middle Country School District can choose a project that will engage its students in a community service effort benefitting community members in need or a specific community organization.
The Centereach High School’s robotics team, the “CouGears”, recently traveled to Vaughn College in Queens, New York for a VEX Spin Up robotics competition.
“We are so proud of our CouGears. They showed great ability and determination,” said Thomas Bell, Principal of Centereach High School. “We look forward to seeing the teams competing in more regional competitions this winter. Good luck, CouGears!”
The robotics team competed against 31 other school districts and ranked fourth place for qualifying matches with a 5-1 record. They moved on to compete in the elimination rounds and made it to the semifinals. The team showed great skill in other driver and programming challenges, earning them an invitation to the VEX New York State Championship in March.