Community & School News August 2017

Supply The Love
It’s time to start your back-to-school supply shopping and you might want to consider filling the backpack of a child in need this year as you check off your own child’s list. Volunteers of America-Greater New York’s annual Operation Backpack provide backpacks and school supplies to thousands of NYC’s homeless children during the back-to-school season each year.

“All children who attend New York City schools, no matter who they are or where they are from, deserve to have the basic tools and supplies to succeed. So many generous Staten Islanders have made Operation Backpack a success because they agree with that idea,” said Minority Leader Steven Matteo, who has participated in the program since 2014. “I am asking borough residents to once again help thousands of children by donating to this great program.”

Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, at Matteo’s office, 900 South Avenue, Suite 403 until August 25. Click here for a list of supplies needed for each specific grade..

Get Up and Go
Get your whole family up and go! City Parks Foundation’s “Get Up & Go! Family Adventure Race” is an exciting parent-child race that incorporates basic exercises with sports skills on a course featuring 12 activity stations. Team members must properly perform the required exercise or task before advancing to the next station and final run to the finish line. Activities include: javelin throw, jump rope, hurdles, and a mini climbing wall. Special recognition will be given to the top three finishers in each age group and awards will be given to all participate. The race will take place in Conference House Park on Sunday, August 13 at 9am and 10am and is open to parents/guardians and kids ages 8-12. Registration is free and can be done online ahead of time. Walk-up registration will be available but teams must arrive at least 30 minutes prior to race time. Click here to link to a registration form.

Staten Island Summer Fun Guide
Sure, we were sad to see July come and go so quickly but there’s still a whole month of summer fun left! Want to stay up to date on all of the best seasonal happenings on the Island? Just head to and we’ll keep you in the loop with fireworks schedules, free summer concerts, carnivals and festivals on the Island and in NJ, nearby pick-your-own fruit farms, movies under the stars, free beach events and entertainment, free or low-cost events at local cultural institutions like the Staten Island Children’s Museum and the Staten Island Zoo, summertime ideas and activities for kids and so much more. The summer fun is endless! Now go bookmark!

Huntington Learning Center Reopens on Staten Island
Huntington Learning Center celebrated the grand reopening of their Staten Island location last month, relocating from Hylan Blvd. to a larger state-of-the-art facility at The Staten Island Mall.

“We’re thrilled to unveil our new modern center to the public and continue our mission of giving every student the best education possible,” said Kelly Hansen, Center Director of the Huntington Staten Island. “We are honored to be a part of such a well-respected organization celebrating 40 years of helping students succeed in school.”

Huntington Learning Center offers personalized tutoring and test preparation instruction to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information about the new Staten Island location or to schedule an appointment, call 718-494-8377.

FDNY Summer Block Party
The FDNY is once again heating up some family fun with their annual Summer Block Party! The annual kid-friendly event takes place in every borough and features food, games, music, firefighters and fun. It’s a one-of-a-kind chance to explore the firehouse and EMS station and meet with fire safety education teams. Staten Island’s Block Party will take place on Saturday, August 19 at Engine 153 / Ladder 77 at 74 Broad Street from 11am to 4pm. For more information, contact the FDNY Community Affairs Unit at 718-999-8112.

Forbidden Fruit Juice 
Do you give your baby fruit juice? The American Academy of Pediatrics is now saying that may not be such a great idea, citing that fruit juice offers no nutritional benefits to children under age 1. A new policy statement offers the following updated AAP recommendations:

• No juice before age 1

• For toddlers ages 1-3, up to half a cup per day (4 oz)

• For children ages 4-6, up to three-quarters cup per day (6 oz)

• For children and teens ages 7-18, up to 1 cup per day (8 oz)

• Do not put juice in a sippy cup or bottle that the child carries around

• Offer your child whole fruit, which has both the vitamins and fiber that children need.

Click here for more info from the AAP.

Arthur Ashe Kids Day

Arthur Ashe Kids Day is back to kick off the US Open with star studded performances, games, attractions and more! The exciting family-friendly event will be held on Saturday, August 26, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens. Starting at 9:30 a.m., kids of all ages and skill levels can participate in tennis clinics, play interactive games, hear live music from up-and-coming acts and check out tennis’ biggest stars up close and personal. The popular annual event is considered the largest single-day, grassroots tennis and entertainment event in the world. Proceeds from Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day benefit the USTA Foundation, which helps fund the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network, a nationwide group of more than 500 nonprofit youth-development organizations that provide free or low-cost tennis, education and life-skills programming to more than 225,000 children each year. Click here to find out how to purchase your tickets.

Staten Island’s Most Innovative Students

Congratulations to Abigail Brown, 18, Yousef Alsayid, 17, Curtis Mason, 17, and Mark Ayad, 16, of the College of Staten Island, and Michael Klamkin, 16, of Staten Island Technical High School, who will all be honored at the 3rd annual “Young Innovators to Watch” award competition for their impressive projects.

The CSI students designed the “MACAY Labs HiFi Mod,” a high-fidelity speaker that attaches to a smart phone to allow users to customize their audio experience with studio-quality sound. The Staten Island Tech student created “Dual Extended Kalman Filtering,” a new approach to monitoring the charge of lithium-ion polymer batteries that is much more accurate than the battery life monitor built in to a phone.

The winners were honored during CE (consumer electronics) Week in July for their inventive projects. The Young Innovators to Watch competition honors students who are using technology and STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) skills to create the products of tomorrow.  The projects are ranked on their creativity, user design, use of STEM and STEAM, scalability and civic mindedness. “This is hard stuff. Students working in tech and the sciences need some positive reinforcement and there’s no better place to recognize them then at CE Week where they can see the most exciting tech innovation and careers,” says Robin Raskin, the program’s creator. “Being recognized at an industry technology showcase is really empowering for these winners.”