Community & School News July 2015

Staten Island Summertime Fun
Summer is here! And there’s so much to do, you won’t know where to start first. The Borough President is hosting his annual Back to the Beach celebration on July 11th and 12th , a whole weekend of games, vendors, prizes, food, and fun. The Summer Sunset Concert series kicks off on Thursday, June 2nd at Conference House Park. And Boardwalk Days on South Beach are here again! Catch a free fireworks show every Wednesday on the boardwalk, as well as free concerts on Sundays from 4-8pm. The Regal Movie Express is offering $1 movies on select days throughout July and August at the United Artist Theater on Forest Avenue. The summer fun is endless! Go to our summer page to find up-to-date events and activities all summer long.

4th of July Travis Parade
The annual Fourth of July Travis Parade is celebrating its 105th year this July! The parade, which is one of the longest running Independence Day parades in the country, has announced Navy Veteran George Everett as this year’s Grand Marshal. The ceremony kicks off at noon in front of P.S. 26 at 4108 Victory Blvd. between Wild and Melvin Avenues. All access roads into Travis will be closed off by 11:30am and parking will be available at Showplace Entertainment Center.

Safer Streets in NYC
As parents, the most important thing is the safety of our children. Unfortunately, the act of merely crossing a street with our kids can sometimes have deadly consequences, especially here in New York City. The Ultimate Guide to Walking Safely in New York City is a new website designed to help pedestrians feel safer when walking in their neighborhood. Broken out by borough, the site is filled with helpful statistics and information, such as the ten worst intersections, the most dangerous time of day for walking, and the total number of collisions in a three-month period per borough. You’ll be happy to know that Staten Island is the safest NYC borough for pedestrians, with far fewer accidents than the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, or Queens. Link to the Ultimate Guide to Walking Safely in New York City here.

NYC Schools Account
Parents now have a new and easy way to access important information about their children’s progress in school. The NYC Schools Account allows parents to view their child’s attendance, report card grades, and other information in one of ten languages right from any internet-ready device (such as a computer, smartphone, or tablet). By the end of the summer, test grades and schedules will be available as well. To create an account, schedule an appointment with your child’s school. Link to more information here.

Heimlich Heroes
Did you know that choking is the fifth leading cause of accidental death in the United States? Heimlich Heroes is an online program that teaches kids as young as seven years old how to become a hero by performing the Heimlich maneuver to save a life. They will also learn how to prevent, or at least minimize, the risk of choking. The online program is available to clubs or groups and teachers for classroom instruction. Available materials including two dolls, Hank and Heidi, to be used for hands-on training, as well as certificates of completion, instructional DVD’s, and more. Click here to visit the Heimlich Heroes website..

HEAP Cooling Program
When those miserable midsummer heat waves hit, it’s not only uncomfortable to be without air conditioning – it’s also dangerous. HEAP is a federally-funded program that issues cooling benefits to seniors and eligible residents by providing and installing an air conditioner in homes for those in need. “With summer upon us, it is important that every resident is able to adequately cool their home,” said Assemblyman Michael Cusick. “Seniors on fixed incomes and working families struggling to make ends meet do not have to choose between keeping their homes comfortable and putting food on the table. Many individuals and seniors with respiratory illness are vulnerable to heat and humidity.”

You may apply for the HEAP Cooling Assistance Program by calling the NYS HEAP Hotline at 1-800-342-3009 or 212- 331-3150. Click here to learn more about HEAP.

I.S.51’s March of Dimes Super Stars
Congratulations to the students of I.S. 51, the top fundraising school in the country for the March of Dimes March for Babies for the fourth year in a row. Wow! The sixth and seventh grade students, who collectively raised over $12,000 for the charity, were honored at Borough Hall recently by Borough President James Oddo for their impressive fundraising efforts. One student, Chris Evans, managed to raise $1,000 entirely on his own. Some of the students mentioned that they were born prematurely, which is what led to their interest in the charity. The March of Dimes March for Babies event is held annually in April at the Staten Island Mall.

2016 NYC High School Directory
Choosing the right high school is a very important decision in a middle schooler’s life, and it’s not too early to start thinking about it. The 2016 NYC High School Directory is now available online at the Department of Education website, and it’s filled with important information for students preparing to enter High School in 2016. You’ll find High School Fair dates, admissions test dates, application deadlines, important websites, as well as guidelines for applying, methods of admission, programs offered, and much more. Link to the directory here to get started applying to the high school of your choice.

Student Artwork Goes Public
The lunch table’s not just for sandwiches and gossip anymore. Talented student artists of two Staten Island middle schools recently transformed lunchroom tables into beautiful and meaningful works of art addressing major social issues in their communities as part of the LeAp (Learning Through an Expanded Arts Program) Public Art Exhibition. The students then presented their original large-scale public artworks in two Staten Island parks, which will remain on display through August. Students from P.S./I.S. 25 presented their Healthy Living-themed project at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center on June 11th, while students from I.S.61 presented their Child Neglect-themed project at Silver Lake Park on the same day.

The schools are two of ten participating schools that have created public artworks comprising the largest student art exhibition in the history of NYC parks as well as the first to span the five boroughs. The exhibition, “A View From The Lunchroom; Students Bringing Issues To The Table,” is said to empower young people to have a voice in their communities and to express themselves on important issues. School lunchroom tables were chosen as a canvas for the project because they are a symbol of student ideas and conversations.

New World Prep Displays Artwork
The next time you pass by the New World Preparatory Charter school, be sure to stop and admire the new artwork surrounding the school. The school teamed up with artist Lina Montoya to create a meaningful work of art that reflects the school’s emphasis on social justice and civil leadership. The piece, titled “Man in the Mirror,” features a mural and an installation of mirrors to remind students that the changes they wish to make must come from within. The fences along the school are adorned with flowers made from recycled plastic bottles that were collected, cut and painted by students and community partners. Lina Montoya is the artist responsible for Mariposas Amarillas, the Port Richmond project featuring 18,000 yellow butterflies surrounding the City Department of Transportation (DOT) Building.

Free Youth Nature Programs
The Department of Environmental Conservation is offering free, guided workshops for schools, camps, and groups. The one-hour programs are offered anywhere in the five boroughs, provided there is enough available space for the activity. Kids in pre-K through 12th grade will be led by DEC staff in an engaging session of nature exploration and appreciation, both indoors and outdoors. The programs offered vary by age group, and feature themes like Native Plants and Pollinators, Camping Adventures, Habitat Hunt, Nature in my Neighborhood, amongst others. Free workshops are available to educators as well. If you are interested in registering for one of these programs, you can contact the DEC at 718-482-6404 or r2ed@dec.ny.gov.

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