Community & School News June 2016

Important School Dates
June 1 – Regents Exams
June 2 – ADNY Religion Exam for Catholic High Schools
June 4 – ADNY Religion Exam for Catholic Elementary Schools
June 9 – Anniversary Day (no school for Public School students)
June 14 – Clerical Day (no school for Public Elementary & Middle School students)
June 14-17 – Regents Exams
June 20-23 – Regents Exams
June 23 – Regents Rating Day (no school for High School students, except D75 students)
June 28 – Last Day of Public School (early dismissal)

Readers Are Leaders
Reading may be fundamental, but for a handful of very special local 4th graders, it’s pretty fun too! Last month, Borough President Oddo honored students from schools around Staten Island who participated in the 20th annual “Readers Are Leaders” 4th Grade Reading Challenge. “Readers Are Leaders” challenged 4th grade classes in the Island’s public, parochial and private schools to read a minimum of six books at grade level or above during the five-week period of February 12 – March 18. Students then submitted a report on their favorite book that they read during the period. Each school picked one “Exceptional Reader” to be honored at the ceremony. Since the program began in 1996, 4th graders have read more than 575,000 books for the annual challenge. This year, 40 schools participated with some 1,207 students completing the challenge.

“We read for all different reasons: To escape, be a better writer, ignite your imagination, get smarter, learn more about a hobby and go to faraway places,” said BP Oddo. “I’m proud to continue this program and hope that those who participated over the past 20 years continue to read as they grow older.” To make this year’s ceremony extra special, BP Oddo partnered with magician and author Mike Lane, who performed a magic show and doled out awards to students who read books from his “Magic Shop” series. Also in attendance was Vito Fossella, who began the program 20 years ago when he was a City Council member as well as event sponsors CTV, Macmillan Publishing and Barnes and Noble.

Summer Reading Challenge
Want your child to get some practice for next year’s Readers Are Leaders competition? The Scholastic Summer Challenge is a great way to keep kids interested in books over the summer vacation, and it also helps them avoid the “summer slide,” in which important skills are lost over the break. To participate, kids simply log their reading minutes on the Scholastic website each day to earn virtual rewards. The challenge is already underway, with millions of minutes already logged. The challenge ends on September 9. This year’s theme is “Be A Reading Superhero.” and it’s all about believing in kids and encouraging them to be the best independent readers they can be.
The school that logs the most minutes will receive “Best in State” recognition and a Celebration in a Box and Reading Plaque for a school-wide reading celebration. Each winning school will also receive recognition in the 2017 Scholastic Book of World Records. Click here to sign up for the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Click here for a list of other helpful reading programs your child can join over the break.

Staten Island Summertime Fun
Summertime is so close you can practically smell a hint of sunblock and sand in the air already. There’s so much to do in Staten Island this summer, you won’t know where to start first. And as always, Staten Island Parent’s got you covered! So stop what you’re doing right now and go bookmark our summer section online to stay updated on all of the best seasonal happenings on the Island from June until early September. 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, $1 movies, free 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!

Brush with Kindness 
Looking for a colorful way to give back in your community? Habitat for Humanity New York City is currently looking for volunteers for its Brush with Kindness (BWK) program. The program enhances community spaces in all five boroughs by painting interiors and murals; landscaping and gardening; and performing minor construction tasks in public schools, playgrounds, community centers, and public parks. Volunteers have the opportunity to create their own schedule, learn new skills, and make a positive difference in the lives of others. The BWK sites are open every Wednesday through Friday from 8:45am-4:00pm, and every Saturday from 9:15am- 4:30pm. Volunteers ages 14-17 may participate with a signed waiver from a parent or guardian. No experience is necessary. Click here to learn how you can sign up for an orientation and to link available volunteer opportunities.

Lumen 2016
Lumen, Staten Island’s signature waterfront video and performing arts festival, is back this year with a new roundup of talented artists to the visually stunning annual event. Now in its 7th year, the Staten Island Arts event is described as an authentic contemporary art experience in New York City featuring original visual, performance and installation art from emerging and established artists. This year’s curator is Monica Valenzuela, Deputy Director of Staten Island Arts. The event is set for Saturday, June 25, 7pm to midnight at event will take place at the iconic Atlantic Salt Company at 561 Richmond Terrace. “Early Bird” discounted tickets will be available until June 15. Click here to find out where to purchase your tickets and to see a list of participating artists.

If staying fit isn’t a good enough reason to get some exercise, then maybe doing it in the name of charity will be. So grab your sneakers and get ready to walk for a cause! There are plenty of fundraising walks taking place in Staten Island this year, along with lots of other fun ways to donate your time or resources. Not up for walking? Attend a different charity event instead. Here’s a lineup of fundraising walks and charity event taking place in Staten Island this month:

A Stand-Up Comedy Benefit for FDNY EMT Sal Turturici Station 43• Liberty Tavern • June 2
Crohn’s & Colitis Walk • Clove Lakes Park • June 4
Annual Ryan Pisapia Family Fun Day • Nansen Lodge • June 4
SunriseWALKS • Mount Loretto Campus/Catholic Charities of Staten Island • June 5
Captain Martin J. Egan, Jr. 10th Annual Memorial 5k/Walk • Midland Beach Promenade • June 5
Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Walk • Midland Beach Parking Lot 8 • June 12
SIHA’s Annual Father’s Day Walkathon Fundraiser • Clove Lakes Park • June 19
2016 Patricia Del Rey Memorial Golf Outing • Richmond County Country Club • June 20
Gianna Nicole’s Heart of Hope 6th Annual Gala • El Caribe (Brooklyn) • June 30

New walks and events are added to the S.I. Parent Fundraiser page on our website all the time. Click here for more information on the events above as well as an updated list of all future events.

Safe Selling
Do you buy or sell used items online? While many Staten Islanders often engage in this pocket-friendly activity, the Borough President’s office is strongly encouraging anyone who utilizes various “yard sale” Facebook groups and apps like Wallapop to exercise extreme caution when doing so. There are obvious dangers in meeting someone you don’t know to conduct a transaction, particularly when expensive items and large amounts of money are involved. You should always set a public location as the meeting point, and never meet at your home or the other person’s home. BP Oddo’s office is also urging Staten Islanders to consider making these transactions outside one of the Island’s four police precincts. It will allow both parties to the transaction to feel safer while conducting the sale; and as an added benefit, is it will raise a red flag if one of the parties refuses to meet outside a police precinct. You can find the precinct nearest to your home by clicking here.

Camping Season
Have you spent a night in the great outdoors? The National Wildlife Federation is again hosting its Great American Campout, now in its eleventh year of camping fun. The annual event encourages people to connect with the great outdoors, get closer to nature, and get motivated to protect wildlife and wild places. People are asked to make an online pledge to camp anywhere they’d like – including their own backyard— on the Great American Campout Day, June 25. The NWF will provide all the information needed, including a directory of hosted Great American Campout locations, tips on what to bring, lists of campout activities and recipes, and more. Campers are encouraged to take #Campies (Camping Selfies) and submit them to NWF’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to share their experiences. Link to their website here.

For a fun camping experience right here in Staten Island (in case the very thought of being in your backyard after dark has you scratching mosquito bites), Urban Park Rangers will be hosting a family camping event on Saturday, June 25 at Blue Heron Park. Space is limited to 30 spots and registration will take place online on June 15. Winners will be chosen via lottery. Click here to register.

Alex’s Lemonade Days
Starting a lemonade stand is a great way to teach kids basic entrepreneurial skills, but now it can be a wonderful lesson in generosity as well. Alex’s Lemonade Days is Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s (ALSF’s) annual three-day fundraiser where supporters hold lemonade stands to raise funds for childhood cancer research. The fundraiser was founded by Alex Scott, a brave and selfless little girl who lost her own life to cancer at just eight years old. Lemonade Days is held each year during the second weekend of June (June 10-12), the time of year when Alex always held her lemonade stand, to honor her and all childhood cancer heroes. An astounding $15 million toward pediatric cancer research has been raised since Alex’s first front yard lemonade stand.

Want your child to join the fight against childhood cancer by hosting a lemonade stand of their own? This three-day event is the perfect opportunity to continue Alex’s legacy and embrace ALSF’s mission. Each Lemonade Days stand host will receive a special edition Lemonade Days fundraising kit, which includes materials such as posters, banners, thank you notes, fundraising tips, ALSF merchandise and more.Click here to find out how your child can get started on his or her own lemonade stand.

Boardwalk Days at South Beach
Boardwalk Days at South Beach are back again, kicking off the summer 2016 season on Wednesday, June 22. The Sunday Boardwalk Concert Series will return with performances under the Gazebo each week, from June 26th through Sept. 4th, and featuring a wide variety of musical styles. Weekly fireworks displays will also return every Wednesday at sundown beginning June 22nd. Visitors can enjoy kid­friendly entertainment, fitness and sporting events, giveaways and a DJ spinning tunes under the Gazebo ­­­ all leading up to the fireworks. Over the course of the summer, there’ll be several movie nights, courtesy of the NYC Parks Department, as well as a number of special events. Refreshments will be on sale at the Boardwalk Grill. Click here to visit the Boardwalk Days website, and be sure to bookmark our summer page online at, where you can check out the Boardwalk Days event schedule and other Staten Island summer offerings.

2016 Community Health Fair
On June 28th from noon till 6pm, you can stop by the new Ocean & Breeze Track & Field Complex, located at 625 Father Capodanno Boulevard for the Inaugural Community Health Fair. This free event, presented by NYC Parks, is open to the public, and will include representation from hospitals and local clinics, insurance programs, mental health organizations, medical screening tests, fitness demonstrations, and a blood drive hosted by the New York Blood Center. The aim of the community health fair is to provide Staten Islanders with health and wellness information as well as showcase local Staten Island resources.

Addiction Angel

It’s never too early to teach kids the dangers of drug abuse. That’s why Addiction Angel, an addiction resource center located here in Staten Island, will be hosting a forum for parents, caregivers, young adults and kids ages 12 and educating children on the horrific effects of drug abuse. “Scared Straight” attendees will hear first-hand accounts from the family members of those lost to addiction as well as Staten islanders currently in recovery. In addition, professionals, health care providers and law enforcement will be on hand to provide helpful information and insight to families and young adults. With Staten Island’s alarming addiction rates, Scared Straight is a can’t-miss for parents of teens and young adults. The meeting will be held in the auditorium of New Dorp High School at 7pm on June 7. For more information, call Alicia Palermo Reddy at 646-404-0637. Addiction Angel hosts this forum approximately 3 times per year. In addition, they host a monthly meetings for parents and siblings of addicts. The next parent meeting will be held at Our Lady Star of the Sea on June 16 at 7pm, and the next sibling meeting will be held at Our Lady Star of the Sea on June 14 at 7pm. Check the Staten Island Parent Calendar for all future Addiction Angel meetings and events.

Drawing for the Disabled

Congratulations to the winners of the annual Disabilities Awareness Poster contest, who were honored at the State Capitol with Assemblyman Michael Cusick on Disability Awareness Day in May. Hailing from various schools in Staten Island, the group traveled to Albany to raise awareness and celebrate the accomplishments of New Yorkers living with various physical and mental impairments. Cusick, a longtime advocate for the disabled community, expressed his dedication to these individuals: “This day should serve as a reminder that while we have come a long way in how we care for and treat disabled individuals, much work remains to be done. These students have done a marvelous job in illustrating the very real issues faced by this community, and I am committed to improving their lives through my work in the Assembly and on Staten Island.” Congrats to the following winners:

1st Raymond Angelo, Our Lady Queen of Peace 2nd Andrew DeSimone, Our Lady Queen of Peace
3rd Peter Pineda, Our Lady Queen of Peace

1st Sarah Poppe, Notre Dame Academy
2nd Mattia Parrotta, Notre Dame Academy 3rd Lilianne Samara, Notre Dame Academy

1st Pamithi Samaththuwa-Wasam, P.S. 3 2nd Jolie Brandwein, P.S. 3
3rd Bianka Thimme, P.S. 65

1st Addison Brown, P.S. 1
2nd Ella Rizzo, P.S. 65
3rd Natalie Wynter, Notre Dame Academy

1st Sabrina Gahn, P.S. 1
2nd Haja Timberlake, P.S. 22 3rd Jessica Longo, P.S. 1

1st Ava Giambrone, Our Lady Queen of Peace 2nd Alyssa Colon, P.S. 22
3rd Julianna Milillo, Our Lady Queen of Peace

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