Community & School News – June 2018

Important School Dates
June 7 – Anniversary Day: public school students do not attend
June 11 – Clerical Day: public elementary & middle school students do not attend
June 12-23 – NYS Regents Exams
June 15 – Eid al-Fitr: public schools closed
June 22 – Regents Rating Day: public high school students do not attend
June 26 – Last day of school for all public school students

Readers are Winners!
Reading is FUNdamental! Just ask the extremely bright 4th graders who represented their schools at the Borough President’s 22nd annual “Readers Are Leaders” Exceptional Readers Awards Ceremony. Fourth grade classes in Staten Island’s public, parochial, and private schools were challenged to read six books at grade level or above during a five-week period and submit a report on their favorite book that they read during the period. The Island’s fourth graders have read more than 660,000 books for the annual challenge since it began back in 1996. One Exceptional Reader from each school that participated in the program was then chosen to attend the ceremony. Click here for a complete list of the winners in each school!

“‘Readers Are Leaders’ has helped foster Staten Island children’s love of reading for more than 20 years, and I’m thrilled to continue the ‘Readers Are Leaders’ tradition,” said BP Oddo. “You read for fun, you read to learn, you read to escape, you read to get better at certain things, and if you want to be a leader, you do well by reading and reading as much as you can. I want to congratulate all of this year’s participants and hope they continue reading and learning.”

Fourth of July Travis Parade
With the start of summer comes its biggest holiday — Independence Day! On Staten Island, the place to be for the patriotic day is in Travis, where one of the oldest, continuously-held Independence Day parades in the country is proudly held each year.

This year’s Grand Marshal will be President of the Travis Civic Association and Vietnam Veteran Gene Guerra. “I can’t begin to tell you how proud it makes me to be selected as the Grand Marshal of the 108th Travis 4th of July parade,” said Mr. Guerra to parade organizers. “When I look at the names of the grand marshals that preceded me, it sends chills up my spine. It is a great honor that I will cherish forever. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. God Bless Travis and God Bless America. LET’S HAVE A PARADE!”

The rain-or-shine ceremony kicks off at noon at the reviewing stand at P.S. 26 at 4108 Victory Blvd, followed by the parade step-off from Showplace Entertainment Center at 141 East Service Road at 12:30pm. All access roads into Travis, including the Victory Blvd exit off Route 440, will be closed at 11:30 a.m. For info or visit travisparade.org.

The Great American Campout
Everyone should spend a night under the stars at least once. The National Wildlife Federation is again hosting its Great American Campout, an annual event encouraging 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 23.

National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout is also part of Great Outdoors Month in June, a month designated to highlight the many kinds of outdoor activities that strengthen our bonds with nature. Visit siparent.com to link to link to their website.

For a fun camping experience right here in Staten Island, Urban Park Rangers will be hosting a family camping event on Saturday, June 16 at Willowbrook Park. Space is limited and registration will take place online beginning June 6. Participants will be chosen via lottery. Click here to link to the registration page.

Big Apple Winners
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2018 Big Apple Awards! Seventeen educators from all five boroughs were honored for their outstanding work, including Alberto Toro, Middle School Instrumental Music Teacher at I.S. 7 Elias Bernstein in Staten Island. The Big Apple Awards are a citywide recognition program open to all full-time teachers in New York City public schools. The winners were selected from a pool of over 6,500 nominations.

Summer Reading Challenge
The Scholastic Summer Challenge is back again, motivating young readers to pick up a book all summer long. To participate in the challenge, 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 logged so far. Kids have until September 7 to log their minutes. This year’s theme is “The Magical Summer of Reading” inspiring reading adventures this summer. The school that logs the most minutes will receive “Best in State” recognition. Click here for more info.

A Shark-tastic Summer
Shark Week isn’t the only thing for shark enthusiasts can look forward to next month. A new exhibit at the famous New York Aquarium in Coney Island will be opening on June 30 featuring 18 different species of the world’s scariest sea creatures. The “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” exhibit measures a vast 57,500 square feet and stands at three stories high, offering an educational message to onlookers about protecting the ocean’s biggest predators. Between this and the upcoming August release of “The Meg,” a potential blockbuster about the return of the prehistoric Megaladon, this is going to be one heck of a shark-tastic summer!

Staten Island Cricket Club
Looking to try a different kind of sport for your child this summer? The Staten Island Cricket Club offers classes to boys and girls, 5-18 years of age entirely for free. The classes take place at Walker Park on Saturday mornings from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Anyone interested in joining can contact the program director, the president of the club, or any other of the club’s officers to learn more. Just head to statenislandcc.org.

Global Running Day
Run for fun! Pledging for Global Running Day and the third annual Million Kid Run on June 6 is now open at GlobalRunningDay.org. Runners of all ages and abilities can pledge to run on June 6 and add their name to the list of people from all over the world who are coming together to celebrate the sport on Global Running Day. The day is a worldwide celebration of running that encourages everyone to get moving. It doesn’t matter how fast you run or how far you go—what’s important is that you take part, and how you do it is up to you. The important thing is that you have fun being active—and you inspire others to join you.

In its third year, the Million Kid Run will once again aim to have a million kids around the world pledge to run on June 6, and will be about making fitness fun and inspiring kids to embrace running as a way to get moving and stay healthy. Last year, more than 1.2 million people from 187 countries pledged to run 8.2 million miles on Global Running Day. Go to GlobalRunningDay.org to learn more or to pledge today.

JCC Offers New Location 
The Jewish Community Center (JCC) Staten Island has some great news – it’s expanding to a fourth location due to the popularity of its early-childhood programs. Formerly home to the Foresight School, their newest location will be at 2221 Richmond Avenue at the corner of Travis Avenue. The new daycare center and preschool program is set to open in September and will duplicate the services offered at their Manor Road location for children from three months old to pre-kindergarten. Go to sijcc.org to learn more about their early childhood programs.

Fatherhood Family Fun Day
June is Dad’s month! That’s why Staten Island Community Partnership is hosting their eighth annual “Fatherhood Family Fun Day and Resource Fair” for Staten Islanders on Saturday, June 9. The event, which takes place in Clove Lakes Park from noon to 3pm, celebrates the importance of fathers to families, especially in the healthy development of children, and to community. There will be refreshments, face painting, bouncy houses, a magic show, a petting zoo, workouts, contests, community resources, giveaways and much more. MetroPlus Health Plan will be on hand to offer access to free or low-cost health insurance plans. The Staten Island Community Partnership is comprised of over 25 service providers, agencies, community groups and community residents to provide and promote family-centered community based services to at-risk families and children. A rain date for the event is set for June 30.

Alex’s Lemonade Days
Lemonade stands are a summertime must for little entrepreneurs, and those with a generous spirit have even more reason to do so in June. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is once again hosting its annual fundraiser, Alex’s Lemonade Days, where young supporters host stands to raise funds for childhood cancer research. The fundraiser was founded by Alex Scott, a selfless girl who lost her own life to cancer at just eight years old. Lemonade Days is held each year in June, the time of year when Alex always held her lemonade stand, to honor her and all childhood cancer heroes. A jaw-dropping $150 million has been raised toward pediatric cancer research since Alex’s first front yard lemonade stand.

Previously a three-day event, this year’s Lemonade Days has been extended to a full week, Saturday, June 2 to Sunday, June 10. Do you or your child wish to join the fight against childhood cancer? Hosting a lemonade stand of your own is the perfect opportunity to continue Alex’s legacy and embrace ALSF’s mission. Each Lemonade Days stand host will receive a special fundraising kit, which includes materials such as posters, banners, thank you notes, fundraising tips, ALSF merchandise and more. Visit alexslemonade.org to find out how your child can get started on his or her own lemonade stand.

Awaken Your HeART
Did you know that June is Anti-Gun Violence Month? Unfortunately, there’s never been a more crucial time to spread awareness. Sundog Theatre is once again encouraging students to “use art as a catalyst for change.” They are hosting “Soundtrack of Life,” a program encouraging students to express their feelings about gun violence through music and spoken word. Students from Curtis and McKee High Schools have put their creative thoughts into song and spoken word and professionally recorded their work.

Sundog Theatre is showcasing the talented students’ work in a three-hour, borough-wide event at St. George Theatre on Sunday, June 9 from 1pm to 4pm. The free event will feature a live DJ, refreshments, giveaways, performances, community service organizations, speakers, free activities for kids, and more. You can RSVP at sundogtheatre.org.