Community & School News May 2016

Important School Dates
May 2 – Public School resumes after Spring Break
May 5 – Feast of the Ascension (Catholic Schools may be closed)
May 10 – Public High School Parent Conference (evening)
May 11 – Public Middle School Parent Conference (evening)
May 12 – Public Elementary School Parent Conference (evening)
May 30 – Memorial Day Observed (schools closed)

Carousel Opening Day
Spring hasn’t officially sprung in Staten Island until the Carousel for All Children in Staten Island opens in Willowbrook Park each year. This year’s Opening Day celebration will be held on Saturday, May 7, noon to 5pm. Opening Day festivities will include arts and crafts, face painting, a petting zoo from Quiver Farm, and free performances from City Parks Foundation’s Puppet Mobile at 1pm & 3pm. Carousel rides are $2 each and free for Greenbelt Conservancy members. And be sure to check out our five-borough roundup of carousels in New York City on page 48 of the May issue!

Let’s Learn in Italian
After a successful first round of classes last fall, The Garibaldi-Meucci Museum is now hosting a spring session of their toddler program, Let’s Learn in Italian: Science, Math and Art Mommy & Me Italian Bi-Lingual STEAM Program. Tots ages 2.5 to 4 learn through age-appropriate books, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) learning, and Italian through musical play, gardening and literacy. Although the program is sponsored by the museum, their spring session takes place at the Huguenot Library (located at 830 Huguenot Avenue), every Wednesday 10am-11am until June 27. Call 718-984-4636 for more information.

Staten Island Fleet Week
Military ships will be docking at The Sullivans Pier (formerly Stapleton Homeport) for Staten Island Fleet Week on Wednesday, May 25 and departing on Tuesday, May 31. During this week, visitors are welcome to tour the ships and meet visiting crew members. Gaining more and more popularity over time, S.I. Fleet Week now welcomes over 30,000 visitors each year! In addition to public tours, schools can arrange class trips where students can experience the ships first hand. The Rockin’ Our Troops Music Festival will again be a part of the annual festivities, with three days of live music from 11am to 5pm over Memorial Day Weekend. A special emphasis will be placed on honoring the troops for their service. As a non-profit organization with a volunteer-only staff, Staten Island Fleet Week relies solely on donations to fund its programs and events. They are also in need of corporate sponsors. Click here to learn how you can donate, sponsor, or volunteer to help out.

Books for Vets
To show appreciation for the men and women who serve in the military, Borough President Oddo has initiated a program designed to collect and distribute books to wounded US military personnel at Veteran’s Administration hospitals. The BP’s office is working with AMVETS Post 917 and 103 to pick up books at Staten Island Borough Hall and coordinate the distribution to VA hospitals throughout the tri-state area and as far away as Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The books will be obtained through book fairs, the first of which was held last month at Barnes & Noble. Check our family calendar at for future book fair dates.

10 Under 20: Young Innovators to Watch Competition
In a world where technology is at the forefront of most groundbreaking new inventions, it’s important to shine a bright light on the inventors of future generations. That’s why CE (Consumer Electronics) Week is once again hosting their search for the New York City’s top young innovators of today. High school and college students can now apply for a coveted spot as one of the “10 Under 20: Young Innovators to Watch,” which will be announced on June 23 during CE Week. Link to an application and contest rules here. the deadline to apply is May 31. Winners will receive a scholarship and prize package valued at $1,000. Two of last year’s winners were from Staten Island, so be sure to encourage your young inventor to apply this year so the borough will again be represented!

“Today’s digital kids are our future and they are already taking the stage as technological innovators,” said Robin Raskin, founder of the competition. “It’s important that we reward students early and often for their outstanding work. Recognitions such as 10 Under 20 reinforce their decision to remain active in technology.”

Screen-Free Week
Do your kids spend a lot more time watching TV, playing video games, or clicking away at their computer/tablet/phone than you would like to admit? Screen-Free Week aims to change that by encouraging families to enjoy life beyond the screen. From May 2 to May 8, kids should be encouraged unplug all of their devices and go outside, play a sport, read a book, or simply spend quality time with family and friends. Click here for more information about Screen-Free Week.

I Love My Park Day
If you love your park, here’s a chance to show it. Volunteer to participate in the fifth annual I Love My Park Day, which will be held on Saturday, May 7 at state parks and historic sites across New York. Organized by Parks & Trails New York, the day is designated each year to celebrate, improve, and enhance state parks and historic sites, to boost volunteerism, and to raise visibility of the entire state parks systems and its needs. Last year, more than 6,500 volunteers pitched in on cleanup and beautification of sites from Montauk Point to Niagra Falls. In Staten Island, Clay Pit Ponds State Park Reserve will be participating. Volunteers can join the staff in a variety of park-wide cleanup activities. For more information, contact Emily Becker at [email protected]

New Funding for Drug & Alcohol Treatment
It’s no secret that more Staten Islanders are losing their battle with drug and alcohol abuse every day. Assemblyman Michael Cusick and Senator Andrew Lanza recently teamed up to announce that Camelot of Staten Island, a local drug and alcohol treatment center, has received $150,000 in funding from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). The funds will allow Camelot to add vital staff to their facilities on Staten Island, including a full-time case manager, recovery coach, and a part time childcare specialist for patients with children.

“Staten Island saw nine fatal overdoses in the last month from drug abuse. Put simply: this cannot continue,” said Assemblyman Cusick. “I will continue to fight for every resource available to the treatment providers here on Staten Island, and am so proud to help deliver this funding to Camelot here today.”

“The alarming growth in heroin and opioid addiction continues to ruin countless lives across the country accounting for the number one preventable death in our Nation,” said Senator Andrew Lanza. “We have to do everything we can to ensure that the service providers at the forefront of this epidemic have the resources they need to help those suffering with addiction.”

National Recognition for St. Adalbert School
Congratulations to St. Adalbert School! The school was one of 12 nationwide to be selected to receive the “Innovations in Catholic Education Award” by Today’s Catholic Teacher Magazine. Known for its extensive work with veterans, they won the award category for “an innovative project in total community involvement.” St. Adalbert School has long had a positive relationship with local veterans. This partnership has been greatly enhanced through the Hometown Heroes living history project, in which students interviewed local veterans about their military service, wrote their stories, collected pictures, and published the biographies in hardcover books. The books were then delivered to each Catholic and public school on Staten Island.

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 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:

March for Babies • College of Staten Island • May 1
Relay for Life of Staten Island • College of Staten Island • May 13
A Night Dedicated to Isabella • ATU 726-Union Hall • May 13
NF Walk and Family Fun Day • Historic Richmond Town • May 14

New walks and events are added to the S.I. Parent Fundraiser page on our website all the time. Click here for updates.

New Location for Field Station 
Have you heard? The dinosaurs aren’t extinct after all! The popular dino locale Field Station Dinosaurs has roared its way to a location for the 2016 season. After three seasons in Secaucus, New Jersey, the park is moving to Bergen County’s Overpeck Park this year. The grand opening will take place on Saturday, May 28 from 10am to 6pm. With 32 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, including games, workshops, and entertainment along the way, Field Station is a must-see for any child with a passion for the prehistoric. They’ll be open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Ticket prices range from $15 to $60. Click here for more information at

39th Annual TD Five Boro Bike Tour
Roll on, NYC! The TD Five Boro Bike Tour has been a major New York City event for both cyclists and onlookers since it started in 1977. On Sunday, May 1, 32,000 cyclists of all ages and skill levels will spin their wheels freely throughout all five boroughs where the streets have been cleared of cars. The tour kicks off at 7:30am in lower Manhattan and will finish at Fort Wadsworth here in Staten Island. The Finish Festival will include games, giveaways, music, food and fun for everyone. If your plans that day don’t include a bicycle, you might want to steer clear of traveling to other boroughs. Parts of the Verrazano Bridge will be closed for the duration of the tour, along with many streets and other bridges located within New York City.

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